Restructuring Relationships Following Treatment
Step seven of the twelve step program begins the journey of self-discovery, and relationship building. The program encourages everyone to explore who you are, and who you desire to surround yourself with. What are you looking for in yourself, and expecting out of others? First, you must take care of yourself. “Self-care is not selfish”. Self-care is not done to hurt anyone, it is meant to help everyone. Look at yourself as a house. If you do not have a steady foundation, when someone comes in it will crumble.
When entering a treatment facility addicts lose their best friend; alcohol or drugs. Frequently this is not the only friend someone will lose while working through recovery. Anyone who threatens your sobriety should not be allowed to remain in your life. While this is difficult, it is crucial. Recovery must be your new priority. Whether someone has been in your life for ten years or ten minutes, anyone who is stressful or dramatic is not worth your time nor energy. Recovery is a draining process, you do not need anything to make it harder. Someone does not have to be an addict in order for them to be a danger to your stability.
Establish a personal tribe. A group of individuals who will encourage you, be empathetic, support your aspirations, and set healthy boundaries. It is easy to want to isolate yourself following treatment. However, no one actually wants to walk alone. Having a tribe with shoulders to lean on, and their own knowledge to share makes a world of difference. Do not harbor on everyone you have lost, rather cherish your new life and opportunities. There are always new friends to be made.
While your tribe is there to support you, they are not there to enable you. Do not get mad if you are held accountable for your actions. When taking personal inventory and building relationships, keep in mind your goals. How can someone help you obtain your goals? Do they have similar goals? In order to obtain your goals, boundaries will need to be set. Give your tribe permission to direct you. If you do not know where to start, look no farther than your 12 step group. Everyone in attendance has similar backgrounds, goals, needs, and experiences. 12 step groups are the perfect supplier of positive peer pressure, no judgement, and revitalized energy.
Take your time. Set goals, but do not make them unobtainable or extravagant. If you desire companionship and do not feel ready for physical interaction, the internet is a viable outlet. There are plenty of blogs and forums of people with similar objectives and ambitions. You finally have the chance to live the life you have always wanted. Do not let anything or anyone stop you from living your best life.