In recovery people often talk about sponsorship. This is someone who will guide you through your sobriety and the Twelve Steps to remain clean and sober. But, there is another aspect of recovery that is just as important; making friends!
For anyone in recovery, long term sobriety is strongly associated with the connections made in the rooms of Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous.
Just like the workplace developing strong relationships adds to the quality of a person’s life.
So, the alcoholic or addict needs to build friendships to be content and lead a fulfilling life in sobriety.
John C., a member of Alcoholics anonymous developed a friendship with Bob M. They always went to the same meeting and one day they were talking, fishing!
John was saying that he used to fish before he starting drinking heavily. He would often have a plan to go to the beach and do some surf casting. But, just like a typical alcoholic, he would make big plans and never follow through.
Bob had a few more years sober and regularly went to the beach to fish. So, he said, “John we’re going fishing this weekend”.
Sure enough they made plans and headed out for a day of fishing on an early Saturday morning. Bob and John fished, talked recovery and enjoyed the sunshine on that beautiful Saturday.
It soon became a regular thing and a long lasting friendship developed!
Mary B. discussed the value of such a friendship. After leaving treatment she went to meetings on a regular basis. She did not have a vehicle. Therefore, she would bike to meetings and work. Yet, after a while she met a woman, named Melissa, who offered to pick her up and take her to meetings and work.
A friendship developed and they spent more time together.
Thus, they started enjoying each other’s company and would talk a lot about living sober. Melissa was not Mary’s sponsor. She was just another alcoholic helping out a friend.
One day, they were out eating lunch. Mary mentioned that she was having thoughts about wanting to relapse. Melissa looked at her and simply said, “I don’t want to see you do that”. The sincerity in this her eyes and the tone of her voice was so caring that the thought of drinking again did not seem appealing anymore.
Having Friends in Recovery Enhances a Person’s Life
Mary and Melissa’s friendship prevented a relapse and enhanced the quality of Mary’s life. They still hang out to this day and have lots of great laughs.
Mary later conveyed to me that she often remembers this friend and others when she is going through tough times. They motivate her to stay sober! Twelve Step Meetings offer a better life and a deep sense of fellowship. That is what recovery is all about.