Letting go of Old Familiar Faces and Places

In the rooms of recovery, it is often suggested that a person seeking sobriety may have to refrain from old friends and old activities, even jobs, if they truly want to be sober. This can be difficult. Marriages have been broken because a spouse can’t stay sober around their partner while the partner continues to drink. I have known people to refrain from attending a family wedding or reunion because they so wanted to be sober. Many people have to change friends. For these the people in their support group will help fill their need for fellowship and socializing.

Habits may also have to change. I know alcoholics who have told me they had to change their route home from work because the old bar or liquor store would tempt them. If a sport was an occasion for drinking, people in recovery have had to give golf, fishing trips, or football games with family or friends.

When a person gets on their sober feet and they have fully benefited from living the program, they can usually return to some of their old activities and spend time with friends even when their friends are drinking. But abstaining from these early on is important if they take their sobriety seriously.

The above applies to any of the well known addictions: drugs and alcohol, compulsive gamblers, and sex addicts. But there are other things that can be addicting in the sense that they create a certain “high” that a person craves. Nowadays, we realize computer games or any electronic forms of communication, shopping, cleaning, hoarding, hobbies, working, hoarding, even other people can be addicting.

I think that when a person comes to realize that too much of a good thing is causing problems in relationships, effecting their health, creating an imbalance in their lives, or is causing them to withdraw from life in some way, they may want to consider looking at this “good thing” as addicting to them. If that is the case, it might be a good idea to consider the above suggestion, as well as other tools that have worked for those recovering from addiction. Perhaps they have to back off of people, places or things that trigger their “addiction”.

The idea I have shared works because people in addiction programs have an ongoing-support system to help them. The support of trustworthy people who know and are honest with you is the key to success with any change that is difficult.

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