The saying goes, “hang out a barber shop long enough, and you’ll end up getting a haircut.” This tends to be true, especially with people in early recovery – if you hang out with people who use, chances are you will start to drink or drug with them. It may take 20 minutes or 2 months, but eventually, the temptation will take over. For this reason, the people you surround yourself when you are trying to stay sober are incredibly important.
Here are five people you should make sure to have around in early recovery.
- A sponsor. A sponsor is a fellow “Friend of Bills” – an AA or NA member who has gone through the steps and is taking on others to walk them down the same path. All you need to do is go to your closest meeting, say that you are new and ask for a sponsor. Your sponsor is someone you can and should call every day to discuss what is going on in your life, and they are there to listen and offer guidance if the temptation to pick up is there.
- Psychologist. It is incredibly important to have someone to talk to early in sobriety – someone who is licensed to deal with substance abuse and all of the pitfalls and ups and downs of recovery. They can help give you tools for everyday situations to make sure you navigate them sober. They can also help to refer you to the correct doctor if you have any mood disorders like anxiety or depression, which often go hand in hand with substance abuse.
- Someone with more than a year sober. Friends with long-term sobriety are key. These are people you can strive to be like, and they can show you that it is, in fact, possible to have a great life off of substances because they are examples of it themselves. They have been through what you are going through and get it – so they are easy to talk to and get advice from.
- Friends who share your interests. Find your passion, whether it is beach volleyball or knitting, find a group of people who do it, and join them. You’ll instantly have a sober activity you can turn to when you need to get your mind off of things and get some energy out.
- A higher power. Religious or not, having belief in something is an incredible source of strength, peace, and hope. A higher power can be anything from your religion’s God to the sun, stars and moon. Set aside a few minutes each day to sit in silence and pray or talk to your higher power and you’ll have a tremendous sense of faith and positivity to carry you through your day.