Friendship in sobriety is dramatically different from friendship as we once knew it. Before getting sober, friends were partners in crime – people to be sneaky with. Being a good friend meant keeping each others secrets – no matter what they were.
In sobriety friendship is something completely different. Sober friends are partners in recovery. They are people who bond over the common goal of starting a new life, rather than the common goal of getting high.
To be a good friend in sobriety, it is necessary to break old habits. If we know that a friend in recovery is engaging in behavior that puts her sobriety or her safety in jeopardy, we get her help. We don’t worry about her being irritated at us for revealing her secrets. We know that later she will recognize that our actions were motivated by love.
When we hold our friends accountable for keeping themselves healthy, we also create a safety net for ourselves. The same friends who we look out for during rough times will be there for us when we need to be held accountable. This is how friendships function as a support in sobriety.
Healthy friendships can be amazing assets in recovery, but keeping these relationships productive sometimes means taking actions that a friend won’t like in the present, because we know that they are best for her in the future.
Like anything else in sobriety, it takes work to keep friendships healthy and positive. And, like anything else in sobriety, the rewards of putting the work in make it all worthwhile.