From the classic example of smoking a cigarette when offered by other kids in school to joining a club or activity because it’s the “trendy” thing to do, peer pressure is everywhere. Take Pokémon Go as another example. When the augmented reality game launched in 2017, it had kids and adults alike playing it every spare minute they had.
Now, imagine if you could no longer participate in Pokémon Go or another activity that your friends and loved ones enjoy? Imagine how difficult it would be to socialize without it.
This is exactly how many people in addiction recovery feel. While they work hard to stay sober, their friends and family aren’t. This challenge might seem impossible to overcome, but with the right knowledge, you don’t have to let it sidetrack your recovery.
3 Ways to Stay Sober When Your Friends Aren’t
1. Look for the Right Activities to Participate in
There’s no rule that says your friends and family have to be sober with you in recovery. And it’s natural to think that this means you won’t be able to spend time with them. The truth is, it’s all about picking your moment.
Start by removing yourself from tempting situations. For example, if you struggled with alcohol addiction, going with your friends for a bar crawl is a bad idea. Instead, look for opportunities where that temptation is lower. You might not go to the bar, but seeing your friends for game night is still an option.
It’s important to remember that you are accountable for your own recovery. Be honest with yourself about the temptations you can and cannot handle. Once you find the set of activities that work for your recovery, stick with them.
2. Do Your Best to Make Sober Friends
There are going to be times when you’ll have to keep your distance from friends and family who enjoy drinking. That’s why it’s important to find some sober friends to hang out with, too. They will have an understanding of what you’re going through. It’s also a great way to add to your support system if you ever feel like you might relapse.
Getting some sober friends sounds like a great idea, but how are you supposed to meet people? One of the best ways to make sober friends is to join support groups (in-person or online). Websites, such as In the Rooms, offer a wide variety of online recovery support groups.
Outside of group meetings, volunteering is another great option. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in the Cleveland area. You could help out at a food bank or volunteer to walk dogs at the local APL where you’ll meet other like-minded individuals.
3. Remind Yourself that Sobriety Comes First
One of the reasons why so many people swear by meditation is that it’s a great way to check in with yourself. Of course, you don’t always have time to meditate before making a decision about activities you take part in with your friends. When you don’t have time to meditate, take a few moments to check in with yourself on a regular basis about your sobriety.
Part of what makes the early stages of recovery difficult is your addiction is still fighting to be your top priority. Instead of focusing on what your friends and family are doing, make your sobriety come first. A great way to get started is to ask yourself, “how will this impact my sobriety?” whenever you feel uncertain about a decision.
Make Your Sobriety a Team Effort at Silver Maple Recovery
If your friends and family aren’t sober, your recovery can feel more isolating. But you don’t have to walk down the road to lasting recovery alone. Silver Maple Recovery is a premier addiction treatment center in Lorain, Ohio that offers specialized and evidence-based practices to help you heal from addiction
To reach lasting recovery, you have to change your lifestyle. The addiction treatment at Silver Maple is designed identify the root cause of your substance abuse and offer a healthy way forward.
No matter what addiction has stolen from your life, you have the potential to take it all back. And the good news is you’re not alone. If you’re interested in making your sobriety a team effort, contact us today. We have professional caregivers ready to hear your story and walk you through the next steps.