Support networks are vital to recovery. If your world used to consist of people you drank and used with, it is time to surround yourself with positive energy and real support. This new safety net could include friends, family, 12-step groups, health professionals, or all of the above. Consider the following when getting your support network into place.
Who to Include in Your Recovery Support Network
In early and long-term recovery, friends play an important role in staying healthy. When you first stop drinking and using, you may have to reconsider who you spend your time with. Often people find that as they move forward in their journey, they have less in common with “party” friends. They find they want to spend time with people who have fun doing a variety of activities regardless of drugs or alcohol. Particularly in early sobriety, avoid being in prolonged contact with people who tease you or put you down for not using, or trigger your desire to drink or drug.
12-step recovery groups are a wonderful resource for sobriety. They can help you get and stay clean. Alcoholics Anonymous and similar programs create a structured environment that reinforce messages learned while in a treatment center. Recovery meetings are free and available everywhere in the world. These 12-step meetings are a wonderful way to build a support network. You will find friends on the same road to health, and you can find a sponsor to help you work the steps and guide you through life in a sober way.
After you have left a rehab center, you may find it important to receive continued professional help. Sobriety can present many challenges for an alcoholic or addict. Use all the tools you need to maintain your behavioral health! Perhaps seek counseling with a therapist, or if mental health was an underlying factor in your addiction, make sure you speak with a psychiatrist to determine if medication could help you.
In the case that you have a loving a supportive family, have a talk with them and let them know how they can help you. Empower them to understand your disease, and they ways they can (and cannot) participate in your recovery. There are many ways your family can support you in your recovery. It is critical to talk with them about
- 12-step meeting schedules
- the importance of meeting with a sponsor
- maintaining a regular schedule
- assistance avoiding triggers
Remember that family members are generally not experts in addiction, and often the best solution for addiction related fears, anxieties and cravings can be found with friends and sponsors in recovery or recovery-based health professionals. If your family is not supportive of your recovery, lean double time on friends and recovery groups!
Build up a solid support network. All of these people want to see you succeed. This is the fight of your life, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Remember, the staff at Pat Moore Foundation is on hand 24 hours a day to provide assistance if you or a loved one needs freedom from drugs or alcohol.