Recovery From Addiction Means Ending Toxic Relationships

by AdamS on August 31, 2012

One of the biggest threats to your sobriety as a recovering addict is the existence of relationships to people that do not support your sobriety. Many people that go through alcohol rehab like the one found at, find that their efforts get squandered when friends do not help them stay clean. The joy that you have found in your new life can be discouraged by friends that suddenly feel belittled or offended that you no longer want to take part in the activities that you once did. Those same people that you thought were your friends might just outright ignore you, or worse, they may go out of their way to try to sabotage your recovery. There are some things that you should expect from toxic friendships when you begin your life after treatment.

Expect To Learn Who Your Real Friends Are

Again, some people might go out of their way to ruin the good thing that you have for various reasons. But you can really tell by the way that they treated you before you entered rehab. If anyone that you considered a friend tried to discourage you from getting treatment by telling you that you didn’t have a problem or that rehab is a waste of time, they probably weren’t real friends to begin with. In life after treatment, if the same people are encouraging you to take part in activities that would typically lead to substance abuse, then they are most likely not real friends. Even if they don’t encourage you to use again, if they are inconsiderate of your needs and still pressure you to meet them at places that are filled with temptations, that relationship could be detrimental to your recovery.

Expect Their Behavior To Be A Manifestation Of Their Own Guilt

If these so-called friends are trying to sabotage your recovery it could be for a number of reasons. Your sobriety might make them to see the reality of their own lives, and it will illuminate the fact that they have a problem. If they are not ready to deal with that problem then ruining your sobriety might be the only chance that they have to feel normal. They may have tried to get sober on their own and failed; feelings of inadequacy might result from seeing your success. Perhaps they do not have a problem with substance abuse but enjoy having an alcoholic beverage without the inconvenience of influencing you.

Expect Difficult Decisions

You must treat your recovery like the most important thing in your life; without it, you risk everything. That means you must be willing to make tough calls that might mean ending relationships that pose a threat against sobriety. If they do not support your lifestyle, and you do not support theirs, then they have to be cut off. While it is a sad thing to think about losing friendships, by doing so you will be making room for good and supportive friendships that you may not be able to have otherwise.

Another way to cultivate healthy relationships is by spending time in places where there are people that are going through similar circumstances. Joining self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can be a great way to meet like-minded people that have similar goals. They best thing that can happen is that toxic friends will ignore you or they will be inspired and go to treatment themselves. If not, you must expect to make tough calls. For more information about how addiction is a disease that needs to be battled against for your entire life, go to

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