One of the biggest changes a person has to make in recovery is regarding their social circles. For some, this is easier said than done. Your environment and social circle can have a significant impact on your recovery, and not everyone has the means to remove themselves completely from that space. This makes the need for sober friends that much more important to successful recovery.
While you may not be able to completely control your environment, actively surrounding yourself with a strong support system is critical to successful sobriety. Those who have friends and family to help them stay on track tend to do better long-term in recovery than those who do not, but finding that community may take some time. While you may have a few family members and friends who can help support you, there is something to be said for having supportive relationships with people who have gone through the recovery process as well.
The Importance of Sober Friends in Recovery
Recovery from addiction is not easy, but being part of a sober community can help alleviate some of the difficulties you experience. A sober friend is a vital part of the recovery process for a number of reasons. This includes:
- Sober friends can check in on you and help you through social situations
- They can serve as a buffer and help you maintain sobriety when confronted with temptation
- They provide a healthy outlet where you can interact with others without using drugs or alcohol
- Sober friends can encourage you and motivate you through recovery
While all of these benefits of sober friends can apply to anyone, a sober friend who has been through recovery can provide a unique form of support that not everyone can. Relationships with others in recovery can be more impactful because they are more relatable in specific ways. While a sober friend can provide support and may empathize with what you are going through, a friend who has been through recovery does not have to imagine what your struggle is like. They know first-hand and can provide a unique form of support that others simply cannot relate to.
It is not always easy to make new friends, especially when dealing with the weight of recovery, but the sober community makes it easy to connect with others on a regular basis. There are numerous support groups and events that the sober community hosts to help keep everyone connected. By participating in recovery meetings, you are able to give and receive support with others who have faced similar challenges. Members have the opportunity to discuss challenges they face and engage with others for feedback and insight. It is not uncommon to find that many in recovery meetings learn something from others because they have faced similar obstacles.
Sober living homes also help you develop a sober community of peers. A sober living home allows you to be surrounded by others who are going or have gone through the same struggles you have an overcome. If you are looking to build a sober community, having a core group of roommates and friends to go out with and make new friends with can be more helpful than you know.
Helping Others in Recovery
One of the most impactful ways to not only strengthen your own recovery, but to also help others in their journey is to share your story. Many find empowerment in recovery through the experiences of others. Whether it’s through a one-to-one interaction or in a group setting, interactions between those in recovery strengthens everyone. The opinions and experiences shared in these settings are valuable in a number of ways. By being open and talking about it, stigmas surrounding substance abuse are lessened and more people are encouraged to open up and discuss their experiences as well.
Mentoring or sponsoring those in recovery can also strengthen sobriety for everyone involved. Those who have been successfully working on their sobriety for a long period of time can provide valuable insight to others who are newer in recovery. Through mentorship or sponsorships, you can be a valuable resource to someone who needs help navigating sobriety on their own. Mentors and sponsors can meet one-on-one with another person to discuss their challenges, questions, and experiences. Over time, a mentor or sponsor is able to help guide someone through potential pitfalls. Their ability to relate to these experiences can have a profound impact on a person in recovery who is still trying to figure out the process.
Giving back is proven to help aid in the recovery process.Supporting others in their journey is an admirable way to not only enhance your sobriety, but also help someone else who is following a similar path. There are countless ways you can provide support to those in recovery and it does not always need to be through the lens of treatment. If you have specialized skills in technology or writing for instance, you can give back to members of the sober community by helping them with writing a resume or applying for a job. You can help bring happiness through social interactions and human connection. Not all forms of support have to be structured, but they can all be equally beneficial.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we are here to help. Give us a call at 310.403.1032 or send us a message below and one of our admissions counselors will do their best to get you the help you need.