How Do I Socialize in Recovery?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Recovery can be an intimidating process for many reasons. You may feel anxiety or discomfort about being in unfamiliar surroundings. On top of that, you’re meeting many new people. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), roughly “12.1% of U.S. adults experience a social anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.” Social anxiety can be heightened during the beginning of treatment. This article will discuss ways to socialize in recovery. These strategies will not only help during treatment but in long-term recovery as well.

Finding Shared Interests to Socialize in Recovery

Discovering common interests is a crucial way to socialize in recovery. Before trying to socialize, however, it is important to determine your interests. Knowing your interests in hobbies and extracurricular activities will help you make genuine connections.

For instance, if you are interested in music, think about some of your favorite artists or songs. If you are in a conversation and feel a lull, you can ask them what their favorite artist is, creating a mutual interest you can both discuss. Likewise, if you like reading, write down some of your favorite books to offer someone as a book list in the future. You can have an interest in any area, but the important part is to recognize what you love about your activity or hobby.

While it may be easy to recognize what you like, the challenge is to find others who enjoy those same things. It all starts with reaching out in times of vulnerability. If you see someone who doesn’t have anybody to talk to, someone you are interested in, or even someone you are in a group with, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.

Going to Recovery Meetings

When you begin rehabilitation, one of the required treatments is attending recovery meetings. These meetings can include many people also going through treatment recovery. Seeing that many people in one group can be intimidating, but it is also a possibility for great connections.

Attending these meetings is one of the best ways to socialize in recovery because you are being brought together by a common experience. According to a study published in Psychiatric Services, peer-based organizations help lead to stronger socialization skills and more of a sense of community. Embracing your addiction recovery group by attending and actively participating in the meetings can not only give you a sense of belonging but can also make a difference in someone else’s life.

Because of this sense of belonging, you will feel a stronger sense of security and confidence. This requires the intent to attend meetings to connect with others, not just simply being present. There can be great power in sharing such experiences, so don’t rob yourself of a great opportunity to share and bond.

Connecting Outside of Recovery

When you finish treatment and start to create new connections outside of rehabilitation, it can be difficult to know where to meet people. As you don’t want to encourage addictive behaviors by going to bars, you have to find healthier ways to meet people you relate to.

One way of connecting with the community and meeting new people is through volunteering. Volunteering can give you a great sense of fulfillment and belonging. While doing a service for the community, you are also banding together with others who have the same desire. This can easily spark new relationships based on shared interests.

Another way to find community is through athletics. For runners, local races start from three-mile walks to marathon distances. You can run alongside those with the same goals. If you like to lift, you can join gyms that encourage community. If you have a favorite sport, many intramural clubs around your area offer team experiences at every level.

Getting a Job to Socialize in Recovery

According to a study published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, employment is frequently regarded as one of the most important indicators of improvement for those with substance abuse disorders (SUDs). Finding a job during recovery is a great way to gain focus and build your sense of self. A job can also help you meet new people and develop relationships with them. Working in a group environment allows you to create meaningful connections. Additionally, working provides you with a sense of purpose and responsibility.

When looking for a job, try to find one that resonates with your goals and values. This will ensure that the job itself provides you with a sense of purpose and achievement. If possible, look for positions that align with your interests, such as volunteer opportunities or roles that allow you to help others. Also, if possible, choose an employer who understands addiction recovery and will be supportive of your needs.

Recovery Isn’t Achieved Alone

Addiction recovery is an individual journey, but it does not have to be a solitary one. At First Steps Recovery, we understand the importance of creating a supportive community around you when you’re taking steps toward lasting recovery. We offer outpatient programs and peer-based meetings where you can continue connecting while recovering.

In these meetings, you will be surrounded by people who have experienced similar struggles. You can experience healing and growth by sharing stories and offering advice and encouragement. In the end, you will create lasting bonds with those who understand what you’re going through. Addiction recovery can be a joyous and full experience. Let us join you as you start your journey. We can help you develop a better relationship with yourself and stand beside you as you nurture new relationships with others.

Forming connections and relationships during recovery can feel like a scary process. Yet, finding these relationships is an indicator of your ever-progressing recovery. When you are able to get to a place where you are focusing on creating new connections, it shows that your emotional and mental priorities are becoming healthier. At First Steps Recovery, we want to help you become the happiest version of yourself, no matter what step of recovery you are in. We have trained staff members who are available to provide emotional support at every turn. Your health and sobriety are our top priorities. If you are struggling with addiction or need help with maintaining ongoing sobriety, please call First Steps Recovery at (844) 489-0836

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