finding friends in addiction recovery

Finding Friends in Addiction Recovery

The path of recovery can be challenging for our friendships. Many people will lose or have to let go of a number of their friends in order to live a sober life. The idea of this is often enough for many people to stall on going to treatment, as friends in addiction recovery are a huge part of our support system and life after treatment. For many people, their friendships revolve around alcohol and drugs and they often feel their friendships cannot survive without it. Knowing that you will eventually leave treatment and need to find new friends can be daunting.

Healthy Friends in Addiction Recovery

It is important that as you make new friends you bring people into your life that support you on your journey. Many people fall into toxic relationships that do not actually serve you and drain you instead. There are, however, some important elements to a good friendship.

You Respect Each Other:

Respecting your friends’ boundaries is an important part of a good friendship. We are each unique in what makes us feel cared for and loved. Finding this balance takes communication and respect to understand and negotiate.  Instead of allowing resentment to build when a friend has done something to hurt us, it would be better addressed from curiosity and compassion, as often it is a misunderstanding. In all our relationships, we have to teach people how to treat us, what we’ll allow from them, and what we need.

You Are Real and Honest With Each Other:

Good friends make you feel accepted and comfortable being yourself. You never have to feel like you have to pretend to be someone you’re not. They know your shortcomings and love you anyway. They bring out your best version and celebrate your successes and empathize with your challenges.

You Can Disagree In A Healthy Way:

We all have different points of view, experiences of things, and have different opinions on matters that come up throughout life. It is important to feel safe enough to be able to voice this with your friends and those you trust most. It is healthy to have debates with friends and not be afraid to disagree and talk things through. Conversations where two people disagree don’t have to end in an argument, especially when you’re willing to hear the other person out, and they’re willing to do the same for you. There are healthy communication skills that can help move through disagreements that include compromise, agreeing to disagree, and forgiving and letting go of negativity.

You Trust Each Other:

It’s important to feel safe with our friends. A solid foundation of trust allows us to share and be authentic without fear of being rejected or shamed. When we have trust we feel comfortable sharing our feelings and details of our life without the fear of them sharing it with others. Having trust in friendships also means that we have faith that our friends have our best interests at heart. It is this sort of trust that helps us navigate the differences in opinions we may have, and allows you to be your most authentic self with one another.

You Put in Time and Effort:

Good relationships take work, but it doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. We do need to make a conscious effort to reach out and make plans by getting together, talking on the phone, or experiencing new things together. We also need to make a conscious effort to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to share the details of our life, and let others be there to support us. Depending on the friendship, it may take a different amount of effort, but it is important that both people take time to nurture the relationship. Obviously friendships are a huge source of support in anyone’s recovery journey, and make a huge difference as you journey throughout the process. When it comes to the friendships you had when you were in active addiction, it’s important to ask yourself, “Were they really looking after my best interests?” or “Were they pushing me to be my best self, or were they just echoing the voice of shame?”

Sober Living West LA

In recovery, and especially at a Sober Living home, you will have the potential to meet many new friends and others who can help you to find your way again. At Riviera Recovery, our dedicated structured living and can help you create life-changing patterns, and friends in addiction recovery for life. Learn more about the unique atmosphere here at our sober living in West LA, where you can build solid relationships and a solid foundation for the next stage of your life.
life skills for adults in recovery

8 Life Skills for Adults in Recovery

Many individuals who suffer from addiction face consequences in other areas of their life where they have unhealthy or inconsistent life skills. An important part of recovery is learning new life skills for adults in recovery so they can transition better back into life and create a new healthy normal without having to rely on substances. Returning to life after treatment can be difficult and it is important to be aware of the challenges ahead and work to develop the skills to overcome them.

Life Skills for Adults in Recovery

Self-Care

A common reason individuals relapse after treatment relates to the emotional concerns they face as they return to “normal life”. This can be greatly impacted by poor attention to self-care. During treatment, individuals learn to value self-care practices, such as enforcing boundaries, and having a plan that caters to each aspect of their health and well-being. Self-care can be very individual and include the things that help you relax and feel connected to yourself. In recovery, we are reminded of the importance of taking the time to nourish ourselves so we have the energy and ability to go after the things that bring us a sense of calm, happiness and joy.

Coping Skills

There are several different coping skills you can learn to help with your recovery such as setting healthy boundaries with friends and families, gaining more tools and skills to help with safety planning around triggers, and coping ahead with the challenges that are expected to arise in any given day. In addition, learning your HALT symptoms (Hungry, angry, lonely, tired) and how to move through these with compassion and care also represents an important part of the life skills needed to successfully transition through each stage of recovery.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation will help you to stay present, grounded, and self-aware. For many, alcohol and drugs have been used as a form of emotional regulation and without them, one may feel raw and vulnerable. Learning to gain control over the parasympathetic nervous system by employing different breathing techniques, journaling out your feelings, and reframing your thoughts using cognitive behavioral strategies will help you gain more access to your emotions healthily, so they don’t become overwhelming.

Healthy Routines

Planning and managing your time is an important life skill. Creating healthy routines for yourself will greatly aid in your recovery journey. In the beginning, forming a healthy routine can take some time but with practice and dedication, it will become a habit. In addition, part of recovery is finding employment, managing a daily schedule and taking care of one’s personal hygiene and finances —all skills that are benefited by the creation of a consistent daily routine.

