How to Cut Ties with Old Friends
When you get sober, you have to face a lot of difficult truths. One of those truths that may be that some of your friends may not be the friends that you thought they were. While you may have many friends who are great members of your support group who can help you on your recovery journey, there are others who may escort you towards a relapse. With some friends, it’s easy to see that they’re often getting you into bad situations, but with others, it may be harder to see that they’re negatively affecting your sobriety. In any case, if your goal is to stay sober, you need to know who your real friends are and how to sever ties if they can hinder your recovery.
The Good vs. the Bad Friends
The first questions you should ask yourself are, “What makes a good friend?” and “What makes a bad friend?”. If you don’t know what characteristics to look for in a good friend or a bad friend, it’s going to be difficult to set up boundaries. This may seem like an arbitrary thing to think about, but the qualities we look for in a friend are often something we take for granted. When you start this process, it may be helpful to take out a piece of paper and physically write down what makes a good friend, and what makes a bad friend so it’s easy to see it in front of you.
Why is it Hard to Cut Ties with Friends?
For most people, loyalty is a major virtue. We pride ourselves in being loyal to our friends and family members. One major factor of loyalty is the amount of time we’ve known a person. For example, it would be easier to cut ties with someone you’ve known for a few months versus someone you grew up with. The most important thing to remember during this process is that this is a life and death situation. Tens of thousands of people die each year from addiction, and you may have come close to death yourself. When you start to think of your sobriety as a life or death situation, the decisions you make start to become a lot easier.
Now that you’ve made a list of the bad qualities of a friend, think about how someone with those qualities may lead you towards a relapse. Although you may feel an extreme amount of loyalty, you have to start asking yourself if the person has the same loyalty and commitment to you. As you start to ask yourself these questions, you realize that some of these so-called friends are actually extremely selfish and self-centered. If they’re pressuring you into doing things that might put you in a bad situation, how much do they really care about you? This can be another difficult truth to face, but it’s a necessity if you hope to protect your sobriety.
Love Them from a Distance
Finally, you need to know that this doesn’t have to be the extreme scenario in which you never talk to the person again. You may have friends who also struggle with addiction, and one of the blessings of being sober is being able to help others once you’re able to create a solid foundation. So, you can simply love certain friends from a distance. Something you can say to these friends is along the lines of, “I love you and cherish our friendship, but right now, to protect my sobriety, we can’t hang out. If you ever need help or want to talk, just let me know.” You can maintain relationships with these people while also staying true to your boundaries. There have been many instances where someone helps an old friend get sober, or the old friend gets their act together and becomes a good friend.
If you need help getting sober or need to find a strong support group, Enlightened Solutions can help. We’re a New Jersey detox facility that also provides holistic therapy services as well as an alumni program for support. For more information, call us today at 833-233-7336.