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15 Tips on Building Recovery Support

Building Recovery Support

Many people start using drugs and alcohol in a purely social way and slowly develop a bad habit or addiction. Getting support to quit should be a social activity as well. I believe that there are eight major things that you have to remember when you are building a recovery support system. You have already made the decision to get help; now, it’s time to figure out what type of support help you actually need.

  • Don’t Go it Alone Some headstrong individuals might think that they got themselves into their situation and that they can get themselves out. This may be true, but in most cases, it is more likely that an individual will not make it alone.
  • Stop Isolating Yourself Addiction is a hard thing to conquer because it is a disease that isolates you from other people. Start your recovery by reaching out to others; you’ll need and grow to appreciate the help.
  • Be Honest With Your Family Your family and friends have no idea what you are going through. You have to have truthful conversations with them and be quite frank about what you are doing and how you are feeling.
  • Educate Your Family In addition, you need to give them the tools to help you, like books on addiction recovery and professionals they could talk to to help you in your quest to recover.
  • Tell People How to Help You If your friends and family don’t know what you need from them, they can’t provide it. You need to tell them when you need help. This might be as simple as asking someone to stay with you so you aren’t alone when the cravings and temptation can be the worst.
  • Be Specific When You Talk to Your Support Group Be specific about what you want them to do and how you want them to help. By giving them specific directions, they will feel more comfortable helping and you’ll know exactly what to expect.
  • Follow a Successful Guide Get in contact with someone who is succeeding in long-term recovery. This person is walking the walk and can give you priceless guidance to help you get through the tough times. This person could be the one to help you get your family involved and be there when no one else is. Whether you meet this guru in a recovery group or through a mentoring program, don’t take them for granted.
  • Be Patient Recovery is an ongoing process, and the people in your support group are there for the long term. If they aren’t exactly helpful at first, talk to them about what you need from them. Change is hard for everyone, and your addictive behavior being changed affects them just as much as it affects you. You may be quick to anger or quick to latch on to someone because of the fear of being left alone. The key is to realize that you will be undergoing a long-term life change and you need to embrace it. Patience will serve you well as you learn to replace your addictive behaviors with productive ones.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement Don’t be shy about telling your support group when they do something that is helpful. Positive reinforcement from you will help them realize that what they are doing is important as well as reinforce the particular behavior that worked for you. A simple thank you can go a long way toward creating a positive recovery environment.
  • Reach Out In those times when you are feeling alone and vulnerable, reach out by phone, text, email, or any other way you can. Get a hold of someone in your support group. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself become isolated from your support group. You need them to help you keep busy and fight back the urges that come during recovery.
  • Go to a 12-Step Meeting While your family is a great source of support, the support of other recovering addicts creates a specific social group that can help reinforce positive behaviors. If you aren’t comfortable in the first group you attend, try different ones until you’ve found the right fit.
  • Share That You Are New When you are in a meeting, volunteer that you are new. This will get you an immediate source of phone numbers and other contact information to start building your network.
  • Take on Extra Responsibilities Volunteer to make the coffee or empty the trash at the meeting place. This will give you conversational ins with members of the group, especially like-minded individuals who are also volunteering their time.
  • Attend Recovery Events Many recovery programs have special events on holidays and during the summer. These are great opportunities to meet new people and start developing new relationships.
  • Avoid Dating The more focus you have on yourself during recovery, the better. Adding the stress of a relationship to the stress of recovery isn’t good for you or for the person you would be dating.
  • Become a Mentor Yourself During your time in recovery, become a mentor to some of the new members of your group. This will provide you with an instant connection and a feeling of accomplishment when your mentorship is successful. These are just my suggestions on what you can do to help create a positive and strong support group for yourself during your recovery. Whatever you do, stay positive and surround yourself with positive people and your recovery will be much more productive.