One of the most crucial aspects of recovering from drug abuse is having strong sources of addiction support. In fact, you simply can not recover from drug or alcohol addiction without it. After all, you tried for some time to quit drinking and drugging on your own, only to find it was nothing short of impossible. Only when you got honest with the people in your life and admitted you needed help did you begin the recovery process. The bottom line is; we can’t do this alone.
Why Addiction Support is So Important
When we were in our addiction, we either isolated completely to hide our “dirty secret” or we participated in relationships that centered completely on drugs or alcohol. The people we associated with were probably just as sick as we were. They didn’t care about us at all, they only wanted to know if we could help them score, share our stash or stay with them all night as they drunk themselves into a stupor in some dismal bar.
Now that we are doing our best to stay sober one day at a time, we find that in order to do so, we must seek out healthy relationships with people who genuinely care about us. This, of course, is easier said than done. Our drug addiction or alcoholism left many of us jaded and distrustful after keeping company with the worst kind of people. As a result, we might have become fearful of other people. We may even believe we are unworthy of healthy and happy relationships after mistreating our loved ones and participating in less than honorable behavior.
Isolation and Substance Addiction Go Hand in Hand
Many people who enter recovery say they feel far more isolated in sobriety than they ever did when they were addicted. Some of this has to do with the realization that we don’t have the first idea how to have a sincere and honest relationship with another human being. Some of us have gone our entire lives without ever having one. Most of us don’t know how to accept acts of genuine kindness and selflessness on our behalf. Others have been sick for so long, we view people as a means to an end, rather than human beings capable of loving us for who we are. No matter the circumstance, we must become willing to overcome these mental obstacles. We must come to believe that not all people are out to harm us and understand that we are worthy of loving relationships. We must learn to rely on others for recovery and lean on them in times of trouble. In order to stay sober, we must build a reliable support system. (Notice the word reliable.)
Look to Others In Recovery for Addiction Support
Befriending people who also have the disease of addiction/alcoholism has to become a priority in sobriety. After all, we need a sponsor to work us through the steps. We need to be around other addicts and alcoholics who understand us, people who can help us maneuver this beautiful experience called life. By connecting with people who operate in a dimension of life that doesn’t include drugs and alcohol, they can help you stay clean.
Choose Relationships That Support Your Drug Addiction Recovery
Keep in mind, however, when you are seeking new relationships in sobriety that you need to befriend folks who are stable in their recovery who will serve as a positive influence. Remember, some are sicker than others. When you surround yourself with people, be sure to surround yourself with people you can count on. Look for people who have a significant amount of clean time, like a year or longer. People with less than six months are likely to relapse and may take you out with them. You want people who are rigorously involved in the 12-step program process. Don’t just listen to what people say in meetings –see what they do outside those meetings. If your instincts tell you something doesn’t seem right, listen to them and keep your distance. Consult with your sponsor and ask for advice about who might be a reliable and stable person to add to your inner circle.
Just for today, step out of your fear of others and embrace new relationships. Begin to build a support system you can lean on, people you can learn from and friends you can laugh with.