How to Build a Strong Support Network
Having a strong support network can make recovery and life much easier for anyone who is suffering with addiction. As a recovering addict rebuilds their life and their self, a support network can help to motivate and encourage them. A strong support network includes the first people that the recovering addict may need when they end up in a difficult situation, when they need help or motivation to make an important decision, or when they have something to discuss or share.
The Seven Rules
As every recovering addict knows, building a strong support network is crucial to recovery. There are various rules to follow when building a strong support network. A recovering addict should take each of these rules into account when trying to remain clean and sober.
These rules have proven to be invaluable and can help a recovering addict stay on the right path. Building a strong support network takes time, dedication, and the right approach. Listed below are seven rules to help a recovering addict build a strong support network.
Rule 1: Do Not Do It Alone
A recovering addict must realize for their recovery to work that they cannot do it alone and they will need support. Many times addicts try it without support, and they end up relapsing. It is good to remember that addiction is a disease of isolation; recovery is about connecting with self and others.
Rule 2: Look for Successful Recovering Addicts
When building a strong support network, the recovering addict should find and utilize people who have been successful in long term recovery. There are so many people who talk about recovering, but their actions prove otherwise, these are not healthy people to be around. Finding long term sober people can help the addict to build strong relationships, which could turn into great friendships, and this will keep them from feeling isolated or bored. Feelings of isolation and boredom cause many recovering addicts to relapse back into addiction.
Rule 3: Different Support Groups
Many people only try one or two support groups, if they do not like these, then they give up. It is important to try out different support groups. These groups have been proven to be very effective and are a great foundation to finding social support. Each city has numerous addiction related support groups, the recovering addict will have ample opportunities to try out various ones until they find the one that suits their needs and is up to their liking.
Rule 4: Professional Support
Sometimes an addict in recovery feels embarrassed about their addiction, so instead of telling their counselors, therapists, doctors, and any other professionals the entirety of their addiction, they tell small bits and pieces. Addiction causes changes in a person’s body and mind, so it is important to be honest with these professionals so that they can benefit fully from the professional’s knowledge. In doing so, they can give the recovering addict the best possible support.
Rule 5: Family Support
It is important to find strong support in family members, but that cannot be the only support of the recovering addict. This is because addiction also affects the family and these people may also have some of their own issues to work out; such as, anger, enabling, or codependency. It may help to open up communication, but the recovering addict must work on their issues and the family members must work on theirs as well. Family members will be able to help and are great during recovery, but they cannot be expected to take everything on.
Rule 6: No Limits
It is also important for the recovering addict to not limit the growth of their support network as they build it. As time passes, they will meet more and more people in recovery. The recovering addict should always keep an open mind when meeting new people, as some of these people could be helpful and knowledgeable.
Rule 7: Be Grateful
Whenever a recovering addict calls on someone from their support network for help or to talk, they should always be thankful and tell them how much they are appreciated. As always, a recovering addict should only choose people who will be able to give them the right support and direction as they set out to rebuild their self and their life, but always being grateful for the people who make up their strong support network.