Maintaining a healthy relationship with anyone may sound like a difficult task, let alone in the midst of early recovery from drugs and alcohol! It almost seems absurd that such a goal can be accomplished, especially when that relationship is between two addict strangers that may have absolutely nothing in common other than their addiction to drugs.
Building Healthy Relationships
It is necessary to remind yourself that your recovery comes first because without it, you can and will lose everything else. This is important because it can be easy to shift gears and try to help others work on themselves, which causes the focus to be lost on your own recovery. With that being said, getting along with your roommate and even building a healthy relationship with one another can actually end up playing an important role in your recovery because both of you can benefit from supporting one another. The key component to being a good roommate in recovery is being honest, and if you know you can’t lift someone’s spirits up, then just don’t try to bring them down. Try following basic concepts at first, abiding by respect and tolerance. With these being valued, there should be little dispute, if any at all. Fairness will also help you both out, so go over who should get what bed, shelves, drawers, and other clothing space. Other factors to go over might be the times you sleep and your cleanliness.
How to Handle A Roommate Relapsing
Then there is the major issue: what if someone relapses? This is where it can get tricky, especially in early recovery. If your roommate relapses, it does not make it an excuse for you to do the same. At the end of the day, you should know that both of your programs are separate. It can be devastating to see your roommate go back toward a life that involves the use of drugs, but you can’t allow that to pull you back into the active sickness of the disease. If you are living in a sober living community, it’s equally as important that you tell a staff member about the relapse or your suspicion. This will not only help your roommate, but also keep you safe. These kinds of secrets have the power to kill, so don’t get caught up in peer pressure and forget to live by principles.
In addition, try to take notice of the behaviors they displayed prior to the relapse. Were they slacking on attending Twelve Step meetings? Did they stop calling sober supports? Had they not been attending an outpatient program? If you look back and saw that some common suggestions for aftercare weren’t being actively followed through, maybe you will realize how important it is for you partake in them during your own recovery journey.
The Importance of Boundaries
You may realize that you don’t get along with every single person you encounter throughout the course of your life, and that is okay. Each individual is innately unique and unfortunately sometimes clash with one another. This is why settling boundaries with a room mates that you may find you don’t get along with as great as you would prefer may be beneficial. You may even discover you do indeed have some common ground, however minor that may be. If you don’t want to open up to this person, then don’t. After all, becoming friends with your room mate isn’t an obligation, but if you find that you get along well or agree to coexist, you may discover it to be in your best interest.
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
At the end of the day, just try your best to work your program. Many times living with someone in early recovery can be difficult, but not impossible. Good times and bad times can be great teachers for you as you work your steps towards sobriety. Some of the best ways to learn real life situations while being safe is in a sober living community. This is a space where you can learn (without the use of drugs or alcohol) how to be kind, understanding, patient, tolerant, and helpful even when you may not want to be. Take every chance you get to learn, grow and practice this new way of life. Ultimately, it is up to you on how you experience and live your life, so make the best of it.
Need more help? Click here: How To Build Healthy Relationships With Others