Essential to Long Term Success
Looking over old blogs, I noticed that I’ve mentioned sober support networks in quite a few of them (Dealing with Relapse and the Benefits of a Routine in Early Recovery are two recent entries that spring to mind.) However, I also realized that I’ve never written an entire blog on their significance and that’s a wrong I need to right immediately. Building and maintaining a strong sober support network is essential to long term success in recovery. But what exactly does a support network entail? And how do we go about building one?
What Is a Sober Support Network?
A basic working definition of a sober support network is simply a group of people in your life who are willing and ready to help you recover. Because of the nature and needs of recovery, this network will evolve over time as people move in and out. For example, while you may maintain a working relationship with one of the therapists you meet in treatment, it’s not likely that this will be the case with most of them. Another example is that, while many family members and friends would love to see you sober and happy, it may take them some time to be ready to trust and help you, particularly if they dealt with you frequently while you were in active addiction. Finally, all of the peers you meet in treatment or at meetings are going through their own struggles and might not always be there to help.
Put Your Hand Out
With all of this constant flux, how does one build and maintain something solid? Honest effort and patience. Start by surrounding yourself with people who take sobriety seriously. Make an effort to put your hand out at meetings and introduce yourself. Look for the people who have some time and consider finding a sponsor. Exchange phone numbers and make some check-in calls or texts. That way, if a craving or a rough situation arises, the phone won’t be quite so heavy. Steer clear of the folks who are playing on their phones throughout the meeting or who blow off curfew at the sober living home. These people might be fun to hang out with, but they aren’t going to help you stay sober.
Patience and Understanding
When it comes to family members and friends who were around during the bad old days, some patience and understanding will go a long way. Dealing with an addict in the throes of their addiction is exhausting for everyone. The people that helped you through that time could use a rest. Furthermore, there are likely trust issues and raw feelings as a result of those times. You’re probably riding that pink cloud and ready to solve all your problems all at once. However, it’s best to take a breath and let your loved ones work at their own pace.
Treatment and Aftercare
Residential addiction treatment is designed to take you out of the life you were living in active addiction. It gets you onboard to a new way of thinking. Treatment can take 30, 60, or 90 days, and sometimes even longer. It is not, however, a long-term solution. Sooner or later, the time comes to discharge from the facility and put your new skills to work. This is why a good recovery center will start to devise an aftercare plan as part of your treatment. This plan will likely include a referral to a new therapist close to home in order to work with deep-rooted problems and new issues that may arise, ensuring a seamless transition. If the struggle of addiction has become too much for you, consider giving Ocean Recovery a call today. We will help you build a strong sober support network and a foundation for hope.