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Changing Our Friends!

Discussion in 'Other Recovery Support Groups' started by Daniel Lucky, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor

    The influences that we allow in our lives and around us matters more than we realize. When starting our recovery process, we must add and subtract certain people in and out of our lives. Knowing who to keep and to add is very important, while in recovery we need those only who really wants to see us recover and are just as serious as we are about our recovery! Positive influences help us to maintain a strong attitude during this trying time. From experience emotions run so high we cant seem to be able to focus on the intended goal, positive support encourages us to move toward to success. Old friends have to die with old habits if those friends are still using or use, the wrong friend could send us back into what we are trying to get away from. Adding people is the easy part, add a mentor from a support group, and a minister or pastor to help encourage our change and shed some spiritual help. This is the advice that worked for me in my recovery and still works, I don't allow anyone from my past that does not support my "new" future, I give them no place in my life. Good Luck!
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014
    CpXi7z1 likes this.
  2. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    Sometimes it's hard to cut off old friends that you know have played a bad role in your life. You feel like you owe it to them to stick with them despite their negative impact on your life. You're right, though. We owe it to ourselves to keep positive role models and to leave behind the negative ones. Thank you for this advice!
  3. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    Cutting out friends can be really hard, but at times it's a necessary. If you're not around the right kind of people, not getting the support you need, or negatively impacting your life in ANY way, it's time to make a change.
  4. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    I agree, it can be hard, but it's a life changer because we need to cut with those people and locations that might lead us back to the addiction.
  5. cc1001

    cc1001 Member

    I believe it is important to cut certain friends out of your life if they are bad influences. It is also a hard thing to do. When I was involved in drinking heavily and other risky activities I had to let go of friends before I could get better. I have a family member who has been a alcoholic for a very long time and will not let go of his high school friends and he continues to drink and do the same things over and over.
  6. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    I feel like any time I tried to keep my using buddies around we were terrible influences on each other. It went both ways. Not so much "Ohhhhh I tried so hard to stay clean but so and so...." :) The decision to stay away from certain people wasn't nearly as hard for me once I was actually willing to do whatever it took to stay clean. I did not abuse drugs with family members, though. Just friends and significant others. Cutting a family member out of my life (even if it was the right thing to do) would have been extremely difficult for me.
  7. Askani

    Askani Active Contributor

    It is hard to cut people from your life that you care about, but you do have to ask yourself how much they care about you. If they care about you they will understand your choices and support you. If not then you really don't need that person in your life. You haven't lost anything if that person doesn't care enough for you to want to help. Luckily My family is all straight edge and don't do anything bad for them. i lived a quiet boring life growing up, which I think contributed to me being a wild ass young adult.
  8. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Agreed. Anyone who can't respect your decision to be healthy can't be a real friend.
  9. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    That is why no one under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be called a friend, no way!
  10. SurfLifeinFla

    SurfLifeinFla Member

    This is when you find out who you friends really are. A friend of mine has stepped away from the bar/party lifestyle recently and know feels alone because most of her acquaintances are caught up in that lifestyle. Now that she is trying to stay clean, none of them want anything to do with her. Those people were never her friends in the first place and because she is generous I feel like most were taking advantage of her generosity and hospitality. This is obvious because it would not be uncommon after a late nite of drinking and other drugs then having these 'friends' over, money and valuables would go missing.

    True friends do not steal and will be there for support when one wants to become clean. That said family is family and it can be impossible to cut ties with a family member. I consider all my close friends to be family.
    CpXi7z1 likes this.
  11. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    The problem SurfLife is that a drug addict is not a friend, they live exclusively for the addiction and they can steal from their parents if necessary.
  12. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    No offense, but that's a pretty simplistic approach to this problem. The problem with that line of thinking is that although the addict might not be a "friend" to the other person, because of they way they are currently living, it does not mean that the other person does not feel that friendship still. It still exists, and does not just go away because their friend is addicted. You can't help but feel that way for someone you've previously bonded with.

    Saying, "they're not really a friend" is the equivalent to "just get happy" when talking to depressed individuals. Sure, it makes sense on a basic level, but it's a lot easier said than done.
    CpXi7z1 likes this.
  13. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    A true friend will not let you go down deeper into trouble. So by all means, cut off all ties with friends that will impede your way to recovery. But if a friend sincerely changes with you, no matter how messed up he is in his addiction or how badly he influenced you before, stand by him. It is a good way for both of you to push each other towards a positive change.
  14. Geinnam

    Geinnam Member

    Some people become afraid when someone makes a positive change and they remain in their old destructive behaviors. Some become fearful that they will be left behind or will feel pressure to examine their own lives. In some instances, the person in recovery comes to the realization that the abuse of drugs or alcohol is pretty much the only thing they had in common with certain friends. The person in recovery has to look at each relationship on an individual basis with the ground rules set that they are in recovery and cannot abuse. Situations and circumstances change daily and that is a crucial part to accept if true recovery is desired.
  15. sillylucy

    sillylucy Community Champion

    Cutting friends is very hard and it's even harder when they cut you out. One of my best friends went to rehab and she stopped talking to me. It made me feel horrible because I knew that I was one of her "triggers."
  16. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    You have to cut out the bad influences in your life if you want to continue on the road to recovery. An addict has to begin life like they are just doing it for the first time and some friends from the past, unfortunately and fortunately have to be let go in order for recovery. You cannot keep the friends that encouraged you to fall down a hole and honestly if they arent getting help and cant understand, then they are not friends anyway.
    Sometimes an innocent gets cut out too and that is because after rehab or during recovery an addict needs space and time to deal with their new lives. Your friends will not understand exactly what you are feeling therefore a recovering addict just needs to let go of the past completely.
  17. HerrKaze

    HerrKaze Member

    Eliminating peer pressure is a great way to relieve yourself of a burden, though obviously it's not the only step to take. I think cutting down friends is the wrong figure of speech for a situation like this, because when you've made the decision to go clean, I'm certain you gradually start to see these people for what they are. Nobodies you scratched an itch with.
  18. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Sure, I put it in a simplistic way, I am not saying that deep down inside he's not our friend anymore, but friendships are based on common experiences and if the guy is on drugs he has to want to quit or there is no future for the relationship.
  19. Honestly, this is one of the most important things someone can do when looking to battle an addiction. The people that one surrounds themselves with is very influential. If you surround yourself with addicts, it will make it harder to move on; on the other hand, if you surround yourself with people who are not addicted, yet enjoying life, it makes the process easier.
  20. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Yeah, just figure, you are quitting drugs or alcohol and you go meet the same friends that have the same habits? Of course not, you need to break with that.