How Do You Engage in New Relationships After Early Sobriety?

People who are going through addiction recovery may find themself in need of rebuilding relationships or engaging in new ones. Relationships give life substance and meaning. However, there are risks in making new social connections because any relationship takes hard work.

Navigating new relationships may create stress and even trigger a relapse if a person in recovery does not have their emotional or mental health conditions stabilized.

The Benefits of Building Relationships in Recovery

Relationship-building is a natural part of being human. People may allow relationships to define part of who they are. Deeping relationships may help people to feel valued and fulfilled. Relationships include companionship from family members, encouragement from friends, and support from co-workers. Through these positive relationships, people also connect with themselves.

For recovering individuals, having positive relationships can be as important as treatment and therapy. They boost emotional and mental well-being in a way that nothing else can. Without these relationships, people may sink into self-isolation, which may deter the recovery progress. Positive relationships are vital to a recovering individual’s well-being and happiness.

Building Blocks of Healthy Relationships

People in recovery must maximize the benefits of having healthy relationships that are characterized by mutual respect, honesty, and trust. A family member or a friend who makes a person in recovery feel safe and valued can be a great asset in their recovery journey. Early on, relationships may need to be renewed so that they can become healthier. Recovery is a time to work on making these relationships better.

An honest conversation with a spouse or parent about how addiction has damaged the relationship can lead to healing. Honesty is always the first step toward relational renewal. Both people need to work on communication styles. The recoveree may want to express their wish for support and list what kind of communication feels less stressful to them. Loved ones must learn that stress management is key to recovery.

Difficult relationships can be challenging to work on.  While in treatment, many recoverees have the benefit of beginning family therapy or family counseling in support of their recovery. A professional counselor will create a safe and therapeutic space and talk all about how to restore balance and wellbeing in these relationships.

Avoid Toxic Relationships in Recovery

Many people develop substance use disorders because of traumatic experiences that often involve toxic relationships. Common characteristics of a toxic relationship include lack of boundaries, emotional abuse, never-ending drama, codependency, shaming, negativity, and manipulation. These behavioral patterns may have to do with personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder.

Because toxic relationships cannot heal themselves, and a new recoveree is not in the position to fix these problems, they should be avoided to protect sobriety.

A recoveree should be mindful of the people they are going to interact with every day and avoid toxic personalities. With continual exposure to such toxicity, a person will likely become stressed which can trigger a relapse.

Centering a Healthy Relationship With Yourself

Many recovery experts encourage people who have just achieved early sobriety to not start dating relationships. This is because although romantic relationships can be highly satisfying, they can also be hard to manage and may present high levels of stress.

In early recovery, an individual should focus on themself and learn how to cope with stress. Minimizing emotional triggers is an important part of stress reduction. People with a history of failed romantic relationships especially need time to reflect before they can move on. With time, recovery can mature their personalities and make them into better partners.

Recovery is about healing and learning for a person to be with themself and love themself. Like all relationships, self-connection is a process that takes time and commitment. Many support groups encourage attendees to practice self-acceptance. This means accepting one’s past, flaws, personality, hopes, and dreams. Health professionals who support recovery can coach individuals on how to stop negative self-talk and rebuild a positive self-image.

Self-care practices such as meditation and mindfulness are also times that can be used for self-connection. When recommended, a person should continue participating in individual or group counseling.

It is advisable for a person in recovery to develop a consistent routine and stick with it. Commit to a healthy lifestyle, including eating nutritious food, following a regular sleep ritual, and completing daily exercises. Most importantly, one should cultivate self-awareness to recognize one’s emotions and effectively channel or manage them.

Stress is an unavoidable part of life. Learning skills and coping mechanisms to deal with the stress in life is key to avoiding relapse for sustained sobriety.

Relationships are important for recovering individuals, so how do you deepen positive relationships and avoid toxic relationships? This is an important lesson to learn during recovery. You can work with recovery experts who coach life and social skills that prioritize stress management, mental well-being, and sobriety. You also need a strong recovery community that has your back. If you are looking for these, do not look beyond Casa Recovery. Here we have a group of experienced health professionals who specialize in supporting recovering individuals by addressing their social and relationship concerns. Your treatment team will work with you to provide customized efficient and effective treatment methods that have been developed and applied in clinical settings. We provide both individual, group, and family counseling so that our clients enjoy the best of healthy relationships. Call today at (888) 928-2272.

Table of Contents