Why is Friendship Important in Recovery?

Many of us living with addictions isolate ourselves from our loved ones, for various reasons. Sometimes we can’t invest in our friendships because we don’t have the emotional energy or strength to, from battling our addictions day in and day out. Sometimes we retreat from other people because we’re afraid of being judged by them. We think they won’t understand our pain. We think they will look down on us. Sometimes we are so trapped in our painful cycles of addiction and depression that we don’t have the clarity to reach out to our friends. Sometimes our relationships are unhealthy, our friends are addicts themselves and we are enabling each other’s addictions. All of these can make us avoid friendship altogether, but having supportive, healthy friendships can make all the difference in our recovery.

When we are feeling weak, hopeless and desperate, a friend can offer us the comfort and solace we need to remind us that we aren’t alone and that we are cared for. A healthy friendship doesn’t place judgment but instead can offer empathy, compassion and understanding. Supportive friends can help us take the steps to reach out for help and get treatment. They can offer their help in coping with our daily struggles. Sometimes we think we have to do it alone, but we are human beings, and we thrive in community and in partnership with one another. We can ease up on ourselves, swallow our pride, and allow people to help us. We can allow ourselves to be loved and supported.

When we are struggling with addictions and depression, we very often are also living with the limiting beliefs that we are undeserving of love. We believe our mistakes make us unlovable. The truth is we all deserve love. Our addictions and our struggles don’t make us any less deserving. When we work on believing in ourselves more and growing in self-love, we open ourselves to all the love and support that is surrounding us, that we might not be aware of. It might even come in the form of friends we haven’t met yet. We can develop friendships in support groups and in treatment, and form lifelong bonds with other people in recovery.

Friendship is a beautiful part of life. It is a gift we can give ourselves when we are struggling, and it can be one of the most helpful elements in our recovery if we allow it to be.

Call (800) 871-5440 for information on how we can help you.