In the early stages of opiate recovery, many people are not sure what to do. They do not want to test the waters by being social because they are not sure they can handle any peer pressure. I highly advise any newly recovering addict to stay away from other drugs and alcohol. I also advise recovering addicts to stay away from people you used to use with, as well as those who enjoy drinking. It's easy to get caught up in having a good time while drinking and slip up into using.
Many people ask me "When is the right time to venture out and be social again"? This decision is entirely up to you, but I say a safe amount of time is one year. You may have just read that last sentence and had been shocked. I personally feel that it is a safe amount of time to stay away and work on becoming a better person first. The longer amount of time you have in recovery, the better you will feel, and stronger you will become.
In the beginning of my recovery I stayed to myself for one year. I did not even venture into my home town because I did not feel I was strong enough to face people or places from my past. I worked very hard in that first year finding out who I was as a person and set small goals for myself each day. I did not always reach my goals every day, but most importantly I was clean when I laid my head down on my pillow each night.
When I did start to venture out, I went to libraries and books stores to learn more about myself and addiction. Addiction in general fascinated me. To find out that something could take a good person and make them do things they never would have imagined doing while sober, intrigued me.
The power that addiction had on me scared me so I wanted to have as much information at my fingertips that I could learn from. I knew I was never going back to using so loading up on information was my ammo against relapsing.
People ask me all the time if I ever went out and tried to be social. Yes and no. You will not find me in bars hanging out. Even though I do not drink, I am not a fan of the bar scene. I would rather do something else with my time. Plus I learned that I do not like to socialize with people who are intoxicated. Going out to dinner or a nice coffee shop to talk about current events, sports, and music are more my speed. I really love talking about the universe and of course recovery.
Many of the friends I had before I quit using are doing very well and I truly wish them the best, but for my own health is was best that we parted ways. We never got back to being friends again and that is ok. They went their way and I went mine and both sides are happy and prospering. It is ok to let go of past relationships and move on with your life. Take the time to work on bettering yourself. Once you have come to understand what you went through, and where you are headed in the future, everything will fall into place.