The most helpful resources for overcoming recovery-related challenges tend to be provided in a community setting.
Making connections to people who relate to you and fostering healthy, supportive relationships gives you access to one of the most powerful tools you can use to build your sober lifestyle. It can seem daunting at first to be around peers and recovery sponsors; feeling the attention of the community ‘spotlight’ on you can bring with it self-expectations and self-doubts. However, being part of a like-minded community of peers helps you develop shared goals, form shared experiences, and keeps you from having to go through recovery alone.
If you’re looking to find a sober community, a great way to begin is to identify groups geared towards providing resources to people in recovery. Some of the more popular forms of peer-centric fellowships you can join include:
Sober living communities
12-Step and other structured support groups
Faith-based recovery groups
The Harm of Social Isolation
When a person decides to get treatment, sometimes their family and friends are unwilling to support this major life change. Not having the support of loved ones can make some people isolate themselves from others. Social isolation is a known risk factor for relapsing. A study by Florida Gulf Coast University revealed that instances of relapse decrease when individuals in recovery participate in peer-support programs with a high degree of focus on self-determination.
The study discovered that people who chose groups with the following features were more likely to remain sober. Researchers reported: “the values the participants found important included trust, respect, honesty, openness, helpfulness, leadership, integrity, willingness and sobriety. The common goals identified by the participants included: share experiences, give hope, lead by example, and teach others.”
How to Become Part of the Community
One way to avoid isolation is to utilize the various resources in the sober living community to create a stable support system. Recovery from substance abuse involves overcoming frequent mental, physical, and spiritual hurdles. No one needs to go through that alone, and finding support and guidance rests entirely on your shoulders.
Deciding to join a sober living facility comes with some fantastic perks, and it requires consistent hard work. Becoming an interactive member is essential for you to fully integrate into the community and build up a support system. The road to success starts on common ground, where individuals share their struggles and goals. Some ways you can become an active member include:
Speak up during group meetings
Listen with empathy to what others have to share
Help set up group meetup spaces and volunteer to assist at community events
Connect with a sponsor
Educate yourself about the realities of sober living and learn new skills that you can use within the community
What to Expect from the Community
When the men who have made Safety Net Recovery® a part of their life move on to the next stage in their recovery, they do so with the knowledge that their community is behind them one hundred percent. The support of sober peers and sponsors does not disappear when you leave campus. Instead, that care and dedication to your spiritual and emotional fulfillment accompanies you wherever you go next. The staff and resources are always available if you need help through a difficult time further down the road.
What Are the Benefits?
There are numerous benefits to creating a support system within the sober living community. While you may be able to find these benefits individually through other sources, it is likely that only a sober community can offer all of them at once. Some of these benefits include:
Hope. Everyone needs a reason to hope that they can build a better future for themselves one day at a time, and seeing others reach those goals can instill that hope
Motivation. Relapsing can strain relationships; knowing that you have something to fight for can make it easier to overcome intrusive thoughts.
Decreased stress. Stress drains the body and spirit. Sponsors and peer-support groups share methods for coping that can help decrease stress levels.
Role models. Within the sober community, there are people at all stages of recovery, and seeing someone reach goals you feel are currently out of your reach can be an excellent opportunity to learn new strategies for moving forward.
Accountability. Sponsors can make an impact on holding yourself accountable.
Understanding. It can be hard to be around friends and family who do not understand the struggles of recovery. Having peers with similar experiences can provide validation.
Finding a Spiritual Community
There are few things as powerful as joining a fellowship of men willing to share their faith. Although not everyone who enters a spiritual community goes to church, there is no denying that spirituality can decrease anxiety, create hope, and imbue you with a sense of purpose.
There are few things as powerful as joining a fellowship of men willing to share their faith and support with one another. Safety Net Recovery® has a thriving peer-support community for men who are serious about staying sober. There are role models to look up to, and when you need someone to give you hope, the staff and other members are there to show you a healthy way forward. You do not have to go through this journey alone; isolating yourself from others can be harmful to your recovery. This is a crucial time, and it is important to have people you can count on to help you through it. Taking responsibility for your continued wellbeing is an essential part of recovery. You cannot begin to create new patterns of behavior if you do not embrace an environment that expects accountability. For more information about the Safety Net Recovery® community, reach out today at (770) 432-9774.