Finding Support in Early Recovery from Drugs and Alcohol
The biggest mistake people make when getting sober is trying to do it alone, if you could of done it alone you would of done it already.
I spent about 5 solid years of trying to get sober and completely failing. There are a multitude of reasons, in recovery from drugs and alcohol, why people come up short. I like to tell people that you get in what you put out in this deal, it wasn't until I put my heart and soul into getting sober that I was finally able to create a brand new life, I sit here today almost 5 years sober. I want to talk about what I believe to be the most important component for me getting sober. Human connection. That is what got me to where I am today if I had to simplify it. There are several ways to find support for your recovery and I can't stress enough how vital it is that you take advantage of each form of support.
Why did I struggle for 5 years? I thought I knew what was best for me. I would go to rehab, be told all types of suggestions that sounded terrible to me. Things like not going back home, getting a new job that I didn't want to do, staying in treatment longer. For years whenever I would be given these suggestions I would say I'd think about it and then just go do what I thought was best for me. It never worked out, not even in the slightest
I needed guidance, someone who had been where I was before and gotten out of it successfully. I got sober through Alcoholics Anonymous, AA requires you to have a sponsor to take you through the steps. I'm not here to tell you that you must got to a fellowship to get sober but I am here to tell you that you need guidance, if you knew what it takes to get sober you would have done it a long time ago probably. An addiction coach is another fantastic way to have someone to be accountable to go to when you are getting into a funk.
The winning formula for me was being transparent with a sponsor and when I faced a problem or had anxiety about something I was obsessing about, I talked about it. The power of telling someone exactly how you are feeling, especially when things are bad, is the most powerful thing in the world. The amount of times to this day where simply bearing my heart to someone about a situation that was really giving me problems is massive. If you are feeling a certain way about something, having a sponsor/coach to give you a different perspective can be life-saving.
You don't want to rely on just one person for all of your issues and problems in the world, god forbid something happens to them, then what? Meeting people who are on the same journey as you and forming a connection with them is paramount to walking the road to freedom from drugs and alcohol. I was extremely skeptical about meeting strangers and believing I could become friends with a bunch of random people in a short amount of time. What if we had nothing in common?
Turns out having the common denominator of being in recovery is all you need. There is a strong connection the second you start talking to someone who is on the same journey as you, no matter how different they are. It's been my experience that even if your lives have been radically different, the emotions are usually extremely similar.
Early on in recovery I had so many different types of friends who were also support. Friends who were early on like I was, ones that have been sober much longer than me, ones that had a similar story as me, every type proved to be invaluable.
If you practice only one thing in recovery, (please don't practice one thing but you know what I mean) practice transparency. Be completely transparent with at least one person, your problems do not have to be taken on alone no matter how big or small. Being alone with your mind is the last thing you need in recovery. Find people, make lifelong friends, help others, all of this is so good for your soul, you just won't know until you try.