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Reconnecting With People During Recovery

After you finish treatment for substance use disorder (SUD), you may be left feeling isolated and as if there was something wrong with you for even seeking treatment. You were courageous to ask for help. Now, you must be courageous in rejoining your life, friends, and family.

It is not unusual to experience depression after leaving treatment, which can make reconnecting with friends and family more difficult. Your recovery requires that you have people in your life. You were not meant to travel the road of recovery alone. For complete recovery, you must find common ground with others. You must determine who best meets your needs during recovery and who detracts from your well-being. It is important to set boundaries and prioritize taking care of your personal needs.

Overcoming Isolation

Part of recovery requires overcoming isolation and recognizing your need for people to be a part of your life. Having supportive people in your life will aid you in your recovery. You need support, not only from your peers but also from your friends and family. After leaving the safety and companionship you found in treatment, recognizing your social needs and the options for socializing available to you are two of the first steps to overcoming isolation in recovery.

Identifying Social Needs

The first step to overcoming isolation is recognizing your social needs. What do you need from the people who surround you in your daily life? You need to engage with the world after treatment. You need friends and family to be a part of your life.

The hardest part about leaving treatment is leaving behind a steady and readily available source of socialization. You may experience depression and relapse after leaving treatment because you might not socialize and reach out for support when you leave treatment. Instead, you might isolate and try to “go it alone” because being in treatment is stigmatized and you fear re-entering your social circles. 

Finding Options for Socializing

If you find yourself struggling to re-enter your social circles, you might try creating new ones. There are so many new options for developing new friendships. While the pandemic closed off many venues, the world is beginning to reopen, and there are numerous options to meet new people and discover new interests. Remember that your time in treatment does not have to be shared with everyone. Be careful with whom you share personal information, but do not be afraid to create new opportunities for yourself to make new friends.

Friends and Foes of Recovery

When you begin making new friends and redeveloping your social circles, you need to take the time to consider who are friends—and who are foes—of your recovery. Your friends of recovery include those who supported you in treatment and friends, new and old, who support you as you continue in recovery. While you need socialization, you need supportive socialization. You cannot just seek socialization; you also must define boundaries and set clear expectations for what you want and expect from those in your social circles.

Finding Support

Your social circles, new and old, must include people who support you during your worst moments and when you are stretching into who you want to become. Your friends and family can be good for you, but they can also be the enemies of your sobriety. People who belittle your choices or do not believe that you are capable of recovery or growing are not friends.

Setting Boundaries

When you encounter people who are not supportive of your recovery, you need to ask what boundaries you need to set to ensure your safety and well-being. Your well-being is not just your emotional health but includes the physical, social, financial, creative, and intellectual aspects of your life. 

Do not be afraid to set boundaries with people. You need to protect your recovery, but more importantly, you must protect your well-being. Your well-being is critical to your continued recovery from past trauma, mental health issues, and addiction to drugs, alcohol, or unhealthy behaviors. You cannot care for yourself if you allow others to trample your well-being.

Relearning to Trust Yourself

You are a worthwhile person. You can create the life you have always wanted for yourself; you deserve it. Your story began way before you called for help. Through your hard work in treatment, you overcame your addiction. You learned to see your intrinsic value. Now that you are in recovery, you may want continued support as you work to create the life you want.

Many rehab centers have alumni programs for you to participate in after treatment. Support from an alumni program can help you learn to trust and respect yourself as you reconnect with friends and family and create new social networks. Ultimately, an alumni program can help you become the person you want to be.

Learning to reconnect is one of the most challenging aspects of leaving treatment. Suddenly, you may feel as though you are isolated and can’t connect with old friends, and your family may seem hard to reach. You are not alone; people who leave treatment often face this issue. At The Guest House, we offer an Alumni Program for our clients who have completed treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with trauma, mental health issues, or addiction, you don’t have to suffer alone.  You can receive the help you want and need. Our 52-acre estate provides a tranquil environment for healing. We offer support for recovery from the beginning with treatment for as long as you want in your recovery. Contact The Guest House and learn how we can help you heal. Stop waiting to feel connected. Call us today at (855) 483-7800