Making and keeping friends in recovery presents a unique challenge. In the beginning, everyone is sick. Wrapped up in their character defects and the worst parts of their behavior, it’s hard to know who anyone truly is. You want to find bonds on the good parts. However, the unique solidarity found in recovery is usually based in some of the bad parts. You can find solace in knowing other people share your pain- not just in the experience of living with drug and alcohol addiction but often the trauma and difficult experiences of the past which led to yoru using. Friendships formed in the early stages of recovery can be lifelong. How long that life lasts is a matter of staying committed to recovery. Relapse is an unfortunate part of recovery. For some people, it happens over and over again. Inevitably, at some point in time, you will know someone who relapses and loses their life to their addiction. It’s important to stay committed to your recovery and make friends with the people who do the same. Learning to look for red flags when making friends is challenging simply because you aren’t used to looking for them. Here are a few of the warning signs we suggest you yield to before getting too close to a bad influence.
Red Flag #1 : This Isn’t Their First Rodeo
Chronic relapse is common, especially among those who abuse hard drugs like opiates. The unique thing about chronic relapse is the way it is judged. Some people have a hard time finding the treatment program which works for them and addresses all of their issues, both addiction and co-occurring disorders. However, those complications are often confused with “willingness”. It is true that there has to be a willingness to stay sober no matter what. Listen to what they have to say. You can tell by the story someone tells. They’re either intending to stay sober, or in treatment because that’s what they think they are supposed to do.
Red Flag #2 : They Ask You To Relapse With Them
Some people don’t face the consequences they feel they need to in order to convince themselves to stay sober. They’re willing to take anyone with them so they don’t have to feel bad about relapsing. If they’re encouraging you to throw away your recovery and treatment time to relapse, they don’t have the same regard for living. Relapse is never guaranteed to lead to recovery again.
Red Flag #3 : They’re Chronic Rule Breakers
Following all the rules can be tedious and boring. Treatment can sometimes feel like more of a punishment than something to help you. What most patients don’t realize is that every single part of treatment is designed to help you change your behaviors, which changes your brain. Chronic rule breakers aren’t taking advantage of the systems in place to help them grow and not turn back to drugs and alcohol. When someone continues fighting, it is because they haven’t full given up the fight against sobriety. When you fight against recovery, you fight for addiction.
Aurora Recovery Centre creates a community of recovery through transitional care in which each level of members can act as guides to the next. Our residential treatment programs are open to anyone seeking recovery for an addiction or dual diagnosis issue, including eating disorders and gambling addiction. For more information, call 844-515-STOP.