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It can be difficult to withstand pressure from friends who are actively using. It’s necessary to employ the resources in our recovery toolbox and self-care in order to avoid relapse. 

When we’ve done the hard work of getting sober, one of the most disheartening and depressing things we can experience is a relapse. We’ve worked so hard and when we relapse, we feel as though we’ve failed ourselves and everyone in our lives. Sometimes our relapse is influenced by the people around us. While we can’t blame anyone else for our addictions or any of our problems for that matter, it’s possible to be pressured into a relapse. We might have friends, family members and partners who are addicts themselves and not yet in recovery. Perhaps they’re not trying to cause us pain, but they might not value our sobriety. They are likely suffering from their own pain, which prevents them from keeping our best interests at heart.

We want to affirm to ourselves that we’re strong, powerful and capable, and we are, but the truth is, any of us can be vulnerable to relapse at any time. Our sobriety can be precarious, fragile and easily threatened. One of the biggest threats to our sobriety can be the people in our lives who are actively working to throw us off our game, as these people are unknowingly creating more pressure for us. Some of the people we choose to be around, especially before we’ve fully recovered and learned to really love and value ourselves, are struggling with their own inner demons and not yet working to heal themselves. They might want to see us fall off the wagon. They might want to know that we’re suffering just as much as they are. Sometimes misery really does love company.

Others might be unconsciously pressuring us, by inviting us to events where drugs and alcohol will be present, by attempting to keep us connected to relationships that are toxic and triggering for us, or by offering us our drug of choice. These people might think that we need substances in order to find happiness if we’re feeling sad or to calm down if we’re nervous. They might not realize how severe our addictions are. They might be in denial about us and/or themselves, and tell us things like “you’re not really an addict, especially if you’ve managed to get sober, so just have this drink to calm your nerves,” or “just take this one shot to loosen up; you’re being such a square and you’re so uptight,” or “just one time won’t kill you.” This pressure can be hard to withstand, especially if we’re having to deal with it repeatedly, and it can chip away at our resolve and undermine our work in recovery thus far.

As we work to stay sober, pressure from others is one of our greatest tests. Our commitment to ourselves and to our sobriety is constantly being tested. It’s imperative that we arm ourselves with support, connection with others in recovery, self-love, and other self-care resources.

Riverside Recovery understands all of the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and is here to support you. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.