We are social creatures. Even those of us who need a lot of time alone need that connection that we can only find in other people. We need to feel that we are not alone. We need to share in our triumphs and our failures. We need to bond over our shared experience.
When we are struggling, we need that connection the most. If you are struggling with addiction, you are likely to feel isolated and depressed. There will be times that you feel overwhelmed, confused, and lost. There will be times that you feel that the struggle is too great. There will be times – even long after your initial addiction treatment and many years into your recovery – that you feel like you can’t make it through another day and you absolutely need to drink or to use drugs. For all those times, you need a support network. You need people to listen to how you’re feeling, to give you advice, or just to let you know that they care.
Here are a few things you can do to create a reliable support network for a successful recovery:
Your relationships with your family and friends may have become strained because of things that happened while you were in the grips of your addiction. Now that you are in addiction treatment, you might have to work a bit to repair those relationships. However, most family and friends are going to be willing to put in that work because of your shared history and love.
Reach out to your family or friends when you are having a hard time. Be honest about your struggles and about what you need. Nurture those connections between the hard time by just calling occasionally to check in. Get together for a quick coffee or something casual just to say “hi” and to catch up. Those casual get-togethers will deepen your connection over time so you know the person will be there when you are struggling. You’ll also get to know each other well enough to really know how to be there for each other.
You may not have many friends or family. Or you may want to expand your support network for a greater diversity of opinions and deepening of your relationships. To do that, you first need to identify the type of people you want on your “team.” What kind of values are important to you? What are your interest? Where do you see your life going?
Once you know the answers to those questions, you can better identify the people who will share those values, interests, and goals. Sharing these things will ensure that you have people around you who support you in where you’re going.
You may have figured out the kind of people you want to meet, but you may not have a very good idea of where to find these people. You can find like-minded people by joining groups associated with your interests. For example, you might join a local sports league or a run club if you like to stay active. You might volunteer with a homeless shelter or another charity if you care about giving back. Or you might join a book club or go to a meetup for art lovers.
There are a lot of great resources in your community for finding people who share your interests, including Meetup, Craig’s list, and even Facebook. Join some groups and chat with the people who attend. Eventually, you’ll make those connections that can deepen into lasting friendships.
After your initial addiction treatment in Arizona, you are likely to be referred to local support groups where you can meet up with other recovering addicts who can relate to the things you’ve experienced and can support you in your ongoing recovery efforts. Go to as many of these support groups as you can. Get a sense for the group dynamics and the people in them to find the right group for you.
Over time, the people you meet in these support groups can become your friends and can become part of your personal support network. Instead of getting advice and support just when you show up to meetings, you can rely on these people when you are going through a crisis at 3 a.m. or you are staring down a bottle of vodka and are ready to drink.
Building a support network is just as important to your recovery as regular Mesa addiction counseling and treatment. But if you have a small network, you may not know where to start in building one. These tips can help you to take advantage of your existing connections and to build new ones.
Corebella Health and Wellness offers ongoing addiction counseling and support groups for those struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol. We offer the services to help you get through the initial stages of your recovery, as well as those to keep you on your path to a healthy lifestyle. We have both a drug treatment center and a wellness clinic offering a variety of services. Call Corebella Health and Wellness today to learn about what we offer in Glendale and Tempe.