Finding Your Best Emotional Support System
When you enter into rehabilitation and begin recovery, you are given a chance to build a support system from scratch.
You have the chance to replace the people who are toxic to your new, sober lifestyle with ones who will help you succeed.
This can be a very difficult thing to do, however, as some of the people you find the need to distance yourself from can be longtime friends, romantic relationships, and possibly even some family members. Do not feel obligated to associate with anyone who will not support your decision to get clean, as it is highly likely they will lure you back to substance use.
The most obvious place to look for emotional support is your family. As mentioned before, there are the situations where some family may need to be distanced because of their own substance use problems, but for the most part anyone in recovery can find an ally in a relative.
Parents, siblings, spouses, and children are highly likely to be some of the best support for people working through rehabilitation. They will want you to succeed in your recovery because they too have suffered with your substance use and will benefit most from your sober lifestyle.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews are also great sources of inspiration to remain on the path to recovery. Wanting to be a good role model for the youth in your family, as well as all the things you can enjoy with them if you stay clean are points to remember and goals to achieve while in rehabilitation.
That’s What (Real) Friends Are For
It is likely—and painful—that this category contains the most challenges to recovery. Friends are often drawn to each other by similar interests. If one of those interests is substance use, they can feel betrayed by someone wanting to seek recovery. For this reason, many friendships can draw recovering addicts into relapse.
The desire to be a good influence on those friends still struggling with substance use is admirable, but may not outweigh the consequences if the pull of the substance use is stronger than anticipated. It is relatively easy to choose sobriety while in treatment, but once surrounded by old friends and old habits, that willpower can be tested to its limit.
Reconnecting with non-using friends who may have been distanced while you were caught up in your substance use can be the start to repairing those relationships. These people will be happy to see you working toward putting your life back together and will likely be a good source of positive inspiration for recovery.
Friends who are not involved with substance use will also be a good resource for finding alternative activities and hobbies to replace the substance use that once dominated your time. These friends, in turn, will open doors to more friendships to expand your recovery support system.
Birds of a Feather Need to Flock Together
Finding others who are in recovery or who have been through rehabilitation can be an invaluable resource to those just beginning their journey. These people offer a source of hope in their relatability—they have been down the road you are traveling now and came out the other side. Their stories of struggle and success may be just what you need to hear to inspire you on your most difficult days.
Whether you choose to find a local group that meets anonymously, seek out groups sponsored by your local spiritual centers, or continue to keep contact with those who have been through rehabilitation with you here at Victory, it is important that you surround yourself with others who are facing similar struggles. Not only will their successes be inspiration for you, but if they have bad days yours can be the hand that helps them back up.
No matter how admirable their intentions, a friend or family member who has never struggled with addiction and rehabilitation can know what it’s like to be in your shoes. Their support is important, but friends who understand the struggles of recovery offer support of a different kind.
A Good Support System Makes a World of Difference
No one can battle substance use disorder alone. Everyone needs–and deserves–to have people supporting them in their recovery journey. Regardless of whether you completed rehabilitation yesterday or 20 years ago, a good support system can mean the difference between sobriety and relapse.
Don’t be afraid to cut people out of your life if they will threaten your recovery. Every day is a new day and you deserve to enjoy it surrounded by those who have your best interests at heart!
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