Getting and staying sober is a lifelong process of learning, growth and acceptance. While you will undoubtedly add many joys to your life along the pathway to recovery, you’ll also discover some things you need to leave behind – one of which is negativity.
Toxic influences such as old drinking and drug buddies represent an active threat to your recovery. If getting drunk or high together was the entire basis of your bond with these people, you will need to cut ties with them to avoid giving in to temptations that could lead you to a relapse. While it’s impossible to remove all negativity from your life, recognizing and eliminating toxic influences is a positive first step. Here’s how to do so effectively.
Identifying Toxic People
Especially in early recovery, it can benefit you tremendously to realize that not every relationship is worth holding on to. Indeed, there are times when maintaining a connection with someone does more harm than good. If every interaction with a person is negative, it’s likely they are a toxic influence in your life. Here are some traits many toxic people share.
1. They’re Controlling
Negative people often try to impose their will on those around them. One red flag of this type of relationship is that it’s one-sided. If you know someone who is always telling you how to live your life to please them, or who is always asking you to do them favors without giving you anything in return, you may be dealing with a negative person.
2. They’re Emotionally Draining to Be Around
Because negative people have trouble seeing the sunny side of any situation, it can be very tiring to spend time in their company. A healthy relationship should be one in which you look forward to seeing the other person. If you find yourself avoiding someone or feeling anxious when you know you’re going to have to be around them, that’s a sure sign the relationship is sapping you of your emotional energy.
3. They Lie
Toxic influences thrive on deceit. They’ll find ways to shift the blame, even in circumstances that are obviously their fault. Expecting a sincere apology from someone like this is setting yourself up for heartache. Negative people also present “false faces” to the world. If you never know what version of someone to expect from one day to the next, you’re dealing with a toxic person.
The Importance of a Support Network in Recovery
When you’re working through a challenge as significant as reclaiming your health and happiness after years of drug or alcohol abuse, having a robust group of sober supporters is essential. These are people who understand and appreciate what you’re going through, who know you have what it takes to succeed and who can lift you up in times of trouble. Some of your staunchest supporters will be your family members, but you’ll likely meet others while you’re in treatment or participating in 12-step recovery groups.
At Spearhead Lodge, you will begin to address the underlying reasons you turned to intoxicating substances to begin with, and can learn life skills and healthy coping mechanisms that provide the framework for your newly sober lifestyle. Contact our addiction specialists anytime to learn more.