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Group 401

How To Tell If Relationships Are Toxic or Counterproductive To Your Recovery

Couple sitting on couch smilingIf you’ve been dealing with an addiction to either drugs or alcohol, that addiction has affected your relationships. Now that you’re in recovery, you need to decide whether certain relationships are more harmful than helpful, if they’re supportive or destructive.

Now that you’re sober, you probably want to rebuild your life and get back many of the things you feel you’ve lost. You may be thinking about embarking on a romantic relationship. Experts strongly advise, though, that you remain focused on yourself until you’re settled into sobriety and into your new life. Otherwise, you’ll be putting too much time into another person and your relationship with them, not into yourself and your new relationships with the rest of the world. Your priority needs to be staying sober. Also, you’ll want to get to know yourself better, your sober self, before you choose a partner.

If you’re already in a relationship, you may need to work on repairing it. Your addiction put a strain on your partner and/or your family members. It may take years before trust can be reestablished. Yet, neither of you can push it. Your responsibility is to stay sober and work on your recovery. Your partner needs time to heal and figure out how your new life together is going to work. Counseling and other therapy may be helpful.

A counselor will be able to tell you if your relationships have become codependent, where your partner has been so wrapped up in looking after you that they have lost their own identity and now have to struggle to find their place in the relationship and in the world. The counselor should also be able to advise you whether your relationship is going to be damaging to your recovery, such as if your partner plans to continue using drugs or drinking, even socially. Having a partner who can’t or won’t accept what you are going through will not be helpful, either.

The adjustment to recovery and sobriety can exert great strain on all of your relationships—remember that this is normal! Establishing a new life and healing old relationships will both take time. If you need help with any aspect of sobriety, please don’t hesitate to call Horizon Health Services at (716) 831-1800. We can find you the right people to support you and your relationships with others.