Importance of Having a Support Group in Addiction Recovery
There seem to be several cliches that have emerged out of Alcoholics Anonymous. But, here’s the thing about cliches. They’re often repeated because they’re often true.
Also, there’s a reason they haven’t updated the Big Book (much) since the 1930s. The precepts work.
One saying you’ll often hear is, “You can’t go it alone.” This is especially true in rehabilitation. A support group is there to impart wisdom, techniques, and genuine understanding in a way the rest of the world cannot.
Below, we’re going to outline six different ways a support group can bolster you. And, if we’re being honest, six is merely scratching the surface.
Reassurance You’ll Be Alright
Have you ever thought, “If they can do it, so can I?” Well, this is an oversimplified example of what we’re about to say. We hear it in the rooms all the time.
People who are new to recovery say, “I looked around the room and heard all these stories about people who overcame their addictions and thought, ‘I can have that, too.'”
So, if for no other reason than basic encouragement, it’s important to maintain your strength in numbers.
Tools to Combat the Difficult Days
If you’re in a support group where the members have some time under their belt, they’ll be able to impart wisdom you can’t find in any version of the Big Book. They’ll help you learn how to deal with urges and cravings.
For example, you’ll find that, when temptation arises, some people move a muscle and go for a walk. Others reach out to people to see who’s available for coffee.
For others, it’s as simple as redirecting their thoughts away from having a drink or a drug and turning on a silly YouTube video or Netflix drama.
Over time, you’ll hear many people remark on the importance of gratitude. Self-pity and wallowing are surefire avenues to a relapse.
Through your support group, you’ll be able to place all these feathers in your cap for the next time temptation arises.
Accountability and Support
We’ve heard this said before, too: “I was so grateful someone even noticed I was missing.” If ever you miss a meeting, when you have a good support group, someone is going to notice you’re not there.
Perhaps they’ll reach out to you with a phone call or text. This is a good thing! They’re not “checking up” on you or being nosy. They’re genuinely concerned and want to know if everything’s alright.
This creates a wonderful sense of accountability in recovery that lets you know you’re not alone and there are people around who love you and want to see you continue to grow to new heights.
People Who Resonate
Here’s another thing you might encounter as you develop a sense of group identity. There will be certain people in the group that will resonate with you.
For example, you might wonder why Jane has such a calming presence and John appears to be so “at peace.” Whenever someone strikes a chord with you, approach them after a meeting.
They’ll want to add to your motivation to succeed. Perhaps they’ll share a few tips and tricks that allow you to see how you, too, can achieve serenity.
Maybe Jane read a book that shifted her perspective or joined a new church community. Maybe Johnny dove into a new class and found new meaning and purpose for his life.
Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Over time, these acquaintances will turn into high-value friendships. One cup of coffee leads to two; that leads to dinner; everything combined leads to new adventures and activities together.
And, again, those with some time under their belt will impart new wisdom. Perhaps you’ll learn how to cook healthier meals. Or maybe you’ll join a yoga studio with a friend.
Everyone will have one common interest. But, sobriety is achieved and maintained through different tools in the proverbial kit.
So, as you learn about yoga from one new friend, maybe you’ll learn to play the piano from another. The point is you’ll be with people who are looking for healthy, rewarding activities that keep them far, far away from their old lives.
An Understanding Shoulder to Cry On
Here’s another catchphrase you’ll be sure to hear if you stick around and wait for the miracles to happen. “You only have to change one thing: everything.”
There’s no denying this is a very difficult task. Anyone who downplays it simply does not understand. You have to change the people you hang out with, the places you hang out in, and the things that used to draw you to your substance of choice.
It’s not for the faint of heart. Having someone to commiserate with over smoothies or buffalo chicken wraps will carry you through.
We see it happen all the time; a problem shared is a problem halved. And letting it fall on the ears of someone who “gets it” makes all the difference.
Find Your Support Group Today
If you find yourself looking for treatment, be it inpatient or out, we’re here for you. Here at Apex Recovery, we’re San Diego’s premier drug and alcohol rehab for a reason.
Together, we’ll help you dig deep and look beyond the substance abuse you’ve been facing. With several mental health programs available, we’ll help you combat depression, anxiety, and a host of other things that are trying to keep you down.
Come find the serenity and peace you’ve been searching for. We’ll help you find your own support group that will help you step all the way through and back into the light.