Addiction brings with it a host of burdens, regrets, and other issues besides just the actual health risks and behavioral problems caused by substance abuse itself. Key among those ancillary problems is the issue of your social network, which for a serious addict can increasingly narrow down to other addicts. To truly move past addiction, however, the recovering addict will need to shed such connections lest they get drawn back into the ongoing cycle of addiction once more.
It's key for the recovering addict to learn the art of letting go and releasing attachments to embrace new beginnings in recovery.
As addicts become more and more focused on feeding their addiction, they are equally likely to start dropping friendships, familial bonds, and other personal connections, leaving their own social links remaining with those who can help them procure and use drugs. Some addicts may be able to mask their usage while at work or in the classroom or other mandated social spheres, but increasingly they will choose in their free time to focus on their drug habit, and therefore with others who share that habit.
Once in recovery, however, this can be a major liability. Spending social time with current drug users is a surefire trigger for former users. No matter how much willpower you may think you have, how much you think you can resist a craving so you can still spend time with a friend. If they’re using drugs it’s very likely that soon you will be using drugs once more.
This can present the recovering addict with a hard choice. Your strongest social bonds before treatment were with other addicts, but now when you’re in recovery and need supportive friends around you to help you resist returning to substance abuse, the only people you feel you can reach out to are the ones most likely to push you back into addiction in the first place.
There are ways to find the support you need, in treatment, in group meetings, therapy, and other avenues, but first, you must release those former attachments to ensure you are not triggered back into substance abuse.
It may not be easy. You may have friends among those former connections whom you felt a deep attachment to, ones that you shared many things with other than just addiction. But as long as addiction remains a wall between you and those friends, you must learn to release that connection and let go of the friendship.
For the sake of your health and well-being, you must not cross that wall. If they can cross over to your side and find recovery, then you might reconnect, but otherwise, letting go is the only avenue to take.
It’s a hard path to take, but one you can get help with from Good Landing Recovery, which can help you find a way to release those attachments and form new, healthier connections with those who will help you, not hinder you, in recovery.
There is an art to letting go, one that requires you to put the past behind you and find a new path to take. By releasing old attachments and embracing new beginnings in recovery, you can avoid relapse and move forward in the best way possible.