Recovery can be a particularly impeding time for any individual that provides pressure and isolation. Out of fear and irritability, some addicts continue to isolate themselves during addiction and recovery. Some may simply be angry, others may do so to avoid getting attached or hurting other people.
What may come as a shock to some however is there are many great benefits to building, creating, and reestablishing relationships in recovery. By socializing, you can relieve many struggles in recovery such as depression and anxiety. Rebuilding past relationships torn due to addiction can also do wonders for self-esteem and the heart. For some, you may even find good connections for your future by connecting to new people.
Human beings are social animals and—whether we believe it or not—have many advantages in being around other people. Rather than work against this, working with others can improve your recovery and life afterward.
Setting Adjustments and Boundaries
Different addicts have different wants and needs when it comes to relationships in recovery. But whether or not that person seeks comfort in relationships, there are requirements and boundaries that should be set. Many of these decisions should be based not just on the addict, but how severe their addiction was.
A common guideline is to avoid dating in romantic relationships for a year after starting recovery. Because stress in relationships is commonly connected to addiction, most professionals will suggest avoiding romance. However, some might benefit from relationships due to factors such as loneliness. In some cases, fellow addicts may date each other for emotional support and relatability.
Relationships among family and friends are more of a case by case basis. Both parties need to be careful with seeing each other since fresh emotional wounds can be problematic. Establishing boundaries of what each side is comfortable with is important to attempt making amends. But most importantly, there should be no pressure in fixing relationships immediately. Instead, the first focus should be on what benefits recovery most.
Old and New Relationships
When evaluating your relationships in recovery, you should review many factors. Do you wish to make amends? Are you seeking new partners? Is having familial, friendly, or romantic relationships a priority to you? Were any of your past relationships healthy, or more toxic for you?
When reviewing these factors, you should consider the following: Are you comfortable with disclosing your recovery? This is especially important with new relationships to establish trust and honesty. You also should be clear that relapse is always a possibility, and if the people you connect with understand that.
Ultimately, disclosing your addiction and recovery status is ultimately your choice; nevertheless, disclosure can go a long way in building the right relationships.
Embracing Relationships in Recovery
While some addicts desperately try to recover and maintain relationships as soon as possible, others may not be so keen. In fact, some struggle to build relationships and seek isolation from the trauma of their addiction. But not only is socializing a fundamental part of human nature, but it also has multiple benefits for recovering addicts.
By establishing connections and bonding with other people, you can build on qualities such as higher self-esteem and greater purpose. Furthermore, you can build on principles such as acceptance, compassion, respect, forgiveness, kindness, and love. You may even discover that there are physical benefits such as improved coronary health. By connecting with other people—family or friends—you can promote joy, freedom, and gratitude in life.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Alternative Recovery Program or our Long Term Alternative Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.