24/7 Support Line
One of the best ways to stay focused in recovery is to surround yourself with positive people who are not only interested in helping you to live your life well but also actively working to create a happy and healthy life for themselves as well. It is inspiring to spend time with people who are genuinely doing their best in the world, living honestly and authentically, and interested in hearing about and supporting you in doing the same.
For those who are new to recovery, it is not uncommon to have the desire to connect with others in recovery but feel unsure of how to go about making it happen. Though there are a lot of great people who are actively in recovery, there are also a lot of people in recovery who are not necessarily the most positive people to be around, who may not necessarily be committed to staying sober for the long-term, or who may not genuinely care about and support you.
How do you know where to look and whom to trust as you build your support network and make new friends in recovery?
The process of creating a great support network in recovery begins when you are in treatment. Whether you opt for outpatient care or residential treatment, you will spend a great deal of time with others who, like you, are just getting started in recovery. In groups and during breaks, you will get to know them very well – their histories, their likes and dislikes, and their goals and hopes for the future. Bonding is inevitable, and here you will form some of the first friendships that will sustain you as you rebuild your life in sobriety.
Whether you are transitioning back into the home you lived in prior to entering rehab or into a new home that is better suited to living a sober life, you will need to look in the community to connect with others who are trying to stay sober. That means getting involved in 12-Step meetings, support groups, personal therapy sessions, alternative therapies (e.g., sports therapies, outdoor therapies, art therapy, etc.), and holistic options (e.g., yoga, meditation centers, acupuncture, etc.). Along the way, you will make friends with people you meet while doing those things.
Not everyone you meet who is seeking treatment and recovery is going to be a positive and stable addition to your support network. Take your time and vet your choices. No need to be rude or judgmental. If it becomes clear that someone is not necessarily committed to sobriety, or is still living in a deeply negative place and you have a hard time maintaining a sense of positivity and focus when you are around this person, you easily step back a bit and find your connections elsewhere.
It takes time to build authentic relationships in recovery that are sustainable and will sustain you for years to come. Allow people to come and go in your life without too much attachment. Invest your time in the people who are interested in being part of your life and who make you feel stronger in your ability to stay sober.