A strong addiction recovery network is essential to your recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders. Building your network may initially seem overwhelming, especially when you have just started rehab. Fortunately, we’ve prepared the following tips to help make it easier to build your recovery network.
What Is an Addiction Recovery Network?
An addiction recovery network consists of family, friends, addiction specialists, therapists, counselors, and peers in recovery. A recovery network’s purpose is to provide support and encouragement so that you can stay focused on your sobriety.
Your network is also there for you when cravings get too much or you cannot manage triggers effectively on your own. Furthermore, having a strong recovery network helps you focus on your short-term and long-term recovery goals.
Why Is Socialization an Essential Part of a Recovery Network?
Many people start drinking or using drugs because it helps them lower their inhibitions to be more social. However, once they start recovery, they can no longer rely on alcohol or drugs to be socially engaging. Studies have suggested that those with a substance use disorder have fewer support network resources than those without.
As a result, socialization is an essential part of a recovery network. Your network will allow you to develop your social skills in a supportive environment. Furthermore, learning how to socialize while sober is an essential skill you need.
Tips to Build Your Addiction Recovery Network
1. Start Slowly
You may be tempted to make as many friends as you can and repair as many damaged family relationships as possible. However, taking this approach can become overwhelming. You will also most likely face disappointment as not everyone you meet will want to become your friend.
In addition, there can be family members that are not yet ready to trust you or want to repair the damage you caused. So instead, start by focusing on building two or three friendships and working on repairing one damaged family relationship.
2. Define Your Needs
Your recovery network needs to know what you expect them to do to support you. You need to think about what you want to get out of the relationship as well as what they can do to provide the support you need.
It can be beneficial to write out your needs and objectives. Initially, you may only have a few specific needs and objects. That is perfectly acceptable. Just remember to reevaluate and make adjustments continually.
3. Participate in Group Activities
Group activities can extend beyond your support group and going to meetings. Other group activities that can help you build your recovery network are enrolling in health and fitness classes, continuing your education, volunteering for a local charity or community event, or joining an art class.
4. Be Patient
It takes time to develop meaningful relationships with other people. Therefore, do not get frustrated if things do not seem to progress as quickly as you anticipated. Instead, continue to work on the friendships and relationships you have established.
5. Do Not Isolate Yourself
It can be tempting to ignore people when you are feeling overly anxious or socially awkward. However, take the time to respond to others, even if it is a smile, nod, quick text message, or phone call. You should look at every opportunity to continue to strengthen and build your recovery network.
6. Show Gratitude When Appropriate
When you appreciate what someone in your recovery network is doing to support your recovery, let them know. You can send them a thank you note, text message, email, or call them.
If you feel a more detailed explanation is needed, take the time to explain how their support benefits you and how much you appreciate it. In addition, showing gratitude lets others know they should continue doing what they are doing since it is helping you.
7. Participate in Alum Activities and Events
Most addiction recovery centers will have alum activities and events throughout the year. This is a great way to connect with other people in recovery and make new friends that could become a part of your recovery network.
8. Look for Sober Events in Your Area
Various organizations in your community can host sober events, which can be a great way to make some new friends. Just remember that everyone who attends these events is not necessarily in recovery. However, that does not mean you cannot add them to your recovery network.
9. Remember Your Self-Care
Remember to take time out for self-care in between building your addiction recovery network. You still need to focus on your physical and mental health and well-being.
10. Do Not Look at Setbacks as Failure
Recovery is a lifelong journey. When there are setbacks with building your recovery network, or you slip up and lapse or relapse, do not view these as failures. Instead, reflect on what went wrong, how it went wrong, and what you can do to avoid this in the future.
Start Building Your Addiction Recovery Network in Columbus, OH
At Ohio Addiction Recovery Center in Columbus, OH, we offer personalized detox and addiction treatment programs to help you start building your addiction recovery network. For further information or to start your rehab, contact us today.