Isolation is the fastest way to relapse in recovery. When you experience feelings of isolation and push the people in your life away, there can be many reasons. Self-doubt causes many people in recovery to withdraw from others. You might feel that you let your friends and family down, or question the sincerity of those around you. Building a support team by accepting new people into your life and rejecting people from your past is a very trying and personal process. It takes building trust in yourself before you can begin to trust others and allow others to trust you.
Amid the current crisis, understand that your friends and family are sharing similar feelings of fear and anxiety, and it might be harder now to determine if they have your best interest at heart. Before you think the worst and cut somebody from your life, give them the benefit of the doubt. There are many ways to determine from an honest perspective if someone cares for you and strengthen the care you have in return.
Look at Longevity
It’s sometimes easy to forget how far you have come when life’s challenges keep getting in the way. The same is true with friendships. When you begin to determine the closeness you have with somebody, take a close look at the time you’ve spent together. How did your relationship begin? Are they a friend from school, college, work, or a support meeting?
Are they a family member? Next, what have you been through together? Has this person been able to look past your faults repeatedly? Have you shared vulnerable moments? Are they still willing to accept you and offer healthy support on your journey to recovery? It’s hard to replicate relationships after many years or even decades of history.
Don’t Take Them for Granted
The recent fears presented by the current situation might have you projecting certain resentments on this person, which is unfair. Likewise, their fears might cause them to be less present for you. However, before you create a negative narrative, consider the quality of the friendship, and consider reaching out to see if this friend or family member needs comfort.
Just because you have known them for a certain length of time does not mean you should take them for granted or have inflated expectations. Sometimes sharing your fears could help bring you closer together and resolve any misinterpretations within the relationship.
Stay In Touch
How often do you keep in touch with this person? Do you enjoy hearing from them? Do you think about them frequently? Do they call or text to check up on you and ask how you are feeling? It’s easy when you are feeling irritable to misinterpret their inquiries as being nosy, but you should appreciate the concern.
Friendship is a give and take, so you should want to reach out and see how someone is feeling, too. When you develop a negative idea about a friend, you risk resenting them. Someone might be reaching out to you less right now — not because they no longer care, but because they want to respect that you need time and space.
The next time they reach out to you and ask how you are doing, appreciate their concern and return the gesture by asking about them. This openness will further strengthen your bond.
Consider the Future
When you talk with friends and family, do they speak of a future with you in it? Likewise, do you see this person in your future? If you don’t, this doesn’t necessarily mean that this person isn’t a friend — you may just need to develop the relationship more before you see them in your future.
But if you do see them in your future, then this is a signal that you care for one another. Ideally, you have developed a strong bond and trust between you and this friend. To want to be included in someone’s future, whether as a friend or romantic partner, is very flattering and even inspiring.
This gesture should motivate you to work through whatever problems you might be having currently — especially if this person is helpful to your recovery and worth having in your life.
Strengthen Your Recovery
Perhaps this time has caused you to reflect on the past, and you are struggling to let the negatives of your past go. These ideas may be causing you to feel like you cannot uphold any friendships — and that you will not endure for the long haul.
Remember, this is the past you talking and not today’s you. Today you are sober and have meaningful friendships, so begin by listening to today’s you. Use the people and the activities you love as a means of motivation to help you through these times.
The pandemic will pass and you will get back to experiencing the world as it should be experienced. Maintain your support system, and spend time with the people who remind you what and why you are working towards lasting recovery.
If they do not take your recovery seriously and pressure you to fall back into old ways, it’s okay to separate yourself from these people. You are likely stronger today because of the friendships you have made since becoming sober.
Never feel afraid to talk and open up to the people you trust — chances are they express self-doubt at times and they can share their experiences, too. This is what meaningful friendships are all about.
Friendships, like recovery, take persistence and work to sustain over a long period. If you have isolated yourself from friends and family, or are struggling to remove negative people from your life, your sobriety is at risk. True Recovery can help, with 24/7 care designed to meet your specific needs. We understand how important quality support is to successful recovery, and that’s what you will find here. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.