When a lot of people get clean, there can be a tendency to reminisce about their life beforehand. You might find yourself thinking fondly about all those times spent partying and carousing with your old group of friends. While it’s completely natural to feel like this at times, there are a few important things your pre-recovery friends won’t tell you. Here are a few of them.
The first thing: “You probably shouldn’t hang around with us”. Even your healthiest, most successful friends would find it hard to tell you that you shouldn’t be hanging around with them. It’s not that your old friends don’t care about you. In fact, a lot of them will probably be overjoyed to have you back! However, if you have friends who are still drinking or using drugs, then it’s rarely a good idea to be around them. Obviously it may not be as simple as saying “Okay, I’ll stop seeing all of my friends”. If you can restrict it to times when your friends will be sober, then go ahead. However, if they’re still struggling with a chronic addiction, then your safest bet is to just stay away.
Another thing your friends will resist telling you is that your life was in a terrible place before you had treatment. As you went through your sober living homes and programs, your view of your addiction probably changed rapidly. As you become more used to sobriety, you forget how the high feels, and pretty soon you’re just left with the myriad of downsides. Remember that your friends who are still using haven’t been through the same experience. They’ll still be looking at their addiction through rose-colored glass. Many will still see it as something fundamentally harmless. Of course, if everyone’s aware that you’re clean, there’s nothing to say your friends will be actively pushing you to relapse. However, the casual attitude to substance abuse your friends may have can be a serious danger.
Finally, that if you start using again, it will be harder to quit. This is a psychological constant, found in almost any kind of substance addiction. It’s also one of the many dangers that your user friends are going to be blind to. Think about it; they’re not thinking clearly enough to seek help themselves. So, how are they going to have the foresight and care to keep you from getting back into drugs or alcohol? If you were to start using again, your friends probably wouldn’t say a thing. They may even be happy that they’ve got the old you back. It’s unlikely that any of them are going to try and save you from relapse. Remember that whenever you go through the trial of beating an addiction, you’ll be at risk of an even worse addiction should you start using again. When you’re around people who are using, it’s much easier to give in!
I know that it can feel lonely after getting off a substance. However, if you continue to associate with people who are using, all your hard work could be undone! Stay careful and always remind yourself why you got clean.