Avoiding Toxic People

Recovering from our addictions requires some necessary lifestyle changes to reinforce our goals of sobriety and to keep ourselves on track. There are some elements of our daily lives and our environments that derail our progress and pose a threat to our sobriety. When it comes to our interpersonal relationships, we want to learn to avoid toxicity as much as possible in order to give ourselves the best chance of maintaining our sobriety. Toxic people in our lives contribute to our stress and add to our feelings of anxiety and sadness. They deplete us of our energy and take away our hopefulness. When we’re consumed with the toxicity of conflict, we have a harder time accessing our gratitude and our joy.

Learning to avoid toxicity means learning to create boundaries for ourselves. When living with addiction, many of us got accustomed to being in unhealthy relationships, often with other addicts. We not only enabled each other’s addictions, we eroded each other’s boundaries. Over time we may have gotten used to putting up with disrespect, unkindness, dishonesty, even abuse. Our addictions can make us so dependent, not just on the drug or behavior itself but also on the lifestyle that maintains the addiction. We become dependent on the person that feeds our addiction for us. This kind of toxicity perpetuates the cycles of addiction, and the longer we’re around the people that are unhealthy for us, the more we put off our chances of recovery. We have to learn how to create, set and enforce our boundaries. When we know how we want to be treated and stay firm on our principles, we attract the people into our lives who can provide us with the emotional support we need. We can feel nurtured in our relationships rather than attacked. Our relationships are based on growing and learning together rather than on mutual self-destruction.

The recovery process will require us to have to walk away from certain people. We might have to remove ourselves from the romantic partnerships that fueled our addictions. We may have to separate from friends and family members who themselves are still struggling with addiction and who pose too great a threat to our goals of sobriety. The more we create distance between ourselves and our sources of toxicity, the more room we create for ourselves to grow and expand. We also create space for new people to enter our lives who are more aligned with our path, who can support us in our efforts and grow with us.

Treatment programs at Riverside Recovery include group and individual therapy, as well as weekly family therapy sessions and monthly family workshops, all of which can help you to foster healthier relationships in your recovery. Call (800) 871-5440 today for more information.