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How Do Our Addictions Impact Our Friendships?

Our addictions can have lasting harmful effects on every part of our lives, including our important relationships. In fact, our friendships often suffer the most because of our addictions. Our close friends are the people in our lives who know us best. Often, we share our whole lives with our friends, sometimes even more than with our family members. We confide in each other, rely on one another, and trust each other. When our addictions take over our lives, these bonds are tested, and sometimes that trust is shattered. How do our addictions and addictive behaviors impact our friendships? 

The Destructive Force of Addiction

When the destructive nature of addiction overcomes us, we begin to ruin everything around us. Our friendships can suffer irreparable damage in the wake of our self-destruction and thoughtless actions. We say and do unkind things. We become volatile and hostile, taking our pain out on the people around us. Our addiction makes us untrustworthy, and we’re left with a list of regrets so long we feel we can’t ever come back from it. Making amends feels impossible, and we feel overwhelmed at the mere thought of it. Often, we don’t even want to try. Sometimes we’re filled with anger and resentment, which makes it impossible to forgive our friends, just as they may not be able to forgive us. Sometimes our friends are addicts themselves, and we’ve been enabling each other’s addictive patterns and problematic behaviors. We come to feel as though the damage is too severe ever to be reconciled.

The Burden of Self-Escapism

Our internal struggles with addiction can cause us to seek refuge in our relationships. It’s easier to focus on the relationship than it is to focus on ourselves. Even dealing with toxicity and bad relationships can be preferable to examining our internal challenges. Sometimes our friendships become burdened by this self-avoidance and escapism. We’re loading our unhealed pain and unresolved issues onto the relationship instead of healing. Recovery teaches us that we can’t be good friends to others until we’ve first learned to be good to ourselves. It’s difficult to be alone and prioritize self-care, but it’s often necessary for a successful recovery. We feel compelled to save our friendships, not realizing that we’re sacrificing our wellbeing to do so. As we neglect to care for ourselves, we’re making it even harder to have healthy friendships down the line.

Understanding how our addictions impact our friendships can help us gain more clarity regarding our addictions. Our illness has devastating effects on our health and the health of our relationships. Wanting to be a good friend to the people we care about can serve as further motivation to take our recovery seriously.

Being present for the people in your life begins with healing your pain and overcoming your addiction. Are you ready to take the first step on your journey to recovery? Call The Guest House today! 855-483-7800.