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Showing Support for Those Who are Sober

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by Carrie, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Carrie

    Carrie Member

    What's the best way to show support for friends and new acquaintances who tell you they've been sober for a certain amount of time. I am always impressed by those who not only have triumphed over their addiction (or manage it in a healthy way) but also make themselves vulnerable enough to share that information. I want to show my support, but I haven't found the best way to say that.

    What do you think?
  2. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I think if the sober individual brings it up you should say what you wrote above. Tell them that it's great that they've overcome addiction and are staying strong. Be there for them if they feel temptation. Celebrate sober milestones with them if they choose to do so. Otherwise, just continue to be a good friend.
    Carrie likes this.
  3. frogsandlegos

    frogsandlegos Active Contributor

    Personally, I think it is fun to organize a little get together or social event, but probably best it NOT be at a restaurant that serves alcohol (which can make it a little tricky on finding a good spot).

    Some ideas are to have a girls' night out event at a local paint-your-own pottery place, or even just a coffee shop or alcohol-free bowling alley. Or play bunco at someone's house. Or go to see a movie / play together.
    Carrie likes this.
  4. Carrie

    Carrie Member

    Great ideas, you two! I really appreciate it.
  5. WAVWirmer

    WAVWirmer Member

    The best way I know of showing support is first off I try not to be trigger for them to jump back into drinking. For example talking about and or drinking in front of them especially if they still dont have frim grasp of their sobriety. Second I always make a big deal of how long have gone with out drinking even if its only been a few days, because days turn to weeks , and months etc... Any words of encouragement that help grant some extra strength to help fight is always good for someone going through rehab or any other program or method of recovery. Thirdly its good to try and avoid situations that can cause difficulty for someone trying to get sober like parties, wedding, any type of event were there will be drinking involved. But if the situation presents itself its important to help your friend or family member by either not drinking along with them and or doing other things while at the event taht help draw attention from drinking or you can simply. Hope these tips help.
  6. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think just recognizing their achievement is enough. Most of them probably don't say it to get praise or putty, they probably are just telling it so that you would know, and a recognition would validate their effort as well as your understanding of their situation and condition. I think overt praise or pity would just shake the boat too much so something more neutral would be much more apt, in my opinion at least.
  7. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    I think honesty is the best policy, you can make yourself vulnerable to them right back by admitting to them that you want to support them but that you don't quite know what to do or what to say. It's totally okay not to know what to do in certain situations. It's okay to ask for help even in asking how to support someone.
  8. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    Just be a good friend, avoid bringing up triggering things as best as you can and just be available for them. Treating someone like they are normal is very encouraging to someone who might feel that they are not normal due to their addiction issues. By not bringing that up and just treating them as a normal person you are helping them see that they can live a normal life now.
  9. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor

    The best way to show support to someone who has been growing stronger in their sobriety, is to let them know that you see the changes that they have made and let them know constantly how proud you are. Sometimes as addicts we get frustrated and relapse because we might feel that no one cared anyway when we was sober. Sometimes we feel no one was their to support us when we were practicing sobriety so we just give up. Someone who is staying sober in the beginning praise them as often as possible and spend some time to show that you'll be there if they need you! Good Luck!
  10. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    Praise them in a gentle way. Let them know often what great thing they have achieved. Try to avoid putting them in situations where they are faced with alcohol, such as serving wine with food that you have cooked, or ordering alcohol if you are in a restaurant together. If you are in social situations with others, and you can see that your friend feels tempted to have a drink, find a friendly way to take them away from the scene, even if it's just for a few minutes to talk about what is going on. There are so many ways that you can help a person who has given up drinking and wants to stay sober.
  11. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Senior Contributor

    That is the one reason why I try to be kind to those who just got out of rehab. Its the most stressful thing to deal with when you are faced with punks that care more about putting you back in that zone. This is why I would lose those kind of friends who care more about their addiction and not you getting sober.
  12. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    I guess the best way to show support for those who are now sober is for you guys to do things that you can't normally do before when he/she was still under the influence. If you and your friend have not watched a movie for a while, go ahead and do so now. Do some sports together, maybe.
  13. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    There is some awesome advice above. Don't trigger. Be interested in milestones, and offer to talk if need be. Also keep in mind that new sobriety brings its own problems. The addict is now facing life's problems with a clear head which can cause anxiety, and the desire to use can cause irritability. Behaviors they had when they were addicted can cross over to their sober life. Many people think getting clean will fix everything, but if often creates a different set of problems.

    Just be understanding. Some people do not want to talk about it, and tell people only to explain why they do not want to go to bars or clubs.
  14. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Senior Contributor

    For example things that could be done to keep the recovering addict from feeling left out could be going to a movie. Another activity could be like going to a hangout place where there is no alcohol. You can also throw special days for the recovering addict like its his or her birthday. Whatever the occasion make the person feel special.
  15. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Community Champion

    Just about everything I was going to say was already said by everyone else here before me. They are all great ideas. The biggest thing is that the person knows that you accept them as they are no matter their past and will be there for them when they need you.
  16. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Senior Contributor

    If you trigger that addiction to return then it is a huge lost for the former addict. You have to make sure that the addict feels that there is real love. Only then they would not have to relapse since the relapse is what destroys most recovering addicts.
  17. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Acknowledge the good changes and their efforts on getting rid of their addiction. That could give more motivation knowing that their effort is having good results and being recognized. Be supportive of their good goals and spend some time to listen and be with them.
  18. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 Senior Contributor

    I think it's a must to give those are recovering positive reinforcement. You want them to feel encouraged and for them to continue toward the path of recovery. It's also fine to reward them. Take them out to eat, let them know you are proud of them for making positive changes in their lives.
  19. Nate5

    Nate5 Active Contributor

    Giving compliments as positive reinforcement is always the best. Hearing you say them out loud with sincerity and heart makes all the difference. Be honest, compliment them on how much better they are now than before. Just be more careful of your actions around them (e.g. avoid drinking or partaking in drugs yourself around them)
  20. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Opening up to you about their sobriety means they are okay to talk about it. So tell them what you truly feel about their recovery. Making them aware of how impressed you are will be an additional motivation for them to carry on with what they're doing. Showing them their improvement can push them to make better.

    Support from family and friends is one big factor for their continuous recovery. So it is good to be there for them when they need company.