Friendships in Recovery | Celebrating National Friendship DayBrittany Brizendine
The first Sunday in August is designated as National Friendship Day. This year, the day will be observed this coming Sunday, August 1. Celebrating National Friendship Day involves understanding the importance of a positive support network, including your friendships in recovery from addiction. Good friends can make a huge difference in your success as you work to overcome your substance use issues.
No matter what you are celebrating, when you are in recovery from addiction it’s critical that you find ways to celebrate in a safe manner. This is not an excuse to have “just one drink” or to consume any other substances that might be tempting. Use the opportunity to focus on your successful recovery and share the victories of your journey with your close friends.
In 2021, you may also find that you need to celebrate remotely. Most of your contact with friends over the past year and a half has probably been via video chat. Depending on your area and your status, you may need to continue with that tradition, celebrating National Friendship Day virtually for everyone’s health and well-being.
Importance of Friendships
Positive support can have a significant impact on your success in recovery. You have moved away from your old acquaintances who were using drugs or alcohol with you, and you have developed a new and more helpful support network.
Friends can actually be good for your health. They are supportive during your challenging times and help you celebrate important milestones. Good friends can also help prevent the loneliness that often arises during addiction treatment and recovery. In return, you can offer them the positive support they may need.
Research has shown that adults who have a strong social support enjoy a reduced risk of significant health problems such as high blood pressure and depression. Older adults may even live longer when they have a supportive network.
Your friendships can increase your sense of purpose and belonging, reduce your stress level, boost your happiness level, improve your sense of self-worth and self-confidence, and help you cope with struggles such as recovering from trauma and overcoming your addiction. They can also serve as reinforcing support for a healthier lifestyle when you are tempted to use substances such as drugs or alcohol again.
Friendships in Recovery
In addiction and recovery, when you have moved on from the friends who had been a negative influence on you, you may feel lonely. Take the opportunity when celebrating National Friendship Day to reach out and find new ways to develop more supportive friendships. Focus on places and activities that emphasize sustaining from drugs or alcohol.
For example, actively participating in the support groups that you are involved in as part of your addiction treatment can help you develop healthy relationships that benefit you as well as the other individuals in the group. You’ll find that the people in your support group are just as focused on maintaining their sobriety so it will be easier to engage in enjoyable activities with them, without the temptation of the substances you used to use to have a good time.
Consider volunteering with community organizations in your area. You can meet new people who share the same interests as you and who are engaged in positive activities. When you step up to help others, it also benefits you mentally and physically. An added benefit is that you will stay busy, working on a common goal with your newfound friends, and you will feel good about how you are spending your time.
Other groups that offer you the opportunity to develop a positive support network of friends are recreational organizations, hobby groups, and religious organizations. Take some time to decide what interests you the most and reach out to one or two organizations so you can get involved and develop new friendships in your recovery.
SOBER AUSTIN HAS THE RESOURCES YOU NEED
At Sober Austin, we help you find the resources you need as you work to overcome your addiction and move forward with a successful recovery. Check out our listings of networking groups, support groups, and other organizations that can help you find new friends in recovery. The dangers of denial are greater, so it’s important for you to know when it’s time to get help and how to get that help for your addiction. Browse our site to learn more about finding support in Austin. Please feel free to contact us directly by calling 866-319-8865 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.