Given the current circumstances the world is facing, a lot of news sources are taking it upon themselves to reinforce how threatening these times can be for someone in recovery. For better or worse, this kind of news might be leaving you to feel like you are being judged or examined by friends and family because they are incorporating your past behaviors into these stories and therefore lumping you into these scenarios. This is damaging to your recovery, as well as your optimism. You might be feeling like you have failed before you even had a chance to adapt, and that is unfair.
Don’t Compare Opinions
It might be easy to succumb to the pressures of trying to prove somebody wrong if they think a certain way about you. Because of this, you might begin to adopt their opinions of you. For example, if some friends still see you as a person standing on shaky ground who does not have the ability to overcome the challenges of our current situation, you might try to show them that you are not that person. In turn, you are actually showing them that you are that person standing on shaky ground—and before you know it, you may begin to believe this about yourself, too.
They Don’t Know You How You Know Yourself
Do not turn things into a competition of who is right or wrong. Remember who you are and show your friends and family that person. You know the impact your addiction has had on your life: you have had to experience a journey of ups and downs to finding and maintaining your sobriety. Along the way, you have been able to achieve things that you never thought you could or would. These challenges helped to reinforce what matters to you, and have given you the tools to continue to grow yourself when new challenges arise. While the people in your life and their opinions of you might matter to you, they do not define you.
Sometimes your friends and family try to show support by advising you or reassuring you of the dangers you are facing by lending advice—when all you need is someone to listen. Though they might mean well, their advice is counterintuitive to your recovery. However, you have the choice to not take their advice. If something sits with you, then certainly listen, but you can also reject what is not relevant to you. Since you put your recovery first, you know what is best for you and therefore can make your own decisions. You have taken the time to understand your core values and the decisions you made leading up to today. Support the quality of trust you have in yourself.
Know Your Truth
You have had to practice this before. When you know your truth, you can accept your truth with confidence. You stopped drinking because you had a problem. This understanding of truth will display a very clear language for those who might have questioned your sobriety before. You know what you are up against, but if you are honest about how you feel, you will be honest about what you want. If you are feeling uncertain, reassure yourself of what is important to you. What do you enjoy? What frustrates you? Your answers might be influenced by the current situation, but by getting in touch with these feelings, you will begin to create your truth.
Forgive and Help Others
Most of your friends and family likely will never completely understand the challenges of recovery, because they probably have not gone through it. Continue to work hard and accept that your friends and family might never fully get it. That said, given the current situation, your friends and family could be experiencing feelings similar to those you have in recovery; they fear becoming sick, are feeling isolated, and possibly developing or indulging in a bad habit of their own. Not everyone is equipped with the kinds of tools that you have, therefore they might be projecting their fears upon you. While this is not fair, you must remember to forgive. You could also see this as an opportunity to show them who you really are by helping them through this difficult time.
Stay in Touch With Your Friends From Recovery
If you are still feeling a disconnect from friends and family, it is important to stay in touch with those who know what it means to be sober. Continue to communicate online: meetings, chat rooms, emails, video calls, etc. These people will never question your motives, and they won’t judge you based on your past. With them, you share the wisdom that can only come from knowing yourself through recovery.
If you are still experiencing doubt, remember that there is always help. True Recovery understands that sometimes your recovery needs some reassurance. Given the current times, you cannot have too much reassurance. This is why at True Recovery, we focus on finding the right treatment plan specific to your recovery needs. If you are feeling that you need to reach out, don’t wait—call us today at (866)-399-6528.