Although recovery from addiction is a personal journey, a sober community is essential for successful recovery. Most addicts have tried a countless number of times to overcome their addiction by themselves, often with little success. A sober community provides the recovering addict with the necessary support to achieve success in both early and long-term sobriety. Sober communities allow the addict the opportunity to develop meaningful and lasting friendships. Being and staying sober doesn’t preclude ones ability to participate in life. The companionship one will find within the sober community allows the individual to enjoy the kinds of activities that most of us take for granted and often associate with drinking or partying (going to a Super Bowl party, goingcamping, goingto dinner, etc.). Most importantly, individuals with support from a sober community are less likely to relapse.
Individuals who suffer from addiction have lived their lives with little accountability. Addicts often try to avoid all responsibility and consequences. Recovery is impossible without honesty, humility and accountability. In early recovery holding oneself accountable can be extremely difficult. Outside accountability is essential in decreasing the possibility of secrecy and encouraging healthy decision-making. Being a part of a sober community provides a sense of belonging and gives the individual a sense of responsibility. Trust and transparency are crucial components in recovery. The relationships that will be established in that community will provide the individual the ability to trust others with their feelings. In early recovery the sober community can help the addict identify and avoid future negative behaviors and patterns. Being surrounded by other like-minded people will increase feelings of trust, decrease isolation and ultimately result in one feeling accountable to both themselves and the group.
Years of secrecy and shame often result in an addict’s tendency to isolate themselves from others. In recovery, isolation can derail even the most valiant efforts at remaining sober. Isolation can increase depression and allow temptations that can lead to devastating actions. This journey does not need to be taken alone. A sober community decreases the chances of isolating behaviors and provides the individual with friendship and the support needed during vulnerable times. Being part of a community allows the individual to experience a sense of belonging and inclusion. A sober community teaches the addict how to ask for help, take suggestions and learn how to make healthy decisions. Life is full of obstacles and challenges. A sober community is made up of people who have infinite experiences and insight on how to stay sober through difficult times. A sober community provides a lifeline during these challenging times.
Healthy Influence and Motivation
Recovery is more than just the physical act of quitting drinking and using drugs. It is about creating a new life that encourages moving forward rather than reverting back to old behaviors. It is often suggested that addicts severe ties with friends who have been unhealthy influences. This can be one of the most difficult parts of recovery. Many addicts hesitate to do this, which often results in relapse. When actively working towards a healthy life it is imperative to establish healthy friendships within the sober community. The support and friendships found within sober communities provide motivation, help to avoid triggers and keep the focus on sobriety. A sober community provides immeasurable support and helps to instill inspiration and hope for the future.
It is often said in Alcoholics Anonymous, “I can’t stay sober, but we can.” No individual needs to attempt to achieve sobriety alone.