When it comes to addiction recovery, it’s common to have a certain social group – people you used to get high with, buy/sell drugs from/to, and more. At the time, these people may have provided you with what felt like love and support – in fact, many people feel that these social groups are the only family they have. The misguided part to this, however, is that many times these people only want to be in your life if you use – they don’t truly want to support you if you decide you want to recover and live a happier, healthier life. This initial realization can be difficult to deal with if you’re in recovery, as you may start to realize the only tie between you and your social circle are drugs. Even if it’s painful, it’s often better to cut these ties and find people who want you to succeed in recovery.
A 2014 study published in the British Journal of Social Psychology sought to explore individual’s sense of identity as it relates to their drug use and cutting ties with individuals who were holding them back from living their best life. Researchers assessed 132 adults entering a drug and alcohol rehabilitation community; results showed that the more time individuals spent in their recovery community, the less they identified with their “old self” – the self that centered their life around using substances. Within the first month, many participants experienced a strengthened sense of self, which led them to take on a “recovery” identity. In turn, this newly realized identity led many participants to take steps more conducive to their recovery: drinking less and less frequently, using drugs less and less frequently, and enhancing their life satisfaction by cutting ties with people who no longer were conducive to their recovery goals. Nicholas Sparks stated, “It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.”
He’s absolutely right not just in the grand scheme of life, but in recovery as well. Each part of our lives serves as a phase, a chapter, a moment of growth and learning; recovery is a time for you to form new realizations about what you want from yourself and what you want out of life. Cut the ties that are holding you back, and take that step forward.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.