Getting together with other women in recovery can be challenging. It means putting oneself out there to find sober friendships and rebuild what feels lost. Sometimes it feels like nothing will ever be the same again. The key is not to give in to despair about what happened in the past. Don’t think too hard about making friends. Try to get out and find support for the journey with those who understand.
The First Year is Hard
Sober living and recovery are hard that first year. The hardest year is often the first one after treatment because all the triggers, cravings, mental, and physical aspects all take a toll after a while. There is almost nothing to do but hit recovery groups and it can begin to feel stale after a while. It is important to go, but it may begin to feel like it sucks all the fun out of recovery to not go out and play basketball, go to movies, or just hang out anymore. To do this is important, but it also means figuring out a way to get out there and meet people who want to hang out. Not everyone will be a friend or those old friends may be toxic. Spending time in the community will help bridge the gap of loneliness that is felt after treatment. Most friendships will not sustain themselves into recovery and that is okay. Retain important ones and move into healthy ones thereafter.
Find Spiritual Friendships
This one is tough because every woman defines spirituality differently. They may not be into the same exact things but something about them just ‘aligns.’ They may line up with the same way of thinking or seeing the world. Maybe they share a similar hobby or love of travel. They might have had the same addiction and tendencies so they know what it feels like. Life paths that align in sobriety are going to balance out to be better friendships in the long run. Don’t look for what they offer, rather seek to offer something to them and start building a friendship from that platform.
Try Social Media
By now, it seems, everyone is ditching social media to ‘get connected IRL (in real life),’ but everyone knows that social media can have its up and down moments. For better or worse, communities live online. They exist in private groups, public groups, chat rooms, and other spaces where people hang out. The engagement rate is higher on some platforms, like Instagram, where photos take precedent over posts. Try this medium for a while. Try another one for a while. See what sticks. Engage with the recovery community and find women who seem to align with the journey. Form bonds with other members and try to find opportunities to engage offline to build momentum in the relationship.
Get a Hobby
Everyone had a hobby or three when they were addicted to drugs. Maybe it got dropped for substance use or maybe it was kept up a little bit. There may be new hobbies that emerge in recovery. After all, this is a time to dabble and try new things. Don’t be afraid to get a new hobby and try new things out. Look at yoga classes and teacher training. See what they offer for hobbies. Look at meditation and mindfulness pursuits or the pursuit of art and literature. There are lots of ways to share stories with poetry, fun, and engaging people with written or visual content. Seek spaces where people who do these hobbies hang out and find ways to go there more often.
Find Recovery Groups
This might sound intuitive, but some people just outgrow recovery groups they’re in. When a person is ‘new’ to recovery, they seek out certain things. Maybe that group is stale now or they keep talking about new recovery stuff and it is time to work into a group that is focused on growth and moving forward. It might be for other reasons, but don’t give up. Try other groups. Look for ones that have a theme like ‘writers in recovery,’ if that’s a thing. Or try hitting up ‘artists in recovery’ and see what happens. Go to ones that have drums, bongos, bells, and whistles. Try something new and different to shake up recovery a bit. Don’t be afraid to get out there and try new stuff. If it is still hard going out in public, go online and try new groups there. See who is talking about recovery in new ways and connect with them.
Practice Patience and Kindness
Self-care is all about kindness and patience with oneself. It means not giving up when things are hard and making recovery a priority. Focus on healing from the difficult journey that just happened. Patience and kindness are a huge part of learning to embrace the experiences of finding new people to hang with, new ways of being in this wide world of recovery. It may seem hard at first because it is, but it gets better. Seek mental health support, medication changes, and therapy if things still seem too hard to manage. Get a new therapist, try different forms of therapy, and don’t worry. Things will be better every day. One step at a time to creating a life that will be better than ever thought possible.
Casa Capri helps you find your dream friends and move forward in recovery with them by your side. You may not know what they look like, sound like, or act like, but we all need friends whom we can call when times are tough. They are the people we need in community in recovery. If you are seeking those friends, we can help you get through recovery. Call Casa Capri today: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon is the founder and CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, a leading California addiction treatment center created just for women—by women. Melissa is a licensed clinician and has stayed on the cutting edge of women’s treatment since 2006. Because of her own beautiful recovery story, she is proud to be among a small group of trailblazers since founding Casa Capri Recovery for Women in 2011, leading the way for other women to join them in this otherwise male-dominated industry. She is considered an advocate for the recovery community in the truest sense, standing up to discrimination and legally fighting for the rights of sober people in recovery to live in peace. To learn more about advocacy or if you’ve experienced discrimination, you can reach her at email@example.com. Check out casacaprirecovery.com for more information on our program, or please give us a call at 844-207-4880.