People who have been sober for a significant amount of time will tell you that it is imperative to avoid isolation at all costs. Staying connected with a recovery community is important because isolation is the enemy and it is a common factor in relapses.

An alumni program can be a vital part of your aftercare plan. When your aftercare plan is being written, engage with your care team and ask them to help you design a plan that works for you. Make sure the plan includes support from a program, sober peer support, and group interactions. You yourself must be engaged and involved in writing such a program to make certain that it will best meet your specific needs.

What Long-Term Sober Living Looks Like

It is important that, once you have entered the long-term phase of your recovery, you realize that your life must be focused on recovery. Do not simply try to squish recovery into your new life; make your new life a castle built to protect your recovery.

Your life constitutes your interests, your values, your behavior, and how you feel about things. Keeping thoughts positive in long-term recovery involves holistic change and connection with others of like minds. Recovery is not just abstaining from substances; it is the development of habits and allowing yourself opportunities for success. To succeed in recovery, it is important to surround yourself with people of like mind who have similar similar recovery goals. Community is important, as are connections and sober friendships.

Benefits of Connections and Community

Being surrounded by a sober community helps you hold yourself accountable and gives you a reminder of your goals and how far you have come. Changing your habits and healing are key to moving forward successfully. Having people in your life who understand what you are going through is exactly what you need to avoid relapse. What are some of the benefits of building this type of life for yourself?

  • Your self-esteem grows
  • Support keeps stress, anxiety, and depression at bay
  • Fewer physical health problems
  • Increased emotional stability
  • Stronger feelings of well-being
  • Connections give an opportunity to lead by example and provide support for others
  • Giving back to the community is a win/win for your health and for those you help

Growing Your Own Sober Community

It is important to have peers who will support you and who understand that this journey is hard. Put effort and time into building a safe and connected community for yourself. You have the tools. Some steps you can take to grow your own sober community include:

  • Find a great support group and connect with people with the same commitment and values as you
  • Check with your prior program and see if they have an alumni program if it was not included in your aftercare plan
  • Call other treatment facilities and see if they have alumni groups
  • If you find yourself isolated, consider attending one of the many AA or NA meetings in your area
  • If connecting in person is not possible, go online and find a sober group

Giving Back Helps You

Whether you are in recovery or not, giving back enhances your life. It connects you with people of like mind. If you are in recovery, giving back is even more important for you because it helps you to make life more meaningful. Probe deeply into your own recovery and decide how giving back will help you grow and succeed. Possible ways to give back include:

  • Start with your family and friends, and support them in any way that you can
  • Get yourself to meetings and whenever you can, share your successes to help those who are struggling
  • Volunteer wherever you are drawn to help: homeless shelters, hospitals, animal shelters, etc.
  • Support people starting out in treatment: offer a ride, listen to anyone struggling, and let yourself remember the journey so you can help people change their outcome
  • Give back to yourself: recovery is a very tough road, reward yourself for making it, pat yourself on the back because you have earned it, forgive yourself, and be kind to yourself

Building a community and making positive connections is the biggest gift you can give yourself. You will be reminded to feel gratitude for the journey and your success. When you are in service to others you empower yourself, you have a path, a place to be, and people that grow to depend on you. You feel optimistic about the future, and you see your resilience grow.

When people can depend on you, all of a sudden you feel new self-esteem and you are aware of your strengths and perseverance. Hopelessness can be replaced by hopefulness. When you successfully replace your substance with connections, community, and service, you finally have consistent feelings of contentment and happiness.

The biggest enemy in recovery is isolation. If you find yourself isolated, reach out to others in sober living, create connections, and create a community for yourself that you can rely on to support you in living a sober life. Isolation is a giant trigger for relapse; it is incredibly important not to isolate. As soon as you find connections, you will feel less isolated and any depressive symptoms will go away. People need connections and bonding to feel happy. When you feel connected, chemicals alter your brain, and the result is happiness and contentment. The sober community is the best place to start. Group therapy, support groups, and your sober friends who have been there for you on your journey will keep you on track. Vanity Wellness Center encourages making solid and lasting friendships with sober peers in your own sober living community, call us today at (866) 587-1737.

Categories: Vanity NewsTags: , By Published On: July 8th, 2022

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