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5 Important Relationships to Develop in Recovery

Humans are social beings. Even at your most determined, you’ll likely find it much easier to make progress in recovery when you connect with people who have your best interests at heart. Between your family, friends, peers, sponsors, and medical professionals, you have resources for fending off isolation and keeping yourself motivated. The best thing you can do for your long-term healing is to surround yourself with positive sources of support and guidance. Here are five types of relationships that can provide you with particular strength and comfort throughout recovery.

Someone Else in Recovery

The most supportive friends and family in the world can only take you so far, as they don’t know what you’re going through. One reason people in recovery find such powerful solace in the relationships they forge through 12-Step programs or other sobriety meeting groups is the bond of shared experience. Being able to open up to a peer or sponsor about your journey through addiction and recovery can serve as an invaluable outlet. In addition, others in recovery can validate and guide you as you navigate your transition back to a “regular” life and face the unique pitfalls that accompany being sober while trying to build a life of success and happiness.

Someone Who Knows You Well

While your friends in sobriety might be able to relate to your problems, they probably don’t know you as well as your oldest friends. Having someone in your corner who’s been there for you since the beginning is the other half of the support sandwich that covers all your bases. As you move past addiction and grow healthier, your oldest friends may tell you that you seem more like yourself. They may even open up about being concerned for you in the past and feeling uncertain of how to bring it up. The people who’ve seen you change over the years tend to act as the most reliable barometers for your current state. An open, honest relationship with a trusted longtime friend can serve you well for your whole life. 

Someone You Can Get to Know for the First Time

Meeting and spending time with new people can serve as the perfect litmus test for the upgraded you. Nerve-wracking though it can be to tell people about your history of addiction and recovery to any degree, practice will show you that many people will respond with warmth and acceptance, especially if they like the person you’ve become. While you progress through recovery, make a point to stave off isolation and consistently develop your social side by interacting with fresh faces however you can. Even small interactions throughout the day can add up to a renewed vigor for life and a more positive attitude.

A Good-Time Friend

As important as the positive influences in your life are, everyone needs to blow off some steam every now and then. Be sure to nurture at least one relationship with someone that you can have fun with. You’ll find it much easier to tackle your challenges if you can regularly decompress and enjoy your life. Remember, the point of recovery is to overcome your problems and live a life of fulfillment and joy. You don’t have to wait until you’re perfectly healed to start having fun again. Your good-time friend can be anyone who brings out your fun-loving side, as long as they respect your new sober lifestyle. Some find it useful to separate work and play by having the most fun with someone who isn’t involved in the work of your recovery.

Your Relationship With Yourself

While committing to recovery surely constitutes a deep dive into your own psyche, you can make further use of your personal overhaul to learn more about your inner workings. This is a great opportunity to become better acquainted with the way you work. Spend some time following the threads of your likes, dislikes, triggers, and aspirations, and see if you can trace them back to their origins. 

Overcoming addiction often involves therapy, counseling, or some other form of heightened self-awareness. While you’re already doing some emotional heavy lifting, see if you can expand the reach of your sessions beyond addiction. Every person carries their own unique blend of trauma, biased self-perception, emotional imbalances, and expectations from the world; it may behoove you to take this chance to explore the inner machinations of your mind and untangle any emotional knots that you may have been letting alone until now. Between recovering from addiction and addressing pent-up emotional issues, you have the power to emerge into the next chapter of your life as a person transformed, ready to take on the world with a healthy body and stable mind.

Although recovery is a personal journey, the people you choose to surround yourself with can make an enormous impact on the pace and quality of your inner transformation. As you work to improve yourself, make sure you’re setting yourself up for success by refining your social influences as well. At Cornerstone Healing Center, we know the importance of social support to a well-rounded recovery. Our facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, is home to a vibrant community of peers and experts who are ready to welcome you with open arms. Our continuing care and mentorship programs are built specifically to keep you grounded and inspired from the first time you walk through our doors until years after you’ve completed treatment. For patients who need extra support, we’re proud to offer a highly effective and personalized Sober Companion Program. Don’t think you have to beat addiction on your own. Call (800) 643-2108 to learn more.

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