When recently recovering from addiction, it’s important to be around the ones you trust and people who want the best for you. Whether you’re working on rebuilding a romantic relationship that barely survived addiction, connecting with new friends, or just trying to get along with coworkers at your job, there is a craft to building healthy relationships in recovery. Especially for those who are new to socializing without the use of drugs or alcohol, it can take some time to learn how to function in a healthy way and to learn how to make genuine connections comfortably.
The First Relationship When Recovering from Addiction Starts with Yourself
Self-acceptance is the first step in recovering from addiction. Taking the time to truly get to know yourself and allow yourself to develop in recovery before trying to readjust to the needs and desires of others in relationships is very crucial. The more comfortable you are with yourself and the stronger you are in self-understanding, the easier it will be to build healthy relationships with the people around you. Recovering can be a very challenging task, but it takes self-discipline and a strong drive to get through it. Moreover, having healthy relationships is valuable in the recovery process as it allows for connections to be made.
Defining Healthy Relationships
Healthy relationships provide people recovering from addiction an opportunity for peace and growth. A prime example of a healthy relationship would be a supportive friend who genuinely cares for someone who is recovering from substance abuse and offers compassion and maintains respect for their journey. Overall, it’s important to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy relationships to compare how they influence addiction. These relationships encourage the safety and development of each individual. Healthy relationships include qualities such as:
- Supportive boundaries
- Open communication
Healthy relationships benefit when recovering from addiction because they provide security, happiness, and partnership in their lives. These kinds of traits are essential to someone who needs support and guidance into a healthier lifestyle. Healthy relationships bring out the best in people, remind people to be responsible for their own happiness, and emphasize the task of self-care. People in healthy relationships may experience less stress and achieve a balance of caring for themselves while also caring for others. Healthy relationships can offer us support and a sense of belonging, which are basic needs for happiness.
Healthy Relationships and Sobriety
After transitioning from a life of addiction, forming healthy relationships and connections is a very effective way to maintain a life of health and well-being. In rehab facilities, many patients have the opportunity to connect with others in recovery as well, leading to strong bonds that can last for years. Many people go through addiction, but many do not talk about what they are going through and do not have the chance to connect with others on similar issues. Most often, these relationships encourage individuals in recovery to overcome obstacles influencing addiction.
If someone is leaving a rehab facility, they will benefit from steering clear of people who are enablers, people who can influence them negatively or bring out the worst in them. They will also benefit from avoiding critical people, or people who undermine their personal growth and sense of responsibility.
Enablers are also people who lie or make excuses for addiction; they can encourage or tempt those in recovery to abuse substances. Furthermore, codependency can be unhealthy for people struggling with substance abuse, so it is important to evaluate the people who are involved in your life during recovery.
Staying Away from Toxic Relationships
When recovering from addiction, it is also important to stay away from unhealthy relationships from people with toxic behaviors. Being around people with toxic behaviors will not only cause damage to your mental health, but it can also push you back to bad habits and potentially cause you to relapse. Toxic relationships include qualities such as:
- Abuse (physical, mental, emotional, sexual)
Overall, being aware of your personal influences and maintaining self-care are positive ways to abstain from the possible dangers of negative and toxic relationships. If you or someone you know is caught up in an unhealthy or toxic relationship and is abusing substances for relief, contact a treatment professional today.