Forming Healthy Relationships During Recovery

In our article about old friendships and recovery, we mentioned the possibility of making new friends. Friendship with healthy, positive influences can help you build a life away from drug abuse. However, you should avoid jumping into new relationships right away, whether those relationships are romantic or platonic in nature. After a return from rehab or other form of treatment, you’ll want to embrace life one step at a time. By taking things slowly, you can build healthy relationships in recovery, instead of whirlwind relationships.

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Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

If you’ve just returned from inpatient rehab, you’ve probably been gone for at least a month. Getting back into a normal routine that doesn’t involve drug or alcohol abuse can be confusing and overwhelming. Furthermore, you may have ended some unhealthy friendships, so you might be looking to fill in the gap with new relationships.


At Rehab Info, we’d advise you to take your time. Too much change all at once can make you feel anxious and uncertain, and that uncertainty can lead to relapse. Be gentle with yourself, and spend plenty of time re-learning your routine before you decide to add new relationships in recovery.

Learn How to Build Trust

Many people who struggle with addiction also struggle with trust issues. Starting a new relationship too soon into your recovery can bring all of your trust issues to the forefront.


Instead of seeking new relationships right away, spend some time talking to a therapist about potential relationships during your recovery. This way, you’ll learn how to recognize patterns of codependency in your life. NA meetings near you are a good support group to join where these issues are discussed.


Sometimes, people who dive into new relationships too quickly during recovery fall into unhealthy patterns. One of these patterns involves withholding information from these relationships. These individuals fall into a pattern of shame, remembering the people who have broken their trust in the past. As a result, they build relationships based on secrecy and lies, which will eventually crumble the foundation of any new relationship.


The other pattern consists of revealing too much too quickly. These individuals lean far too heavily on their new relationships, expecting these new people to help “fix” them and handle all of their problems. These relationships are also unhealthy. They overwhelm the new friend or partner, and they set up the addicted individual for even more broken trust.


Before investing in any new relationship, take the time to reexamine what healthy trust looks like. Learn how to recognize the signs that a new relationship could last for a long time. Eventually, you’ll be able to recognize healthy patterns, disclose information about your addiction, and maintain long-lasting relationships.

Are you looking for advice about drug addiction recovery? Call 800-492-QUIT today.

Focus on Your Own Needs

Throughout your recovery, don’t forget that it’s not selfish to focus on your own needs for a little while.


A friendship, especially a new friendship, is a relationship of give and take. Both people have to invest in one another and get to know each other for a lasting bond to form. During the early stages of your recovery, you may not have the mental energy to invest in another person, and that’s okay. You will eventually reach that point, but for now, you need to focus on your own needs. Take care of your mental, physical, and spiritual health.


That said, you can always reach out to your old friends during your recovery. In fact, you’re going to need that support as you figure out your new life. Some of your friends may reach out to you. Just make sure that you’re only spending time with the friends who support your sobriety and won’t enable you to keep drinking or using drugs. The friends who encouraged you to get sober in the first place are the same friends who will encourage you to stay sober.

Build Gradual Relationships

As your recovery progresses, you may want to add new friendships and relationships to your life. When you’re ready to add new people to your life, you can gradually build your relationships over time. One way to do this is to take up some new hobbies or get reacquainted with some of your old favorites. Look for opportunities to join other people who share your interests. Classes and clubs can help you get started.


Once you’ve gotten into an activity, you’ll start to meet people with whom you may want to spend more time. Invite your new friends to join you for casual, sober activities. These activities might include:


  • Getting coffee
  • Seeing a movie
  • Going for walks
  • Meeting for lunch or dinner


Another great way to build friendships is to join a support group or participate in group therapy. These groups can put you in touch with like-minded people who will support you in your desire to stay sober.

You’ll have no shortage of support group options. Regarding AA alone, there are roughly 115,000 groups worldwide.

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Start by Getting Treatment

Before you can develop any new healthy relationships, you’ll need to start your recovery. If you haven’t already started looking for treatment, let Rehab Info help.


Call us today at 1-800-492-7848. We are always open.

We provide advice and information about different treatments and

rehab facilities, helping people choose the options that will provide the most help for their situations. Start by calling us today at 800-492-QUIT.
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