Socializing can seem difficult in early recovery, even if a person made friends easily before. You may have once had a lot of friends before your addiction began to take over. Or maybe you were the “life of the party”, greeting everyone and anyone when they entered the room. Whatever the case, socializing in recovery can feel more difficult. Without drugs or alcohol, you may feel like you lack the confidence or bravado you had before. Many people in recovery have problems with self-esteem and anxiety, which can also make you worry about making friends.
Finding New People
Many people have what they consider a “recovery family” after they’ve been sober for about a year or two. The most common place people make friends is within the rooms of 12-step meetings. Your sponsor will probably have people that he or she can introduce you to. Socializing isn’t only about quantity, anyway – it’s about quality.
Here are some other great ways to start socializing :
- Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs often have special events, such as picnics or dances. Find out about what’s going on in your area by checking for fliers at meetings.
- Show up to your meetings early and help set up chairs.
- Offer to take a service position at one meeting that you plan to go to every week. These positions are a great way to meet people even if you’re shy. Usually, you can help make coffee or give out coins every week.
- Volunteer if you have a passion. For example, if you love to bicycle, join a local collective. Check for local nonprofits online if you have a special interest.
- Find people who have similar passions and see if they want to create a group. Many places have running groups and surfing groups for people in recovery.
- Go to 12-step conventions and getaways. There are places all over the US and the world that host weekend events. If you can’t afford to go, ask about scholarships or fee waivers.
Sometimes it can be hard to open up to people one-on-one. If you’re feeling lonely, hurt, or scared, it’s okay to share about that in a meeting. Try raising your hand, introducing yourself, and letting people know you need to meet others and hang out after the meeting.
Getting Help for Addiction
Are you or somebody you love having issues with drugs or alcohol? Have you tried to quit on your own without any success? Addiction is a treatable disease. The first step after deciding to take control of your life back is to detox. We can help you make the changes in your life to succeed again. Give us a call at 1-800-970-8774 to learn about what our programs offer. All calls are 100% confidential.