One of the first things we’re told in addiction treatment is that we’ll need to be careful about old ‘people, places and things,” that will tempt us to act out on our addiction. For many of us that requires a fresh new start. So here are some useful ideas for meeting people who will help nurture your recovery.
1. 12 Step programs. What better place to meet like-minded people than one in which you’re all on the same journey. You’ll have to pay attention not to become too uni-dimensional though, because there’s a lot more to your wonderful life than just discussing recovery.
2. The gym. You see someone about to do a set and ask if he or she needs a spot and then strike up a conversation. There’s also plenty of classes from yoga to spinning, in which most people are full of happy endorphins and have their guard down. Most people who like to do exercise are also careful about what they put in their bodies. Can you think of a better spot to make sober friends?
3. Consider your existing friends. I’m sure not all of them enabled your addiction. Some might even be in recovery themselves. Re-engage with people you know will be safe, and feel free to share the great news of your sobriety. Then determine which relationships are worth developing further in recovery. You’ll receive a lot more support than you realize.
4. Online resources. Websites like Facebook and MeetUp.com assist people with similar interests in finding each other. Are you a Scrabble enthusiast, like tennis, or have a dog that loves to run in the park? Me too. Discover others who have the same hobbies as you, but be mindful to select friends who also value their sobriety.
5. Charity work. Consider it service with a smile. You’re probably already doing some form of charity work already as part of your recovery. We all think more highly of people who do good deeds, so you’re both starting with a leg up in making friends. Be outgoing and conversational, you’ll be surprised where that takes you.