There can be a sense of awkwardness that persists for many of us post-treatment. We feel much better about ourselves and new outlook on life. Plus, we also shared our deepest darkest secrets with complete strangers who became our closest confidantes. Our fellow warriors in sobriety now know more about us that we were ever able to share with close friends and family. That poses some internal conflicts for us as we reconnect with our old life.
1. Don’t be ashamed. Take the issue head on. Your true friends already knew you had addiction issues and cared about you anyway. They’re happy you’ve done something about it and are willing to support you any way they can.
2. Understand your strength. You are not weak because you have an addiction. It is nothing more than the result of a genetic predisposition toward a disease. On the contrary, you possess serious inner strength for having confronted your demons and overcome them.
3. Do not be distracted. I’ll be frank, there are some people who may not act positively to you. Perhaps they’re people you’ve hurt along the way or they simply don’t know any better. By being aware of this issue in advance and not letting it affect you, you won’t let it distract your recovery.
4. Be honest. Set clear boundaries regarding your addiction in a gentle but firm manner. Your friends don’t mean anything bad when they accidentally offer you a drink. However, quickly remind them about your needs. Explain that you will also require their support in the face of triggers and adversity.
5. Make new friends. That’s easy. Read the other helpful hints on this subject above. It can’t hurt to supplement old friends with new ones who fully appreciate the seriousness of your recovery.
6. Stay positive. You get what you give. It’s a karmic, fundamental law of the universe. Stay positive in your recovery and your friends will do likewise, as faithful companions by your side.