Support systems are there to get us through tough times. Having friends, family, and a healthy social network can exponentially improve your journey of recovery. Can a person recover by themselves? The short answer is yes. With the right tools, you can make it through recovery by yourself, but there is just something about having a positive, encouraging support system that can make recovery feel so much easier.
Recovery is a time when you’ll become closely acquainted with your own thought processes. It’s a time for you to become attuned with the deepest-rooted reasons that you started abusing drugs and alcohol. It is also a time where you start to realize who you want to be. You are going through a process of rebuilding yourself, in many different ways. The sheer scope of adjustments you want to make in your life can feel overwhelming. It can bring on repressed feelings that leave you heavy and stressed. Having a support system can make these times feel less daunting. A great support system will be there for you throughout the most painful parts of your adjustment: they are rooting for you when you succeed, and they are there for you when you fall.
How to Start Building Your Support System
If you have attended a treatment center for your substance abuse disorder, you were probably assigned a counselor. Your counselor is a great resource who can assist you in developing a support system of peers who will be there for you. These peers can include friends and family members from back home who are in a healthy and stable space. It is also recommended that you reach out to people in your support meetings, such as your 12-step program or aftercare.
Lean On People Who Have Been There
Choosing people in recovery understandably brings an added familiarity to your conversations. These individuals have faced similar struggles and can provide insights on how to work through emotions you make be experiencing. Seek people in recovery who have demonstrated an ability to rebuild their lives and stay sober. Associating with other sober people can help you to avoid triggers and keep your focus on maintaining your sobriety. Network with these people. The people you choose to include in your support system should be people you trust to understand what you need.
Choose Quality Over Quantity
Your support system will expand naturally over time. By attending support meetings and being willing to communicate with your friends and family, you’ll naturally encourage the growth of your support system. It is important to remember that when it comes to developing a wider range of people to lean on, your focus should stay on the quality of each connection, not on the quantity of people in your circle.
Communication is Key
Although recovery is an independent experience, it is also a family disease. It doesn’t just affect the person in recovery – it affects all the macro and micro-level systems of a person’s life. This is why communication is crucial. Being able to create a space that allows for open dialogue can help you talk about your feelings and expectations with one another. It provides a space where ideas can be generated about what each of you needs to feel supported. In this regard, the value of support systems cannot be understated. Being able to talk through setbacks can also help you avoid feelings of isolation which can trigger depression and put you at a greater risk to use.
Healthy Peer Pressure
When we surround ourselves with a support group that has our best interests at heart, we create a space that pushes us to make healthy choices. By attending meetings regularly and keeping the dialogue open within your group, you create a type of healthy peer pressure that helps you want to stay clean. Use the power of social influence to aid your goals.
Support Groups Provide a Lifeline
Triggers and cravings are a part of recovery. Having access to a support group you can turn to when you are faced with adversity provides you with a healthy alternative to giving in to these urges. We can’t always be prepared for everything life throws at us, but we can create tools and healthy outlets to help us be more successful.
A healthy support system should be a place filled with people who have your best interest in mind. These are the people who see you and accept you as you are while pushing you to be the best version of yourself. Your support system will help you identify strategies that will help you continue to come out on top of trying times.
The road to recovery is not always easy. Feeling alone during difficult times adds an abundance of stress to an already challenging road. Having a sober support group gives you the opportunity to not walk the path of recovery alone. Support groups are an essential part of getting yourself the help you need to make it through recovery.
Going through recovery comes with unique struggles that will test your resolve. You do not have to go through these moments alone. Once you can create a support system that you trust, your recovery can become much easier to navigate. How you choose to grow that support system is up to you, but chances are your support groups will consist of family members, close friends, and the peers you meet through recovery. The goal of your support system is not to create as many outlets as possible, but to create quality outlets that are there for you throughout the recovery process. Life is full of unexpected situations that can make you feel angry and depressed, make you doubt your resolutions, or lead you to relapse. Having a support group helps decrease these negative feelings and manage your reactions to them. If you need help creating a health support group, Everlast Recovery Centers are here to offer guidance and connection to a network of people who know what you’re going through. Call us at 866-DETOX-25.