When you enter into recovery, one of the first things you will learn is that avoiding environments and people that remind you using will increase your chances of being successful in your sobriety. In theory, avoiding negative influences may seem easy. But in reality, navigating the world sober can be difficult, especially when it comes to letting go of the people and environments which may not be a great influence and could potentially put your sobriety at risk. Some people may unintentionally trigger your desire to use, while others will actively try to coerce you into coming back to the life you wish to leave behind. Regardless of the intent, it is important to actively avoid those people and places which trigger your desire to use and it’s best to have a plan for how to do that so you won’t be caught off guard. Here are a few tips for letting go of bad influences.
Avoid Individuals Who Will Encourage You to Use
Not everyone is going to be supportive of your newfound sobriety and there are those individuals who will actively try to derail your progress. While you may enjoy certain relationships, you will need to avoid them if they are going to use in front of you. Anyone who isn’t thoroughly supportive of your need to be clean is a risk to your sobriety and the progress you have made. You will need to cut them loose.
Remind Yourself That It’s Ok to Let Go
Saying goodbye to bad influences, especially if you considered them good friends or family members can be hard. There are some relationships that feel as though they will last a lifetime. As you enter your sobriety and begin to identify those people who are bad influences (whether actively or passively) you will need to remind yourself that your sobriety is the priority and it is ok to let the relationship go. This may mean repeating it in your head every time you feel triggered to return to the bad influence or leaving yourself notes as a daily reminder.
Rely On Your Positive Support
When you begin to leave behind the people and environments which are bad influences, you may begin to feel a little lost in the world. That’s why it’s very important to find your positive support system and lean on them as much as possible through your recovery. Positive supports are those individuals who encourage you to remain sober, will listen when you are feeling lost and will help you when you are feeling triggered. They can be anyone from a family member, social worker or someone you met in a group.
You know that your sobriety is worth letting go of bad influences even when the world around you continues to be a trigger. Avoiding those people and places that put your sobriety at risk, relying on those who support you and want to help you succeed and reminding yourself that letting go is OK are some of the best steps you can take to protect your sobriety. With a solid plan of action in place, you put your sobriety in the forefront of your life.