The one thing that constantly stands out to me when I discuss recovery with others is what to do without the friendships that are lost along the way. Everything in life changes significantly once we decide to get sober, including who we allow into our lives every day. This journey can feel very lonely at times.
So what do you do to find new friendships or other relationships that will support you and introduce you to new activities and lifestyles? Try some of the following suggestions below to help you find the right people to let into your circle.
1. Join a sports team.
Many people want to incorporate regular exercise or some kind of healthy activity in their daily life. Bowling on a league is a fun way to meet new people. There is always a team who needs an extra person and nobody expects you to be great at it. If you want something a little more active, a volleyball team or a Zumba class is an idea. Check your community center or a library for information in your area.
2. Take dance lessons.
Do you enjoy dancing but need a partner? Learn salsa, or some other Latin dance. Maybe the waltz is more your speed. Even group line dancing is still popular. This is often inexpensive or free at local recreation centers.
3. Start attending a place of worship.
With so many non-secular houses of worship in the world now, finding a place that fits your beliefs is easier than ever. Getting involved with some of the weekly events like dinners or study groups can be a nice way to meet some wonderful people. If you prefer a more organized religious experience, a list of churches or temples in your area can easily be found online or in the local newspaper.
4. Join a singles group.
There are countless structured public groups available that fit most everyone’s lifestyle nowadays. Online dating is very popular and you can be as specific as you want with who you contact. There are also online friendship-only sites that you can frequent as well. If you have children, Parents without Partners is a good group to join so you can meet others with children of their own. They host an array of functions, picnics and dinners that are appropriate for the kids to attend as well as adults only events.
Some of the most generous and friendly people donate their time by volunteering for others in need. You can help out at a food bank or a soup kitchen. If you enjoy animals, the local shelters are always in need of those who will walk dogs or just spend time with a pet can be adopted. Hospitals and homes for the elderly also recruit volunteers to read to people, talk with them and perform other minor duties.
6. Join an online recovery forum.
For those who don’t want to physically meet with others or feel a bit intimidated, being part of an online community is a good way to relate to others in the same shoes. In the SoberRecovery Forum, for example, people are able to connect and encourage each other in their recovery journey and, over time, form tightknit bonds that become lifelong, real-life friendships.
All of these ideas and more are a great way to open the door to new relationships that are healthy and substance-free. After all, it's important to remember not to become isolated and feel too alone. So get out there and do something fun and good for the soul. ☺ Soon enough, you will have a great group of new people that you can enjoy your new life with.