Tips For Recovering Addicts On How To Spot The Enablers In Their Lives
Getting sober is a major achievement and one you should be proud of. Addiction is a terrible disease and taking the steps to recognize it, to get help, and to get clean are important accomplishments. Now that you’re sober, you just need to maintain that sobriety. The process of recovering from addiction is a lifelong one, but there are things you can add to your life to help you avoid relapsing. Among these is the presence of healthy relationships. Ditch the enablers in your life and build new relationships with people who will support your sobriety.
Who Are My Enablers?
Your enablers may not be easy to spot immediately. An enabler is anyone who encourages you to use drugs or drink, whether or not he means to do it. The way in which this person encourages your habit may be obvious. For instance, if you have friends from the days when you were using, and they are still using, it will be very difficult for you to be around them without giving in to temptation. These people may or may not actively encourage you to use, but the simple fact that they are not sober makes them enablers.
Enablers can also appear in more subtle ways. Maybe you have someone in your life that always made you feel bad about yourself. She criticizes you and attacks your sense of self-worth. She may not be telling you to use drugs, but by making you feel bad, she may cause you to be tempted to relapse. If you are not sure who might be bad for you as a sober person, ask someone you trust. Sometimes it’s easier for others to see the subtlety of an enabler.
What Is A Healthy Relationship?
A healthy and mutually supportive relationship, whether romantic or platonic, is one in which each person respects and trusts the other. Each person should also be honest with the other, even when it isn’t easy to tell the truth. People in healthy relationships communicate well with each other, they support each other and they maintain their own separate identities. If a friendship or romantic relationship, or even a relationship with a family member has these characteristics, and the person encourages you to stay sober, you have a healthy relationship.
How Do I Make New Friends?
So what if your relationships are mostly unhealthy leftovers from the days when you were using? It’s time to make new friends. First, turn to family members with whom you can establish, or re-establish, a meaningful relationship. You may feel intimidated by the idea of making new friends, but your family is not likely to turn you down. Rebuilding relationships with your family will give you the confidence to go out and meet new people.
When you’re ready to venture out and find new, sober friends, consider starting with your support group. You can make great friendships with people who understand where you have been and that you want to stay sober. Together, you can help each other avoid relapse. You might also turn to other organizations that are important in your life, such as your church or your school. Getting involved in volunteer work also gives you the opportunity to make new friends who will share your values.
Nourishing New Friendships
Once you have new, healthy, and supportive relationships, be sure to nourish them. Friendship is all about give and take. You will benefit greatly from having sober friends, but make sure you give back to them as well. Be a good friend and you will reap the rewards of healthy relationships.
Read More To Find Out If You Are A Chief Enabler For An Addict