There is conflicting information about this topic in the recovery community.
On one hand, we are told we must “change people/places/things”. It can be very beneficial to an addict/alcoholic to relocate to a strong recovery community. For those of us able to relocate, this is often the best option. Many times, the town a treatment center is in will have a thriving 12-step recovery community. Addicts/Alcoholics relocating to the community in which they sought treatment also have the added benefit of knowing others from their treatment center that have decided to do the same. Many take this opportunity for a fresh start. We can be away from bad influences, our favorite bar, our dealer’s. We can truly reinvent ourselves in a place where our past is not hindering us. This allows our brain to retrain itself without our old way of life being right in our reach.
On the other hand, we are often told “You can get sober anywhere, if you want it bad enough”. For some of us, this may be true. Perhaps we do not have a choice but to return to our hometown when we finish treatment. We may own a house, have a family unwilling to relocate, a stubborn probation officer, or a career we need to keep. Many addicts/alcoholics do not have a choice when it comes to where they seek sobriety. Although we may experience more triggers early on in sobriety, we can still stay clean.
However, we don’t necessarily have to relocate to change people/places/things. So what are some things we can do no matter where we live?
We can set a positive and full schedule for ourselves. We can go to the gym, work, out to a meeting and then out for coffee or dinner after the meeting. Also, we can make new friends that are also in recovery. Sometimes a new hobby will help us change the way we spend our free time.
Comment below where you started your recovery journey? What did you do to change people/places/things?