Staying sober is a large task that many people attempt and fail. Failure happens because of a number of different reasons, most often because a person doesn’t seek treatment for drug or alcohol abuse. Getting professional help is one of the first and most important things you can do in order to successfully get sober from drugs or alcohol. Once you are in recovery, one huge thing to be vigilant about is the people you surround yourself with. That alone can be a determining factor in whether or not you relapse. So, make sure you choose your friends wisely.
Staying Sober is Directly Impacted by Your Friends
One bad influence in your life can be all you need to relapse. Take, for example, the story of Chloe, a recovering opiate addict who had nearly a year clean. Chloe was very heavy into her recovery and surrounded herself by people who were sober and also people who had never had problems with addiction, especially opiates. She got into a relationship with a guy who had no history of addiction and was a strong supporter of her sobriety.
Everything went well for close to a year. Through work, she met Melissa, a girl who was new in recovery, also from opiates. The two girls became fast friends because of their similar history and became very close. It wasn’t too long before Melissa relapsed.
Melissa hid it from Chloe because she genuinely didn’t have the intention of making her relapse. But, to Chloe, all the signs were there. Trips to the bathroom, sudden energy out of nowhere, falling asleep at other times, and those tell-tale pin-point pupils.
One day Chloe got into a fight with her boyfriend and was riding with Melissa to work when she asked her for some drugs. The temptation was too strong, and obtaining them was too easy. The girls ended up getting high together, and Chloe fell back into using. She relapsed for a few weeks until eventually her loved ones caught on and got her back into rehab.
Always Protect Your Sobriety
Chloe’s story goes to show how just having one wrong person around can cause your entire plan of staying sober to derail. Addiction is incredibly powerful, so if any kind of temptation is there, it is extremely difficult to resist. It is important to remember that when you are in recovery, you need to do absolutely everything you can to protect it, and that includes making sure the people around you are genuinely clean and sober and will not lead to your downfall.
Many times people in recovery hang out together. And, it is true that if one person relapses, they don’t want to bring others down with them. However, as a recovering addict working on staying sober, it is easy for you to see the signs of drug use in your friends. Unintentionally, that becomes a trigger in and of itself, even if the drugs were never offered to you or spoken about.
Recovery is all about you. In order to protect your sobriety, you always have to put yourself first. That means backing away from anyone who shows signs of drug use or a potential relapse. If you think that makes you a bad friend, it doesn’t. You can tell the person involved why you are backing away, and if they are a good friend they will understand. Also, you may even convince them not to relapse themselves, saving two people’s futures at once.
There is absolutely no shame in always making yourself number one when you are working on staying sober. Each person in your life plays an important role, and it is essential to realize who the best people to surround you with are, and who you are better off letting go.