Recovery and Sobriety; Why Support Matters
Surrounding yourself with good support groups and people is key in your Recovery and Sobriety – it’s helping you help yourself.
When a person is under stress, they will typically resort to their old patterns. Of course, this isn’t true 100% of the time. But it’s common that people return to what is familiar when faced with difficult circumstances. In recovery, stress can come and go, which is why it’s important to have support to rely on. In order to prevent a return to old ways (which may be the use of substances to cope), surround yourself with friends, family, and professionals that are there for you. Connections in Recovery New York (CiRNY) can help connect individuals struggling with addiction and mental health disorders with a strong support system for long-term positive outcomes with recovery and sobriety.
In fact, one of the most important elements to a successful recovery is the strength of your support network. Staying sober alone doesn’t work for most recovering addicts because they tend to be their own worst enemy. There are old behaviors, thoughts, poor coping methods, and triggers that can make sobriety difficult. Yet, with a circle of supportive people, a person can break through their old patterns – especially under times of stress. Instead of reaching for a drink, for instance, when feeling some financial pressure. A person in recovery might call a friend to talk it through, perhaps together they can find some solutions to the problem, without resorting to substance use.
Here are a few ways that you can grow a network of support:
Find new sober friends at 12-step meetings and support groups. The people you meet at support meetings are, like you, in the same situation you are/have been in similar shoes and are actively working towards cultivating a healthy life for themselves and using the necessary tools stay sober. This alone can be the foundation for a friendship. Also, getting to know other sober people helps you voice your struggles as well as avoid temptations/triggers and stay focused on your sobriety. Dr. Steven Stosny, Ph.D. (www.psychologytoday.com) says, “It is vital to build a sense of core value. The use of substances is self-reinforcing in that it lowers self-value and the ability to create value and meaning. The downward trajectory in self-value during substance use makes the substance seem ever more necessary. But a developed sense of core value reduces susceptibility to major triggers of abuse – guilt, shame, anxiety, anger, and resentment.”
Look for role models. When you spend time with others who have achieved long term sobriety, you can learn from them. But more than that, they tend to have a particular mindset that you might not have yet developed. By spending time with others who have a mindset of health and enjoyment, you might start to pick up on the thoughts and feelings they’re having. Having successful and healthy people around you can support your growth.
Let yourself accept help from professionals. Sometimes, accepting help can be difficult for some people. But over time, with trusting relationships, accepting help can start to feel more natural. When you’re setting up your support system, know that there are professionals (therapists, mentors, drug rehab staff, etc) there to help you. Connections in Recovery New York, an international addiction and mental health organization, can provide you with the “best-fit” options for recovery and sobriety. Serving New York and the Tri-State area, with offices in Manhattan and Long Island, we are committed to providing addiction and recovery treatment, drug and alchohol intervention, case management, sober coach and companions, mental health coach and companions, and In-home detox services.
Ultimately, only you can do the journey of recovery and sobriety. But when you’re in recovery, having a community of people around you to support you can be incredibly effective. This is especially true if those people believe in you and can see in you the possibility for change.