Lifelines of Support In Recovery
Connection is the currency to wellness.
Humans are social creatures with an innate need for social belonging and a sense of community. Oftentimes, substance misuse can hinder social connections, resulting in isolation and depression. One of the goals of recovery is to build healthy relationships and social networks that provide support, safety, strength, and love.
Without conscious effort, early recovery can be a lonely time. It is important for recovering individuals to establish lifelines of support to keep themselves invested in their recovery during times in which they may feel unmotivated, discouraged, or complacent.
Research suggests that social relationships are a critical component of addiction treatment, relapse prevention, long-term recovery, and stress relief. Support lifelines may include family, friends, colleagues, recovery groups, volunteer groups, religious organizations, a recovery support specialist, a therapist, a spiritual advisor, a sponsor, etc. It is important that recovering individuals establish healthy social connections with individuals who are invested in their recovery success.
Five Tips to Build Lifelines of Support In Early Recovery:
- Hire a Recovery Support Specialist. Perhaps one of the most important qualities of a peer support specialist is their ability to connect. In doing so, they are able to help individuals in recovery navigate and develop healthy connections and community-oriented activities that they may have been apprehensive about pursuing alone. At Recovery Fusion, we offer a customized recovery coaching program that is catered to fit the needs and strengths of each individual.
- Cast a wide net. Recovery is not one-size-fits-all, and neither are social supports. It is important to look for different relationships that offer different kinds of support. Many people continue to pursue the same relationships in their recovery that they were pursing when prior to recovery; thus, positivity and healthy boundaries are the only vital guidelines.
- Follow your interests. You’re more likely to connect to people who like the same things as you. Join a club or class. Take on a volunteer position. Figure out what you like to do, do it, and you will start meeting people in that field of interest.
- Take advantage of technology. Nowadays, you don’t even need to leave the house in order to make new friends. Social media can be a catalyst to social connections and activity planning.
- Ask for help. It is never a sign of weakness to ask for support. If you don’t have friends or family to rely on, psychologists can help you develop strategies to improve your social skills.