One of the most powerful things in this world is human connection. Building and maintaining a relationship with somebody is one of the best experiences life has to offer. Many believe that your happiness is dependent on the relationships you have in life. If you are trying to get and stay sober, having new sober relationships can save your life. Having someone to talk to when things were bad has done so much for me in my life and continues to. If you are beginning the road to sobriety there are a couple of different avenues of support.
When I first got sober, the prospect of meeting new people and somehow forming connections with total strangers who were probably very different from me was very scary. I’m a social person but felt like it’s hard to meet anyone and actually become friends with them.
That didn’t stop me though, I started going to meetings and met all types of people from every background imaginable. What struck me was how easy it was to talk to them. It could be someone 30 years older than me from across the country and we would end up talking for a half-hour. It didn’t matter where we came from. We had that common denominator. We were just trying to stay sober and build a life.
Meeting these type of people is so important and getting to know them is just as important. When you get sober life doesn’t stop or become easier. Problems arise and stress rears it’s ugly head and it’s no longer the time to turn to a substance to ‘feel better’. The first few times I had problems come up in recovery and I talked to someone about it were very important moments. I usually tried to just figure things out on my own and it always went terrible. Finding someone who is further down the road in recovery than you and asking for advice can do magical things for you.
Having a support network is fantastic, but we all need one person we can turn to for our problems and for guidance. I spent so many years thinking I could figure out things on my own with my own ideas, As I said, it never went well. Spending those years just going with my own ideas on life sent me back out into my addiction inevitably. A lot of us need to find out our own ideas are terrible the hard way. Hopefully, you are at the point that you see the importance of guidance. There is plenty of guidance to adhere to with a sponsor taking you through the 12-steps.
Whether it is a sponsor in a recovery fellowship or an addiction coach, you need to find someone who has the answers to your issues from their own personal experience. Anyone can tell you the right thing to do, I gave plenty of people advice when my life is shambles. Someone giving you their experience is just a whole different ballgame. I am only here nearly 5 years sober because I began stopping listening to myself and listening to someone else’s experience.
Many treatment centers incorporate an alumni program to stay connected with the people you went through rehab with as well as meet others who have years sober but attended the same program. If you are staying local to where you went to treatment, which is becoming more common these days, many of these alumni programs hold weekly/monthly meetings. They are a fantastic way to feel a part of and fellowship with people who are on the same path as you.
When I went to treatment I became very involved with my alumni program. I was fortunate enough to go somewhere that offered a full-service program. We did volunteer events and fun events every month. While I was grinding away at early recovery, I had a place to go to have some fun and help others out. These type of programs are becoming extremely popular at treatment facilities around the country.
I can’t stress it enough! The biggest mistake anyone makes is trying to get sober on their own. It’s a shortcut that never ends well. Be adventurous, you have nothing to lose. I’ve made irreplaceable, life-long friendships by just sticking my neck out and showing up at a few meetings. When things got rough in life they were the first people I went to and to this day, it has been a life-saver.
Photo is pixabay creative commons
Guest Author Bio
Daniel Wittler is a writer in recovery from South Florida. Daniel believes that absolutely anyone can get sober provided they are ready to take action.
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