Building a support network and joining a community of people who support your sobriety is an essential part of staying motivated, encouraged, and on track to achieving your goals during recovery.
Creating a sober support network will provide you with a group of people who can inspire you throughout your journey. A support network will also equip you with the practical tools to make positive, healthy choices when faced with challenging situations.
Why Should I Make Building a Sober Support Network a Priority?
Though the benefits of creating a sober support network will become clear throughout your recovery journey, we have shared why creating a sober support network is a vital step towards achieving a happy and fulfilled substance-free life below.
There is Strength in Numbers
Surrounding yourself with people who support you and vice versa will help you feel less isolated and more inspired to avoid engaging in unhealthy behaviors.
Being around people who have a shared experience of substance abuse but are now sober, or working towards sobriety, will also help you feel empowered and motivated to do the same.
Having many positive role models additionally provides a web of inspiration. It makes you feel less alone as you become part of a team that is there to get you through the difficult times.
Having low self-esteem, especially in social situations, is a familiar feeling for those in recovery. After all, we are social creatures and forming connections promotes happiness and stability.
Sober support networks provide a space of acceptance and meaningful human connection without the need for substance abuse. This helps improve self-confidence, which retrains the brain as it breaks free from the belief that drug and alcohol use are necessary for forming relationships and creating bonds.
Having a group of people who can spot and tell you if you are beginning to fall back into bad habits can be extremely helpful. This is because being aware of your choices can prevent you from relapsing and keep you on a positive, sober path.
A sober support network can also provide positive peer pressure that assists you in making healthy decisions as you look to improve your life.
Who Should I Include in My Sober Support Network?
Although it can be difficult, it is important not to include those who use drugs or alcohol in your sober support network. This is because they can trigger you, putting you at greater risk of experiencing a relapse.
Instead, you should surround yourself with those who genuinely support your sobriety and care for your well-being and recovery journey.
Family and friends can be some of the most influential people in your support network; however, substance abuse often damages these relationships. As a result, accepting the hurt you may have unintentionally caused can be difficult, and rebuilding bonds may take a long time. With this in mind, you must remember to be patient.
If you persevere with mending these relationships, your family and friends can become your most important supporters.
In addition, it is vital to make sure that both you and your support network clearly understand your needs during your recovery. Taking time to figure out your goals will help you achieve them. This will help your sober support network keep you on track, become more aware of how to support you, and become sensitive to your recovery needs.
As support works both ways, it is important to remember to check in with those in your support network too. Doing so will enable you to help those in need, which will leave you feeling positive too.
Where Can I Find People Who Will Have a Positive Influence on Me During Recovery?
- 12-step meetings – Attending meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous can be a great way to meet others on their recovery journey and going through a similar experience.
- Join a club – Whether you attend a yoga class, participate in painting lessons, or connect with a basketball team, joining a club that you enjoy will enable you to meet people who will positively influence you during recovery. Additionally, joining a club will help you de-stress and expand your social network. Bear in mind, though, that the people you meet at a class may not necessarily be on a sober path, so seek out social events that are alcohol and drug-free.
- Community involvement – Volunteering in the community can be a great way to meet people who will positively influence your life during your recovery. Volunteering will also enable you to help others, which will leave you feeling empowered.
Developing relationships takes time, and building a sober support network is by no means easy. Yet, if you stick at it, repairing broken bonds and creating new friendships is one of the most rewarding things you can do.