4. Old friends may not understand my lifestyle change.

Needless to say, a lot of my "old friends" were people I used drugs/alcohol with. That's all I did... so I would only associate with people who were doing the same as me, and even a few distant family members.

I remember sitting in treatment and thinking "will I have to 'break up' with my friends?" This was a big deal for me. Turns out a lot of my friends were sick like I was, to some degree. And when I first started to come around, early in recovery, people were really happy for me and proud that I wasn't destroying my life anymore. Some of them even inquired on how I "did it" or if I quit everything. Everything... or just the hard stuff? 

I only came around a few times... I was way too invested and excited about my new lifestyle change. Everything from going to recovery related events, to service opportunities, to physical exercise (I did't start practicing yoga until about 5 years sober). Slowly but surely, my lifestyle started to speak for itself and my old friends simply weren't attracted to the things that we were doing (even if they were still happy and proud of me) but the friends circle started to shift. And I came across a new friends circle. People that were in recovery, people bettering their lives, and people who were all about accountability.

I still have so much love for my old friends, but I feel like we just grew into different journeys. Needless to say, I didn't have to do anything forceful when it came to my old friends group. I just started to live my recovery lifestyle and the rest took care of itself. It's interesting how presently, it's a non issue in my life, but early in recovery this was a very stressful idea I had to battle with constantly. 

The biggest thing I learned about community during this journey is that not everyone will understand you, but that it's worth the effort of bettering yourself. There will be people that don't walk beside you in it, and that's okay. Love everyone. But once you walk in your new truth, healthier community will naturally follow. And life will open up even wider than before.