Friendships can be such a positive aspect of recovery. We all have different friends that provide different things for us. Some are great listeners, some are empowering, some are just there to have fun … the list goes on and on. We have different needs from different people, so one of the keys to a great friendship is knowing how you both can benefit from each other.
Being in recovery, though, means that you have to know when someone is unhealthy for you.
It’s a tough call to make when you know that someone has a negative impact on you. Some people are going to be a bad influence on your recovery, like pressuring you to indulge in bad habits. I feel like the more dangerous situations are when you have “friends” who want to turn a blind eye to your difficulties. They may not want to hear about your highs and lows, or maybe they decide to ignore when you comment on wanting to dive back into your addiction – or whatever other negative behaviors in which you want to engage. Indifference can many times be far more detrimental (and easier to overlook) than overtly being damaging.
Maybe you’ve known these people your entire life. Maybe they are very close family members. Or maybe, just maybe, you met them in a support group or through treatment. Sometimes we lean on those who are going through the same struggles as a means for understanding. But remember that they are going through those struggles too – and sometimes people will slip in their recovery and bring others down with them. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have recovery-based friends. You just need to know who will be encouraging and who will be damaging.
Know yourself and know who you surround yourself with. Be mindful and always take care of yourself first!