Making sober friends is one of the most important parts of recovering from addiction. Having a strong sober network gives you a sense of purpose and connection. It’s an opportunity to share your problems with people who understand and won’t judge you. A sober network increases the resources you have for dealing with problems and increases your sense of accountability, since you won’t want to admit to your friends that you slipped up. Perhaps most importantly, having a group of sober friends is a healthy way to relieve stress and have fun. Unfortunately, making friends as an adult is not always easy, especially for guys. If you’re recovering from addiction, here are some tips for making sober friends.
Go to meetings.
The first tip is to go to 12-step meetings. One major advantage of 12-step meetings, even for people who have been through an intensive addiction treatment program, is that you can immediately enjoy the benefits of a sober group. The more you engage with the group, the more you will benefit. Attend a few different meetings until you find one you like. You’ll probably make some friends if you keep going regularly, but it doesn’t hurt to take some initiative and ask some people if they want to get coffee or something outside of meetings. Attending meetings regularly has the added benefit of keeping you focused on recovery and committed to the process.
Take a class.
It was easy to make friends in school because you saw the same people every day for months and years. When you were able to start choosing your own classes, you could filter people by interests as well. As adults, the only similar experience is work but depending on where you work, you may meet few potential friends. One option is to take a class. It doesn’t really matter what, as long as it’s something that interests you. It could be a cooking class, Brazilian jiu jitsu lessons, or a professional development class at the local community college. The main requirements are that you regularly spend time with people who share at least one of your interests. As with meetings, you may have to take some initiative to turn an acquaintance into a friend.
Join a sports team.
Many guys aren’t really keen on reaching out, talking to new people, showing emotional support and so on. If that describes you, one way to make new friends might be to join a recreational sports team. Even if you aren’t particularly athletic, playing with a team can give you something to do with others that doesn’t entail the intimacy of a face-to-face conversation. However, working with a team still requires communication and cooperation toward a shared goal. And recent studies have found that participating in team sports is the single best form of exercise for your mental health.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474