Nutrition and Exercise

Learning how to plan meals, grocery shop and cook are also important life skills. Ensuring you have food in your diet that nourishes you and makes it possible for your body to function is important. On the same note, physical activity can play an important role in recovery. Taking care of your body is an essential life skill that will keep you moving through your recovery journey.

Building Healthy Relationships

Learning how to form healthy relationships is equally important and one of the more challenging life skills in recovery to strive towards and maintain. Communicating with family members and friends clearly and honestly, gaining new friends, and starting new romantic relationships are all areas that may need to be reevaluated with your recovery goals in mind.

Taking The Time to Set Achievable Goals

is an important life skill and if done correctly will aid you in achievement and success in all areas of life. Setting clear manageable goals will help build up motivation and confidence as you begin and move through your life.

Maintaining A Clean Living Space

Taking care of your household chores such as making your bed, doing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom etc. is good for your mental health. Knowing how to clean and keep this tidy is a life skill many people struggle with. When our house is dirty and there is clutter it increases stress and anxiety but when it is clean it has a positive effect on your health and well-being.

Sober Living in West LA

Attention to these life skills are incredibly vital as you are working to build the framework of your life in a way that supports your recovery. With each life skill that you learn and employ, you are contributing to your long-term success. At Riviera Recovery, our sober living in West LA gives individuals the opportunity to put your life skills into practice and build up a strong foundation once you eventually return home. Give us a call today to learn more about Riviera Recovery.
what is powerlessness

What Is Powerlessness and How To Accept It.

The first “step” in Alcoholics Anonymous or its 12-step brother and sister programs is “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” But what does this mean? Am I really powerless when it comes to alcohol and drugs? What it is within my power, and what am I responsible for to change? What is powerlessness and what does it exactly mean? Many people can become easily hung up on this first step in treatment, never truly diving into what it means, or how it relates to their story. For some, it feels like a great relief to be reminded of their powerlessness over this all-consuming impulse, and helps them to make sense of their behavior that is not ultimately in line with who they want to be. For others, especially those who may have been victimized in the past, the weight of powerlessness feels impossible to bear, especially when they’ve built our lives on never feeling that way again. However, admitting you are powerless when it comes to overcoming your addiction does not mean you have lost your innate power in all things. Rather, it meant that you’ve exhausted the options immediately available to you, and are in need of some new strategies.

Admitting Powerlessness

Losing yourself in substance abuse often results in losing a sense of control and agency. However counterintuitively, when you are able to admit you have lost your power you can begin to get it back again. Admitting that you are unable to overcome your substance abuse on your own is a very difficult and vulnerable thing to do. Reaching out for support can feel challenging due to the shame and guilt associated with addiction. It is important to be compassionate with yourself and know you are not alone in these struggles. No human is meant to go through life alone without support, we all need others. The sooner you can realize this and accept help the stronger you will be. Seeking support includes allowing others to help you and possibly trusting in a “Higher Power.” Once you admitted you have a problem you can begin from there and learn how to come back into alignment with yourself, so you no longer need substances to cope with life.

The Power of Surrender

Step One on your recovery path is surrendering into the reality of the situation that you have lost your power and are willing to get help. We cannot start to change what is happening unless we can admit to what is going on. When you surrender to the reality that you have become powerless over the substance then change is possible. From this point, you are able to accept the situation as it is. Carl Rogers, a famous psychologist explains that. “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am then I can change.” When you can accept that things have gotten out of hand and you do not have the control you thought you might have then you can actually overcome it. It is the resistance to what is that causes the most suffering. It’s important to remember you are not your addiction, you are more than this and you just need to get back to yourself. Here are some things you can do to help you through step one:

Make A List of Consequences

To help shed some light on your addiction it can be helpful to create a list of all the consequences related to the behavior. Ask yourself:
  • How has this addiction affected me physically? Mentally? Emotionally? Financially? Relationally? Spiritually?”
  • Have I used alcohol or drugs to control or suppress my emotions?
  • What have I lost out on due to my addiction? What has been the cost?

Create A Powerlessness List

Make a list of the moments when you felt powerless over drugs or alcohol. Be as honest as you can, starting with early examples and then going to the most recent.
  • Have I started and not been able to stop?
  • Have you blamed other people for your addiction?
  • Shed some light on the ways that your addiction has created destruction and chaos in your life.
  • What does unmanageability mean to you?
Once you accept step one, you do something about this feeling of powerlessness and gain back your power. Recovery is about gaining the insights, tools and skills so you feel empowered and able to understand and overcome your need for substances. We are not meant to go through this life alone and we need other people so we can be healthy, strong and independent. What is holding you back from taking the first step to empowerment?

Sober Living West LA

Riviera Recovery offers luxury sober living in West LA for individuals who are struggling with alcoholism, drug dependence, and other co-occurring disorders and looking to integrate new skills to a structured sober living environment. Our amenities include 24/7 supervision and local sponsorship opportunities to begin the process of accepting powerlessness and beginning a life full of possibilities. Call us today at 855-207-9708 for more information.