One of the more effective ways of combating addiction is to continue to work on it after you leave rehab.
While completing drug and alcohol treatment is a HUGE first step, there are certain lifestyle changes that are necessary to ensure continued sobriety. One of the things we must continue to work on is replacing negative sources in our lives with positive, supportive and meaningful ones. By placing ourselves back into negative situations, we may be putting our recovery at risk. Therefore; it is crucial to create a network of people, places and things that support our new journey.
So how do we do this? Many of us in recovery are familiar with the 12-Step program. The benefits of 12-Step involvement are plentiful; however, there is one that undoubtedly outshines the rest – support. 12-Step involvement has been proven to be extremely effective for continued support, a sense of community and individual growth.
It is my personal experience that we cannot do this alone! Or rather, why struggle alone when there are opportunities to flourish with the support of others? Involvement in a 12-Step fellowship has provided me first and foremost with the opportunity to find positive and supportive friendships. I was able to build strong relationships with individuals, who have experience living life clean and sober. My peers provided me support on the days where my mind considered going down that old road again. I would find it hard to feel the support I need without people that can truly relate. There was a deeper understanding of my struggles, as many of my peers had been down the same road. I also grew to understand that it is possible to have fun in recovery as there’s often gatherings, retreats, conventions and even parties.
Being in recovery can open so many doors such as; friendships, internal happiness, the ability to deal with mental health issues, mending relationships with our loved ones, employment, and most importantly self-discovery. There are various 12 Step fellowships in many areas. My hope is that every addict gives this a chance so that they can find the freedom that is so often stolen from us while in active addiction. There is hope. There is a solution. With a little bit of open mindedness and willingness, it is available to us all!
Author: Kristen Hall, Footprints to Recovery – Regional Outreach Specialist