Importance of Community in Recovery
Hello my fellow WSTC Alumni,
As many of us realize just prior to coming to treatment, addiction is not a disease best battled alone. Much time and effort is spent researching what is the most effective method to obtain recovery and long term abstinence from drugs and alcohol. After research is done, the “experts” engage in heated debates each defending and promoting their position. The answer doesn’t exist. There is no magic recipe that guarantees success in achieving long term recovery. However, one resource that has stood the test of time is being an active participant in a community.
Isolation is one of the terrifying symptoms of addiction. At times we don’t feel comfortable in our own skin so it seems natural for us not to want to be around others. By spending excessive amounts of time alone, we allow ourselves too much time to obsess about the past and the future. Frequently, our minds go to “what if” or “should’ve been” scenarios that don’t serve any positive purpose to think about. This is especially prevalent for those in early recovery.
Additionally, isolation is easy; it is the path of least resistance. Consequentially, some fall into the vicious cycle of isolating and then feel like it’s impossible to break. Unfortunately, many recovering addicts will go back to the behavior we know best when we feel alone and uncomfortable; using drugs and alcohol.
Many options exist for us to stay connected and involved. Twelve Step meetings and/or Smart Recovery Groups are a logical first place for us to start. Nothing is more powerful than one addict helping and sharing with another because we can relate to each other so easily. Moreover, a clean/sober community teaches us how to ask for help, take suggestions and learn how to make healthy decisions.
Places of worship also provide great opportunities to meet people that have like-minded morals and values. These religious based organizations provide much service to the community and will give you the chance to join them and give back. Social events are often hosted as well. We may look to expand our social involvement to things in which we already have an interest. For example, if you’re into sports, you may want to check out a local softball league or joining a municipal basketball league.
Let’s not forget about Social Media. Our Alumni Facebook Group helps over 500 former patients stay connected on a daily basis. Technology shrinks our proximity to one another. Online support groups exists that help people all over the country stay connected. I know Smart Recovery has a strong online presence and there is a site called intherooms.com that will allow you to participate in your choice of meetings online.
Often, we get close to one another while in treatment and form strong bonds. As time goes by we lose touch because we stop trying. We shouldn’t stop putting in the effort. The foundation of our recovery was built right here at White Sands. Let’s draw strength from one another and continue to inspire each other. I will continue to reach out to you. Please continue to respond and reach out to me. What we cannot do alone, we can surely do together!
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.