Making friends can be hard. Most of us have memories of walking into kindergarten or first grade with butterflies in our stomachs unsure of what this new journey called school would entail. And, one of the most pressing thoughts was always, “Will I make friends?”.
For some, making friends comes easily and for others, it’s just not quite as simple. But, almost everyone has been in a situation where they felt they were lacking friends or lacking real friends. Today, people often move with work or to try new places out, and, in many cases, these people don’t have any friends in that new area. So once again, you are faced with making friends.
Whether you consider yourself good at making friends or not, this can be a stressful and sometimes discouraging situation. However, being open to change, including making new friends, can help make life fun and more enjoyable than you may previously have thought.
As mentioned, today it’s not uncommon to move for work. But in addition to moving for work, there are other reasons why a person may be looking to make new friends. One common reason is that you are moving on from toxic situations. This often includes those times when someone is getting sober from alcohol and/or drugs.
Making Sober Friends (with and without AA)
When someone decides to get sober, it can mean facing a lot of changes. From daily habits and even jobs to friends and hobbies, when you stop drinking alcohol or using drugs, you often have to change your entire life.
It can be hard enough to learn to live without alcohol or another substance, but no longer spending time with the people you call friends can make the process even more challenging. However, this is often the case with people who are trying to stop using alcohol and drugs. They need to change friends. This can be a daunting prospect because after all, how do you make new friends? And how do you find friends who are sober?
12-Step Programs and Friends
Many people use support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) to help them stay sober once outside of clinical treatment. These 12-Step groups not only have regular meetings to help support each other to stay sober, they often have social events. These events include anything from dances and holiday parties to bowling, skiing, and retreats.
Getting involved in these activities is a great way to begin to make sober friends. What’s more, is that there are a lot of new people always coming into AA and NA who also are looking for sober friends. This can help when you feel like you’re the ‘new’ person.
One of the first suggestions they make to you in AA or NA is to get a home group. Home groups are made up of members of AA or NA who support a particular meeting. These ‘home group members’ elect officers, meet regularly, and make sure that the meeting continues to run. Home group members do everything from making coffee and handing our anniversary coins to managing the group finances and making sure the meetings run smoothly.
When you are involved in a home group, you’ll have the opportunity to work with others who are also sober. This often leads to friendships some of which will last a lifetime. Home groups also get involved in holding events, speaking engagements at treatment centers, prisons, etc., meeting with other groups to plan bigger events, and more. There’s no doubt about it 12-Step programs offer many opportunities to start to make sober friends.
However, there are more ways to make sober friends than in the rooms of AA and NA.
Other Support Groups
In addition to 12-Step meetings, there are other types of support groups for those who are looking to stay sober out of treatment. Here are a few:
- Celebrate Recovery
- Refuge Recovery
- Recovery Dharma
- Self Management and Recovery Training
- Women for Sobriety
Each of these support groups offers something a little bit different from the next. Do a little research on them, ask around about these support groups for recovery, and give the ones that interest you a try. These are also great places to meet sober friends.
But specific support groups for people sober from alcohol and drugs aren’t the only way to make friends who are sober and like-minded. Today, there are numerous sober movements throughout the nation and world. These movements, like Dry January, Sober October, and more, have been the inspiration for many new sober events.
Alternative Options to Support Groups
So if you don’t want to go the 12-Step route or need something in addition to the support group you frequent, then these latest innovations for like-minded sober people to connect may be for you.
Sober bars are popping up more and more these days. While most of them remain limited and in bigger cities, this trend seems to be growing. Sober bars are just what they sound like, a bar environment without alcohol. Some sober bars have games like darts and pool, while others have karaoke and bands.
It’s not often you see the words ‘sober’ and ‘raves’ next to each other but just like sober bars, sober raves are taking off lately. And, just as it sounds, they are raves but there’s no alcohol or drugs. There have been a number of pop-up raves too from groups like Daybreaker and MorningGlory. Daybreaker boasts being in 28 countries and 5 continents.
MeetUp is an online community where you can meet friends, explore interests, get support, grow your business, and more. With MeetUp, you can join a group or even start a group of your own. There are numerous locally-based sobriety support groups. This is a great way to make new friends and find even more support systems for long-term sobriety.
In the age of apps for everything of course there’s an app for finding sober friends. In addition to apps for finding sober friends, there are dating apps for people who are sober. Here are a few of the sober apps:
- I Am Sober
- This app not only connects you with others across the world trying to stay sober, it also offers some helpful tools to not only track your sobriety but also help to motivate you to stay sober.
- Sober Grid
- Sober Grid is an app that instantly connects you with sober people in your area. You can also connect with people who are sober around the world. With this app, you can stay anonymous and also have private chats.
- This is a dating app for sober individuals looking to find a sober partner. Loosid allows users to share whether they are sober because they are in recovery or because they choose to for health advantages and reasons.
While making sober friends can be challenging, with support groups, new sober movements, and sober apps it’s a lot easier than before. Having a strong sober support group is an important part of staying sober long-term. If you have left friends and even family behind in sobriety, try some of these ways to meet sober friends. It may mean you have to step out of your comfort zone, but you can do it. Take some time to learn more about each of these suggestions and then take a chance.
If you or someone you love needs help for a problem with alcohol or another substance Futures Recovery Healthcare is here for you. Our compassionate team has years of expertise and insight into addiction and what it takes to get sober and stay sober. Call us at 866-804-2098.