Peer support systems are encouraged as key components of many treatment programs because of how successful they can be in encouraging good habits that last a lifetime when it comes to recovery. Your recovery doesn’t end with a sober living home or treatment program, and laying the foundations for a strong support system now can help you throughout your journey. Here are a few ways that a strong support system can make your recovery easier and ultimately, smoother.
Knowing You’re Not Alone
Substance use disorders can be incredibly isolating. Not wanting to talk about what is happing in your life, or trying to hide alcohol consumption, can cause even the strongest people to retreat more into their dependency rather than face their challenges head on.
When you’re in recovery it can also be hard to face bumps in the road head-on, which is why it helps to be supported by people. Strong support systems have been linked with lower relapse rates and they can provide you with much needed judgment-free social networks as well. Ultimately, having people close to you that you can depend on and share your challenges with can help you realize that you’re not alone in your path to recovery and that you never have to be alone.
There’s nobody better than your peers and support network to hold you accountable to your goals. It’s hard to do this alone but being in constant touch with a group of people who understand your challenges — from the everyday to the larger events on the road to recovery — encourages you to trust their judgment and in turn trust them when they hold you to expectations. Remember that a strong network will be there for you no matter what, so you shouldn’t ever fear judgment, as they are the people most able to see triggers and behavioral challenges that might pass you by. They can help you course-correct when your recovery faces challenges, and can make sure that a relapse or slip won’t be the end of the road.
Strong support network can provide you with the motivation to complete your treatment, and commit to continuing on down the road of recovery throughout your life. You’re not always going to want to carry on sobriety for yourself – slips and relapses do happen – but it’s likely you’ll be able to continue recovery if you know you’re also doing this for other people in your support network.
Sometimes a change of perspective is all you need to increase motivation. People in your support network can offer you this.
What to Look for When Building a Support Network
A support network doesn’t just have to be your family or friends (although both should be considered), it can be made up of a whole range of people including those who you think have a different perspective on your situation and those who have been through similar experiences. Being in touch with successful recovering individuals alongside having professional support as a part of your support network can be pivotal in helping you recover.
You don’t have to formally initiate these people into a formal support network as such but talking about what you need from them is important, as is being open about your expectations and what you’re going through. You’re looking for people who will be for you during hard times as well as the good, and support you when you need it but hold you accountable too. The right support network coupled with the right professional advice can set you up for a lifetime of successful recovery.
The road to recovery can be a long journey and we understand that isolation can be crippling but you’re not alone. Contact us today to discuss your options.