Posted by Steps to Recovery on December 6, 2012

In life we all have heard the phrase, “Misery loves company.” It is a simple reference to the fact that negative people like to have other negative people around them. When we are feeling down most of the time we like to surround ourselves with other people who are feeling the same way. Just as active addiction is based on relationships, so is recovery. In active addiction we tend to find the unhealthiest relationships, and bring others down with us to stoop to our level. In active addiction we make an honest effort to surround ourselves with people who do not question the things we do, and behave the same ways that we do. By surrounding ourselves with these people it makes our behaviors much more acceptable. Someone in active addiction does not want to be around people in recovery, they want to be left alone or with people who are on their level.

These relationships that help fuel our addiction are exactly the opposite of what we need to fuel our recovery. Recovery is based on relationships, and successful recovery is based on healthy relationships. When we surround ourselves with positive people it is no longer acceptable to think and behave the way that we used to. Our behaviors in active addiction were accepted by the people who surrounded us, now in recovery those behaviors are not. While we were in active addiction we would latch on to people who’s disease may have been further progressed than ours to learn new ways to use. Now, in recovery we are told to latch onto people who have experience in recovery to learn ways to recover.

If we surround ourselves with positive people it is likely we will become one of those positive people. If we constantly surround ourselves with negative people it is likely that we will become one of those negative people. In recovery we need to learn boundaries. Boundaries are the key to any healthy relationship; setting a boundary is an extremely difficult thing for someone new in recovery to do. We have been so used to not having any boundaries we are unsure of how to speak up and let someone know what is acceptable and what is not. In active addiction everything was acceptable as long as it got us the next high, now in recovery we have to learn how to have a voice in order to build healthy relationships.