It was hard to face your demons. After all, telling everyone that you were dealing with an addiction was awkward and scary. Yet, you managed to do what it takes, and you finally decided to go to a teen substance abuse treatment program. While you feel much stronger, you just can't help but wonder exactly how you are supposed to make friends and deal with life in general when everyone else seems to be using. Although the long road of recovery seems hard, you've made the right decision for your health and happiness. Now, use these tips to continue to build on your efforts and make friends in your new life of sobriety.
Be Honest About Your Old Friends
A huge part of young adult addiction recovery is acknowledging the negative effects of your past behavior. While you were in treatment, you were able to get away from bad influences in your life and really think about how they were affecting you. After your return home, however, you may be tempted to hang out with your old crowd again. While everyone has some good qualities, it is important to remember the downside of being around people that abuse drugs and alcohol. For instance, remembering about that time your friends stole from you or left you without a ride may hurt, but it helps you keep your perspective about why you chose to become sober.
Explore New Activities
During your time at the young adult substance abuse treatment program, you have discovered ways that you can spend your time without wasting it on getting drunk or high. Now you have an opportunity to take those discoveries further by getting involved in group activities in the real world. Consider joining a gym or finding an online writing group. When you engage in wholesome activities, you will naturally encounter other people who enjoy taking care of their bodies and minds.
Stick To Your Relapse Prevention Plan
Staring down the long road ahead of you is daunting when you are young, and there is no doubt that you will be invited out for drinks or asked to head over to someone's house for a party. This is why substance abuse treatment for adults often involves creating strategies that are designed to prevent relapse. Whether you join a support group, go to outpatient counseling, or find a mentor, all of these provide social support when times get hard.
Choosing to get sober does not mean that your social life has ended forever. In fact, you will find that remembering what you did the next day actually builds stronger friendships. By focusing on avoiding negative influences and setting your sights on finding people who enjoy sober activities, you will rebuild your social network and discover better friends than you ever had before.
After developing a chronic physical illness, I soon began realizing that the disease plagued my mind almost more than it did my body. While my illness is not life-threatening, it was very difficult accepting that I would have to take medication for the rest of my life and eat a strict diet. After a year of depression, I finally overcame my fear of "exposing" my feelings to others and made an appointment with a mental health counselor. With her help, I was able to see the "silver linings" in life that I had greatly taken for granted before I became ill. I now encourage anyone who is battling an illness of any type to seek the psychological help they need. I plan to post lots of little mental health tips and tricks on my new blog along with advice for choosing a good counselor. Please come back soon!