Essentials for Recovery
There are many facets that go into sustaining long term recovery. One of the most important of those is the support group. When I got sober, I had barely any human connections in my life. In fact, I had done an outstanding job of isolating myself from the world and had become a complete recluse. I wasn’t very apt to start building friendships and relationships with others when I attempted to get sober; in fact, I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to be sober. Let me tell you why the support group I was connected with was so vital.
Human Connection and Addiction
As addicts, most of us are naturally antisocial and prefer to isolate. Isolation leads to loneliness and depression which in turn causes us to drink and use. Drinking and using causes us to be miserable….and the cycle repeats itself. When addicts continue to feel separated and not “a part of” it makes it very different to stick around. Being “a part of” something is a strong reason to do something. When the people you surround yourself with are on the same path as you, sobriety, you do what they do. This is one of the reasons support group integration is so vital to long term recovery.
I couldn’t ever do the same thing two days in a row. In fact, I’m still not perfect at it. Consistency is key when it comes to long term recovery. The support group plays an integral role in keeping us accountable. Once we have been surrounded with a group of people who love and care about us they help keep us on the right track.
The best thing about accountability is that you can’t hide from it.
You either show up where you said you were going to show up or you don’t; there is no grey area. This tails off the first example I gave. When you are in a group of people with a common goal you do what they do and show up where they show up and do what they do. Plain and simple. It is important in early sobriety to get tied in with the right people for long term sobriety.
Fun in Sobriety
This is perhaps one of the most important pieces of the support group purpose. What’s the point of sobriety if you can’t have fun? I know for me, sobriety itself, was not a great motivator. The idea of feeling the way I felt without drugs or alcohol was an even worse proposition than continuing to use and feel that way.
I got plugged in with a great group of guys that took me under their wing and showed me how to have a good time in sobriety. Whether it’s going out to eat, going on trips, trying new things, going to concerts, or just hanging out and talking it’s sure to be a good time.
It is important to get plugged in to a solid support group in early sobriety as quickly as possible.
This could be the difference between making it or failing. When all else fails, if you have a group of friends and people that care about you to fall back on and be open and honest with your chances are above average. Trying to do recovery alone is very difficult and I’d venture to say maybe even impossible to sustain for long term recovery.
One of the things I do immediately whenever I’m helping someone trying to attain long term recovery is integrate them into my support group so they can start to feel “a part of” and connected. Like they have a place they belong.
The stronger that bond gets, the less appealing the old life becomes and the more reasons developed for recovery.