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Finding Sober Friends

One of the most challenging parts of recovering from alcohol addiction is the effect on your relationships. When pursuing a life of sobriety, you may find yourself having to forge new friendships and leave old ones behind. 

You might find it necessary to cut ties with people you grew up with, who have been there for you during life's most difficult times. It can be painful to think about distancing yourself from them, even if it’s ultimately for your own good.

However, if their behaviors are a bad influence, removing them from your life is important. Your well-being may depend on it. This article provides several ways to build new friendships that align with your sober lifestyle. 

Join Support Groups

Joining a support group is an excellent way to make new friends who have walked a similar path and are in recovery.

A support group is the perfect place to share your feelings and experiences without judgment, as a majority of the members can empathize with you on a personal level.

One of the most well-known support groups for sobriety is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). AA operates in most cities across the United States, and you can use their website to search for a support group near you. They also have an app that allows you to view dates, locations, and times of in-person and online meetings.

If you frequent your local AA meetings, you’ll likely make friends there. You’ll come to recognize the faces of those you share your story with as they do the same. Listening is an underrated part of recovery and is one of the best ways to form a connection with someone new. 

Go to Non-Alcoholic Bars

Non-alcoholic bars have increased in popularity over the past few years as younger generations have begun prioritizing their physical and mental health. Even so, many people are unaware that these bars exist.

If visiting a traditional bar fuels your craving for alcohol, opt for a non-alcoholic bar instead and strike up a conversation with someone. Odds are, the company you meet will share similar values and habits regarding alcohol.

Visiting a non-alcoholic bar allows you to socialize and maintain a sense of normalcy without self-isolating or putting yourself in tempting situations for hours on end. 

There may not be non-alcoholic bars in your region yet, but if the trend continues, you will likely see one spring up soon.

Frequent Coffee Shops

If visiting bars of any kind triggers you, try frequenting local coffee shops instead. Cafes and restaurants are also great places to meet people, and if you go consistently, you’ll get to know other regulars.

If you’re unsure how to spend your time initially, bring a book, tablet, or laptop and do something restful while you sip on a latte or a milkshake. If you do this once or twice a week, you may start recognizing people you can chat with.

You could ask them about their favorite hot drink or a book they’ve brought with them. Small inquiries like these lead to more meaningful conversations without the need for alcohol to get the conversation going. 

Visit Community Groups

To fill your extra time, try visiting a community group. Many of these exist in neighborhoods nationwide, so you’ll likely find at least one or two in your area. 

One of the largest community groups to join is a local church. You don’t need to be serious about religion to attend a service, but it’s a great way to meet people and start making friends. You may even find that many people are visiting for the same reason you are: to find a sense of belonging and develop new connections.

You can also join a local sporting league, such as golf or soccer. Many people find physical activity beneficial when trying to stay sober, as it helps to build strength, relieve stress, and occupy the mind. 

If you enjoy reading, find a book club and attend regularly to get to know other members of the group. 

Network Online

You don’t have to spend time with people in person to develop meaningful connections with them. There are plenty of networks online comprised of sober people looking for friendship. 

If you are feeling introverted but would still like support, log into Facebook and find a group dedicated to staying sober. If you are focusing on your career, you can devote time to developing professional relationships on LinkedIn.

The more you network, the more connections you can develop with like-minded people. These relationships can positively influence your recovery and overall mental health.

Contact JHRC if You Need Help in Pursuing Sobriety

Staying sober is more challenging when you’re surrounded by people who drink regularly and heavily. Listening to people talk about alcohol and wild nights can ignite a sense of missing out.

That’s why meeting new people who are also committed to staying sober is one of the best methods for supporting your long-term recovery.

If you’re ready to connect with like-minded people working toward sobriety together, contact Jackson House Rehab today. We can provide the tools and resources you need to build a supportive, sober community where you can thrive.

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