One of the greatest gifts of a new sober life is the end to loneliness and isolation. People finding themselves on the road to recovery travel with friends and companions who understand like no one else can. Many of these friendships are established in rehab. Experiencing the love, support and laughter of others is an amazing and often unexpected benefit of getting clean.
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Because recovery from any addiction requires fastidious honesty, rehab friendships are incredibly, refreshingly without pretense. Other recovering addicts know how to manipulate others to get their way. Thus, in recovering friendships, honesty is valued and necessary as a tool to clearly see life’s problems as they arise. Telling a friend exactly where they are going wrong could ultimately save their life, so honesty is critical.
Even though there are variations in stories, addicts often find their ability to empathize with other addicts comes naturally. Knowing the shame and degradation from the inside out allows addicts to help one another in ways others cannot. By talking to each other and sharing stories from the heart, addicts usually find they can relate to the trail of broken promises and shattered loved ones left in the wake of addiction.
After an addict is committed to recovery, one can scarcely find a more devoted person. Helping each other through the trials and tribulations of daily living is something for which addicts have a deep commitment. By helping each other manage the emotional ups and downs, they insure their own recovery. In friendship, having an accountability partner to check off consecutive days of sobriety achieved in the daily walk of sobriety requires deep devotion.
Surprisingly, addicts can be extremely sensitive people. During active addiction, addicts are self-centered to the maximum extent. However, in recovery, addicts are required to be in tune with their emotional natures. So many hurts are unveiled in sobriety. Caring about other people and serving others is part of the recovery process.
Recovery from addiction is generally full of laughter. The calamity of past events often makes for incredible story-telling fodder. After an addict is able to identify his/her insane actions, an ability to laugh follows closely behind. Strange events and peculiar people are sprinkled throughout an addict’s story, so a sense of humor helps prevent a sense of shame and morbid reflection.
While alcohol and drugs have been proven to affect cognition, addicts are generally intelligent people. Studies confirm IQ scores are primarily in the average to above average range. Incredibly smart, creative people like Earnest Hemingway and Robin Williams all struggled with addiction.
For non-addicts the craving, the obsession and the need for ongoing treatment is often not fully understood. However, once an addict has made the decision to devote herself to recovery, people generally find addicts to be very sincere. In a friendship, maintaining this sincerity builds trust between people. Sincerely seeking a better way of life is the bond that connects recovering addicts.
Start your recovery journey today by calling 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) .
Eckardt, M. & Martin, P. (1986). Clinical assessment of cognition in alcoholism. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 10(2): 123-126. Retrieved on February 6, 2017 from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Peter_Martin12/publication/19641289_Clinical_Assessment_of_Cognition_in_Alcoholism/links/0fcfd5123c8fd66e5c000000.pdf
Laudet, A., Savage, R. and Mahmood, D. (2002). Pathways to long-term recovery: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 34(3): 305-311. Retrieved on February 6, 2017 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1852519/