One of the great benefits of becoming sober involves how your social life changes. You no longer plan nights out and other social functions around engaging in alcohol or drug use. This opens you up to a wider array of activities without the haze of being high or having a hangover. The key to it is learning how to find sober friends.
Taking Stock of Your Friendships
A lot of people new to recovery wonder how to find sober friends. Even if you do have some, you likely have old friendships in place with people who do not live sober lives. An important part of recovery involves taking a look at your friendships and asking yourself some hard questions.
Make a list of the people you spend time with, including close friends, casual friends, and friends at work. Think about who among them either relies heavily on drinking or using drugs as part of their lives or has a full-blown addiction. Consider if their need to engage in substance use influences how you spend time together.
If you know that someone you are friends with injects a toxic influence into your life because of their use of drugs or alcohol, it may be time to end the friendship. It might be possible down the line that they may change and you can spend time together again, but right now your priority is reducing temptation.
With some friends, you can tell them that you aren’t available to hang out like you used to because you are focusing on your recovery now. With others, it may work better just to become unavailable. You can turn down invitations to get together repeatedly and see if they get the message. You can also become slower at responding to texts and calls, or stop responding altogether.
Seek Out People Who Are Also in Recovery
One answer to the question of how to find sober friends lies in looking for others who also embrace recovery. If you belong to a therapeutic support group or a 12-step type group, look around at who else attends these groups. You can let it be known that you are looking for new people to hang out with and if anyone is interested, they can let you know.
You can also suggest specific activities you enjoy and ask pointed questions like, “Does anyone want to catch a new movie this weekend?” or “I’d like to try that new Italian restaurant. If anyone wants to grab lunch sometime, let me know.” This allows you to express your openness to introducing a social aspect to people in the support group without putting pressure on any specific person.
Choose Pastimes That Focus on Physical Activities
Many people find that the answer to how to find sober friends can come from activities that get people moving. Often those who prioritize physical fitness and activity in their lives do not also spend a lot of time drinking alcohol or using drugs. Fun physical pastimes that people can engage in together include hiking, bike riding, sports teams, and certain types of exercise.
If you already have an interest in one of those, look for groups that involve the activity. If you haven’t already become proficient at an activity but want to try it, look for groups for beginners or who welcome newbies into their ranks.
Use Social Media to Find Like-Minded Friends
How to find sober friends can come from your social media contacts. Post that you are looking to spend some time getting back out in the world and want to spend it with people who abstain from a partying lifestyle. People on your friends and followers lists may volunteer to get together or they may have recommendations for someone they know who has the same goals.
Social media also offers a plethora of groups you can join. Perform searches for groups with terms like “sober”, “recovery”, or “12 steps” in them and see what pops up. If you have a particular activity or interest in mind, such as arts and crafts, rebuilding old cars, or trivia challenges, search for those types of groups. Look for local groups that have get-togethers you can join.
Other Resources for Finding Sober Friends
Get as creative as you like when it comes to finding out how to find sober friends. Look into volunteer opportunities, which offer not only the chance to meet new people but also help you give back to your community.
Continuing education classes give people with a common interest a place to gather and learn. With this option, you can expand your social circle as well as learn something like a new language or how to play a musical instrument.
Addiction Treatment in California
Are you ready to take your sobriety seriously and get help? Gratitude Lodge provides detox services, inpatient, and outpatient programs for people ready to leave their addictions to drugs and alcohol behind. Our beautiful Southern California location also treats co-occurring mental health issues and we are pet friendly.
Contact Gratitude Lodge today and let us answer any questions you have about how we can help you jumpstart your life.