Coming out of rehab and back into the real world can be challenging, and you may find that a lot of your time in the beginning will be used to get settled back into your life. However, it will not be long before you will again be wanting to spend your time with your peers. More than that, you may want to spend time with your friends that you had when you were using. You will eventually find that this could prove to be quite challenging to the maintenance of your recovery.
The main problem with spending time in early sobriety with those friends who are still using is that it can end up being a trigger for you, possibly leading to a relapse. It is possible that your friends may feel threatened by your new found sobriety. If you are strong in your aftercare plan and are open about it, you will likely end up discussing your recovery while you are with them. They may not see you as the same person as you were when you were using and they will not hesitate to tell you so. This can leave them feeling as though they are no longer worth your friendship. Depending on the friend and how they react to your sobriety, this may lead them to trying to convince you to drink or to use “just one more time.” In time, over the course of your sobriety you will come to notice that those people who express negativity towards the idea of your life without substances may not actually be your true friends, but rather just someone you use to drink or use with. That or they too are so consumed by their own addiction that they cannot yet see how it is possible to live life any other way but under the influence.
It can take time, but once you are serious about your recovery you might begin to drift away from your friends that are still using and abusing alcohol and drugs. This is not to say that you have to leave behind all your old friends that drink or use, but those with addictive tendencies might prove to be incompatible with your new sober lifestyle, and this is OK. You may find that hanging out with them is boring or irritating, especially if they are always under the influence of some sort of substance. Through AA, NA or any other support groups that you may be attending you will begin to form a network full of new friends who can better identify with you and your recovery lifestyle. This new network of friends can be more reliable in offering support when you are going through hard times because believe it or not, many of the challenges that come your way they have also faced.