The first step is complete. You have chosen to get help for your addiction and the recovery process has started. It’s common to think back to your old life and friends during recovery. You may reminisce about some of the great times you had together and even look forward to seeing them after your recovery program has ended. However, the problem with your “old friends” is that they may not be a good influence on you and could even lead to relapse. Accepting the hard truths when it comes to your previous social life may help you stay sober for the long term.
Hard Truth #1- You shouldn’t hang out with them
The truth is that some of your old pals won’t be ready to give up addiction like you are. It’s extremely unlikely that you will hear them admit that or the fact that they are a bad influence on you that could lead to your own relapse. If you continue hanging out with them you are going to put yourself directly in the path of temptation and your sobriety is too important to let this situation ruin it.
Hard Truth #2- Your life was a mess when you were using drugs
Your “old” friends aren’t going to tell you about how horrible your life was when you were using because they are still trapped in that world. While you chose to overcome addiction and better your life because you knew it was problem, they just aren’t there. Many of those friends will try to tell you stories of the “good old days” when you were using and the amazing times you had with them. The stories could make you want to use, and again, your sobriety is too important.
Hard Truth #3- Your friends stole from you
Now, while this can’t be said of every “old” friend you may have had, many of them would be guilty of this. If you roomed with another addict or even dated another addict, chances are they stole money from you when they needed a fix. If you look back and remember what it was like to “jones” for more drugs, you can probably also remember how tempting it was to steal items of value or money from anyone around in order to pay for more drugs.
Hard Truth #4- Your friends lied to you about their lives
When you were addicted and you had to talk about your current situation to family or friends that didn’t know about your addiction, you lied. Your friends that are still using are still lying. It’s possible that they will say things like, “It’s not that bad,” “I can quit anytime,” or “My life is great. I’m so happy.” You know from experience that it is that bad, that if they wanted to quit they would, and most likely they are miserable. Sobriety is a long, complicated road with twists, turns, and bumps. Accepting the hard truths about your friends is a part of that journey. You have chosen to get clean and change your life, so don’t let the pressure you may feel from those still using deter you from your path. You can overcome addiction, one step at a time.