Whether you’re newly sober or just starting your recovery, learning how to identify negative influences in your life can help you continue to make positive changes.

Letting go of the past in addiction recovery

An addict’s best chance at long-term recovery success is to begin to let go of some negative influences from their past and replace them with positive influences to support a healthier future.

Examples of Negative or Unhealthy Influences

There are people that are easily identifiable as bad influences on us. For instance, people we used to drink or use drugs with to the point of making regretful decisions leading to expensive habits, forgetful nights or blackouts, or car wrecks and criminal charges. These people could be your spouse or significant other, your friends or family members, the people you work or go to school with, honestly, if you have the disease of addiction this list could go on forever. These are not necessarily “bad people”, they are just not the best for us.

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There are also places that we clearly should avoid. That certain street on your way home from work that has the liquor store on it and sells your favorite kind of beer and the best blunt wraps is for sure one of those places. Or the restaurant that has your favorite wings, but again has your favorite beer on tap, probably shouldn’t go there. Then there is the casino that’s only an hour away and has an excellent buffet with a good price that you like to take the whole family to, but once you start playing the machines, food and family are not on your itinerary for the rest of the day.

Be Proactive

In order to take charge of your recovery, you have to be proactive and assess what is good for you and what is bad for you, and then filter out those things that can compromise your new sobriety lifestyle.

Then there are those things we should just not tempt ourselves with, like those two prescription pain pills left over from your surgery last year in the back of the medicine cabinet you take as a reward for a hard day’s work are, not the brightest idea. Or the couple of bong rips a few nights a week to help you get some much-needed sleep, this can send you down a slippery slope to full-blown relapse.

It is important to try and avoid negative influences during your addiction recovery. Obviously, you can’t avoid everything, but by being alert to what those influences are, you are on the right track!

Here are some more things to think about:

  • Your job. If your work environment creates a large amount of stress or anxiety for you, consider a change. You would be amazed at the difference having a healthy work-life can have on your life.
  • Your home. Your home should be a place where you can come to for peace and rejuvenation. If it is chaotic and unwelcoming, consider a change here as well.
  • Close relationships. If your immediate family or people you surround yourself with by choice make you feel like you have to drink or use a substance to be able to handle dealing with them, think about getting individual or family counseling to work out some of the issues.
  • Social life and fun. This is an important area to keep full and thriving. If you have hobbies or sports you like to play, go hard! Find joy in your sober lifestyle, and if you don’t know what sober fun looks like, try new things.

Positive changes you can make

Three men standing outside by the car

  • Daily meditation and mindfulness. Create a new habit and safe space to calm your mind, body and spirit. This positive change benefits every part of a person’s life.
  • Furry and ferocious friends can ease and comfort us like nothing else on this planet.
  • A higher power of your understanding. Having something that you can trust and confide in, that you are confident loves you and can handle any dilemma you throw at it, instills peace to your mind and reduces fears as they arise.
  • Employing boundaries. You are worth it. Stick up for your needs, wants, and emotional wellbeing when it comes to maintaining relationships.
  • Healthy support people. Keep in constant contact with recovery friends and healthy supportive people in your life, even when things are going good.
  • Self-care. Be good to yourself. Find time to do you.

Avoiding negative influences during your addiction recovery is not always going to be easy, but your future depends on you making the next best right decision. You are going to have hiccups along the way, but don’t give up. It’s progress, not perfection!

We at Oregon Trail Recovery would like to support you during your recovery journey and help you make positive changes to give you a healthier and happier sober life. Call us today at (855) 770-0577 and let us help you help yourself.

📱 Need help with substance misuse? Get help now. Sign up for SMS Recovery Support