Nothing bonds people quite like facing a common challenge together, and fighting addiction is one of the biggest challenges most people will ever face. Addiction treatment is a transformative time that challenges you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Many people find that treatment is the first time in their lives they are really able to connect with other people. You live with these people, sometimes for months, and learn to support one another through every new trial, whether it’s opening up about trauma, or putting up a new personal best in the gym. At the end of treatment, most people go back to wherever they came from, often hundreds of miles away from the guys they’ve grown so close to. However, that doesn’t mean you aren’t still brothers. Here are some ways to stay in touch with the people who were with you during one of the hardest fights of your life.
Social media is the easiest and most obvious way to keep in touch with everyone. It can keep you informed about all the little things going on in each other’s lives that you might not necessarily call or text people about or bring up in conversation. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others are no doubt superficial ways to communicate, but they do make up a little bit for not being able to see each other regularly. You may also want to consider building a private website just for your friends to use so your communications aren’t public and your data isn’t harvested. Social media is best used to make plans to see each other in real life.
Plan regular reunions, either coming back to Portland or meeting up in some other convenient location. Plan some fun activities and let everyone know it’s happening. Create a space similar to a sober class reunion or homecoming.
Perhaps the best part of having friends in other parts of the country or other parts of the world is that it gives you an excuse to travel. Travel is good for your in general because it lets you see what life is like in other places, and the novel environment is good for your brain. Travel is even better when you know a local who can show you around, and possibly give you a place to stay. Even if everyone can’t get together all at once, you can take a few short trips to visit your friends.
One great way to catch up with everyone and have a great time sober is to take group trips. Find a place you all want to go, pick a date, and make it happen. Since you were in treatment together, you already know you all can share a space. Going in on an AirBnB is fun and cost-effective. You can all enjoy exploring a new place together.
Pick up the phone
Sometimes the old ways are the best. Call each other on your birthdays instead of just texting or posting a Facebook comment. Getting married? Pick up the phone and let your friends know. Having an especially difficult time? Call a friend and tell him what’s on your mind. Just because you no longer live in the same place doesn’t mean you don’t still have each other’s backs.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474