Despite establishing a community in recovery, it is a common misunderstanding for those outside of that community that once a person has gotten sober and into recovery, they are no longer struggling with the issues that were once before. And while that is true in many instances (e.g. suffering financial problems, legal issues, and physical health problems due to active substance abuse), it is an incorrect overall statement.
Recovery is certainly a desirable place to be, but there are still countless hurdles to jump and mountains to climb along the way. That is because addiction is a disease — one that cannot be cured. So, while many people get treated for their addiction, it will never truly “go away.” Those in recovery know this to be true, as people spend months, years, even decades working on their recovery so that they never slip back into the deadly spiral of addiction that they were in once before. And to do that, it requires a great deal of effort, dedication, and community.
Importance of Community in Recovery
Having a community of individuals in your corner whether you are in recovery or not is always extremely important. People from all backgrounds have built up support systems for themselves so that they always have people to rely on as they navigate through life. Not everyone has a community to lean on, but those who do often benefit much more as a result of that support. After ending active addiction and developing a foundation in recovery, it is critical that you work to establish your own community in recovery. In fact, it is even more important that you do this, as attempting to recover without the help or support of others can be a recipe for disaster.
So, why exactly is community in recovery so vital?
You know you aren’t alone
Addiction, especially when it’s active, is an incredibly lonely disease. Not only does it highlight, exasperate, and create troubles in your life, but it also steals you away from those who you love and care for. Some people, even after getting sober, still grapple with the characteristics of an addict or alcoholic and find that they continue to experience difficulties like being shy, having poor communication skills, or withdrawing from others at a moment’s notice. But, when you develop a community in recovery (even if it is just the community of people that are in your local support group), you can avoid these and other challenges because you are not going it alone. You are part of a larger group of individuals who share in your struggles and who are able to offer their support in ways that others cannot because of their own personal experience with addiction. When you have a community in recovery, you do not ever have to feel alone.
You are held accountable
If you are left to your own devices in your recovery, there is a significant chance that you may find yourself relapsing. As you work on yourself during your recovery, it is important to understand that you may not be able to fully trust in yourself — and that is ok. A community in recovery provides you with a group of people who will regularly hold your feet to the fire and push you to continue on in your successful recovery. These people are there to help you when you are feeling like you want to drink or use and cover it up before anyone finds out. Their simple presence in your life helps you to do a double-take before giving in to cravings, temptations, or raw emotions.
You learn by watching others
Your community in recovery might not fully consist of others who are also in recovery, as your community may also include your family, friends, and co-workers who are not addicts or alcoholics. But, those members of your community who have been addicted to drugs or alcohol before can be the ones you can learn from most. By listening to your community and watching their actions, you can learn new skills that keep you moving along in your recovery. For example, if someone in your community talks about how they are reconnecting with an estranged loved one, you may be able to pick up some ideas of your own so that you can also forge a similar bond with people in your life who have become distant as a result of your active addiction.
You establish a healthy lifestyle
So much of recovery is focused on getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. These three key factors can make recovery so much easier. Of course, it is never that simple to just start making lifestyle changes such as these, but if your community in recovery includes those who have made these changes, you can get the motivation and support to do the same. Attempting to make changes like these in your life in the midst of recovery can be really hard, but when you are learning by example and being included in the process, you can start to make big moves with greater ease.
Community in recovery, no matter how you look at it, makes all the difference in your life. From having a support system to lean on in times of crisis to having role models to help show you the way, community in recovery is an absolute necessity.
Addiction Treatment in California
If you are struggling with an active addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, reach out to us right now. We understand the daily challenges you face and are here to let you know that we can help.
If you are in recovery but are finding that you need more assistance as you gain your footing, we can help with that, too. Call us right now to find out how we can help assist on your road to recovery.
You do not have to go through any of the steps of addiction alone. At Riviera Recovery, we are here to guide you along the way.