A healthy social life is essential when you’re in recovery; establishing a network of like-minded people all of whom have each other’s backs can be hugely important to a person’s self-worth, especially when you’re in need of it the most. But it’s not always easy for adults to make new friends – and when you’re in recovery it becomes a thousand times harder. The good news is that you have plenty of options!
Let’s start with why making good friends in recovery can help aid the process:
- Friends can offer advice and give their support – and that’s pretty important to those of us in recovery.
- People already in recovery can aid us with yours, especially if you’re in an early stage.
- If you’ve just begun recovery, you’re most likely shedding some old “friends” who still drink. Loneliness can be a relapse trigger.
- Talking of relapse triggers, boredom is another – especially if you think life is only worth living when you are under the influence. Spending quality time with good people is the perfect antidote.
So where are all these people to be met? Simply head over to the Internet; it’s rich with information on where recovery meetings are taking place. For example, there’s Meetup – a website that provides information on various groups and where they’re meeting. For their Health and Wellness pages, head here and simply look for meetings in your area that match your needs. Meetups are hosted by independent organizers, and there are groups for virtually everything you can imagine.
There are other websites too, including:
Alcoholics Anonymous – the granddaddy of groups for those in recovery. In order to form support at AA meetings, let people you meet know you are looking for support. Ask for the phone numbers of those who have been clean for at least a year. Get involved by getting to meetings early so you can help set up – and stay late to clean up after the meeting’s over. And don’t stop there; you can get involved in other meeting activities like recovery picnics or anniversaries.
12StepMatch – a recovery dating website for sober men and women.
Instagram – It’s a surprising place to meet other sober people, but simply searching hashtags including #sober, #sobriety, #soberlife, etc, can lead you straight to others in recovery.
Sober Recovery Forum – There are plenty of recovery-themed forums over at soberrecovery.com – with over 168,000 members.
Recovery – Another great place loaded with forums to meet people.
Recovery Realm – meetings and chat rooms.
There are also a plethora of apps you can download to the smartphone that can hook you up in minutes with other sober people, with the two best being:
Sobergrid – Sober Grid is a free iOS/Android app that connects you with other sober people. You are instantly connected to a global sober community in your neighborhood and around the globe. You can build strong sober support networks and inspire others.
Sober.ly – Sober.ly’s society is based around getting everything real time, and technology has made that more and more possible every day.
The question you might be asking is where to find the more longer-lasting, meaningful relationships with others in recovery – online or in real life. At a meeting at the American Psychological Association, research was exhibited that suggested attending in-person meetings may still be more effective for people working to remain sober.
The study, produced by the Fielding Graduate University, in Santa Barbara, California suggests those who attended in-person meetings had a better chance of becoming and remaining sober.
When meeting people in person, be assertive, kind, compassionate and honest – and set boundaries that ensure you remain abstinent. If someone crosses that line, they’re not for you.
- The advantage of meeting people in a recovery fellowship is that these will tend to be individuals who share similar goals and aspirations.
- Join a class or club.
- It’s not good enough to have a great friend – you have to BE one too. Don’t be too self-absorbed.
- Volunteer work is a great way to meet new people.
Meeting other people in recovery can be very easy if you attend meetings and put yourself out there, but remember that you have to put in the effort. Besides, isn’t anything worth having worth working for?