"I can't give up friends I've known all my life. If they are drinking, I will leave so I don't drink too."
"I know that there is a lot of drugs there, but that is where everybody hangs out. I don't want them all to stop being my friend because I don't hang with them."
"C'mon, what is wrong with doing this? It keeps my mind off of all of this crap I need to deal with!"
These statements above are statements similar to what is heard when dealing with people new to recovery. It isn't unusual for them to buck the idea of giving up hanging around friends, going places, and doing things just like they did when they used and drank. Fear of losing old "friends" or being out of touch drives them right back to old haunts, where things everyone does leads to using, boozing, and losing again.
Nearly every failure I have witnessed by those new to recovery came from ignoring this warning. You will, in time, be able to be with old friends without fear of relapse. You will also feel confident to go to old places, if you are actively doing the work of recovery. Things you love to do, won't be a reason to ignore doing what is necessary to amend past behaviors, and deal with consequences.
When I first came into the sober life style, by God's grace, I accepted the fact I was alcoholic. I took the advice given in recovery meetings and determined to stay away from triggers to drink or drug. After around six months, I had a hankering to see some of my old friends. I went to a local bar, had conversations with those I had missed, drank Mountain Dew, and left satisfied that they were still my pals. Had I tried that earlier in my recovery, it would have been a disaster.
I learned much in those six months. I had went to more than one hundred meetings in my first ninety days, at the advice of others who had success living sober. Not going around my friends was hard at first, but that saved me. The places I loved to hang out in seemed foreign, even frightful.
The main thing was that I listened and believed what I heard. Don't think it was easy, but it really wasn't hard either...just different. There is a prize awaiting those willing to accept their addiction, the fact they are powerless, and want to experience life without drinking or drugging. The prize? That is really a package deal of perks that transcends what our pea-brains can contain.
Everything...everything improves, nothing is lost when we give anything. God in His wisdom returns manifold blessings when we give. That is also giving up things as well. Conforming our will to His will, hearing others warning of staying away from people, places, and things that have brought us to ruin, is returned with new people, places, and things that lead to real life, joy, and peace.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.