The journey of addiction recovery involves a lot of changes including both small and major shifts in what you do and who you interact with regularly. It can be difficult for people to realize that people in their life, maybe even close friends, are enablers or toxic individuals that fuel their addiction.
Throughout their work in therapy, an addict might realize that there are certain patterns that arise within many of their friendships or intimate relationships. Identifying toxic relationships can be eye-opening for people in recovery.
Once you understand what patterns are parts of a toxic relationship you can make an effort to repair the problem or choose to let go if it seems like the best decision for the sake of your recovery.
Identifying a Toxic Relationship
One of the reasons that people become involved in toxic relationships is that they are addictive in themselves. You might not even understand that your interactions with a particular person are a part of a toxic pattern that is hurting you and serving to worsen your substance abuse.
There are certain warning signs that a relationship has been or is starting to become toxic. When someone uses negative language towards you and says things that are degrading or humiliating in public it can be a sign they are toxic.
They could be controlling or verbally abusive, not allowing you to live your life freely but dictating what you are allowed to do. In the case of addiction, toxic relationships can also come in the form of drinking or drug buddies that are convincing you to continue your substance abuse in spite of your efforts to quit.
These enablers could have been fueling your addiction for years by urging you to keep using. When a relationship revolves completely around substance abuse it can be harmful to both people in the situation.
Repairing Friendships or Walking Away
While you are in recovery it is important to start building healthier relationships. Your support meetings and group therapy sessions can be a great environment to start developing better friendships.
A healthy relationship needs to be based on open communication and mutual respect of one another. As you become more conscious and aware of what it means to have a healthy relationship you might find it easier to begin identifying your toxic relationships of the past.
You should make an effort to repair these relationships if possible and assert yourself to define better terms for the friendship. If it seems like your old friend or partner is not open to change or improving the relationship then often the best decision is simply to let go.
When there is no way to change the situation into a healthier one then you will always have the option to walk away. Removing toxic people from your life is sometimes an action you must take in order to remain sober.
Some friendships cause unnecessary stress and pain that could endanger you to the point of experiencing a relapse. Healthy relationships that improve your life are the key to remaining sober especially after completing a treatment program.
A major part of recovery is eliminating harmful and destructive patterns. These include activities, thoughts, emotions and sometimes people with a strong negative influence.
As you become more aware and build your self-image, you will be less likely to enter into toxic relationships and instead will seek happiness and love from positive people in your life. A toxic friend will only bring you down and put you at risk for relapse. Surrounding yourself with supportive and caring friends is one of the best things you can do to maintain your sobriety.