We have been running Serenity House for over 6 years and have seen success and failure. The people who have succeeded have embraced change and made the hard decisions. There are really not very many hard decisions. Just a handful. The most difficult of the hard decisions is to let go of old friends who are still drinking or drugging.
Letting Go Of Bad Company
When you have been using or drinking for many years, you have a long and deep social network of friends who are users and drinkers. They could even be lifetime friends. When you are engaged in the endless party, they are there with you every step of the way down. However, when you get off the roller coaster, they are your most dangerous enemies.
Bad Friends Drag You Down
The most common reason for relapse by far is being around people who are addicts. Time and time again, we have see people relapse because of the company they keep. Sometimes these relapses have had fatal consequences. This his how your old drinking and using friends will kill you. They will drag you back in and let you take the fatal dose or get behind the wheel for the fatal drive.
Starting Again Socially
One of the reasons AA is so successful is because it helps people rebuild their social networks around sobriety. We are social creatures. We need a group to belong to. We do.
The need to belong is a powerful need. That is why it is so difficult to let to of damaging relationships. For sobriety to work, you need to face this difficult task and let go.
Do The Hard Work
Finding a new group of friends is not easy. It can be awkward and difficult. It also take time. There is not getting around it. It is scary. It is unnerving. For all these reasons and more, so recovering addicts never really move on from their social group. This often leads to relapses. If you want to a success, then make the difficult decision and let go. Move on and find new friends no matter how hard it seems.