When embarking upon a new lifestyle, some changes may need to occur in your social circles to help you stay focused on your goals. Sometimes we must make the difficult decision to leave behind friends who fueled our addiction in the past in order to ensure a happier, healthier future.
Finding new friends who support your vision and dreams will not only help with recovery but will also assist in creating a long-lasting support system. Here are a few tips for letting go and finding new people to support your journey.
Saying goodbye to the old
Before you begin finding new friends, it’s time to purge the old. Chances are, you had friends prior to your recovery that helped enable your addiction. It’s time to rid your life of these people. It may be hard and you may have a long history of friendship, but you need to do what is best for you. Changing your life for the better should be your priority and if others cannot understand this, it’s time to let them go.
Deleting phone numbers and unfollowing these individuals on social media can help you cut ties and avoid falling back into bad habits. Try avoiding the places you used to frequent together and let your support system know who they are to help keep you accountable.
Find new hobbies
Hobbies are a great way to meet new people and try something new. Finding healthy hobbies that support your sober lifestyle can be as easy as walking into your local store for crafts, fishing, outdoor gear, etc. Customer service representatives can help you get started.
Maybe you’ll meet a new fishing buddy or photography companion. Many local hobby stores know about groups who meet in the area and can direct you towards the right people. Some stores even host onsite groups where you can meet new people and learn a new craft.
Take a chance and sign up for some classes as well; you’ll all be learning together. Your local community center may have a schedule. If you’ve always wanted to try something new, now is your chance!
Join social groups
Finding local clubs and groups is one of the many ways to find new friends. Getting to know the people in your support groups will give you a solid foundation to venture out into others. Attend your meetings and stay up to date with your local program to set yourself up for success.
As you begin to meet people remember to be open and honest about your struggles. They will appreciate it and it will also give them a chance to respect the boundaries you have set for yourself.
To find new local interest groups, we suggest taking stock of what you like to do or would be interested in doing. Once you’ve figured these out, find local groups that also do these things.
If you’re interested in yoga, find local classes or groups that practice together. Maybe your love for books could lead you to your local library’s book club meetings. Meetup is a tool that can help you find some of these common interest groups. If there isn’t one right for you, consider starting one!
Volunteer in your community
Helping others is a great way to help yourself when looking for new friends and opportunities. Finding local charities and non-profits in search of volunteers can provide a sober and safe way to give back. Volunteering is another great step for your recovery as you learn to spend time on others while healing yourself.
Find service opportunities that allow you to do what you love. If you are interested in gardening, there are plenty of non-profits that could use help tending to their landscape. Being handy with a hammer could help local groups fix buildings and facilities.
There are endless possibilities for you to give back. Volunteering will allow you to meet others who share the same passion for service as you. These shared interests can help build lasting ties between you and your new companions, paving the way for a better, more connected future.