Going it alone is not the best way to conquer any challenge. If you were planning to climb Everest or take a trip to the North Pole, you wouldn’t even consider it without a support team to back you up. Getting through your addiction recovery period is one of the biggest and most important challenges you’ll ever face. Make sure that you have the best possible chance of success by mobilising your support team.
Who will support you during addiction recovery?
- Your family
Although your family may want to help you, they won’t necessarily know how. That’s why family counselling is so important. Your loved ones are the people who can help you to stay motivated and they’re the people you need to know you can turn to when the going gets tough.
By working together, your family can help you to pull through your recovery. Don’t leave them out in the cold. Chances are, they really want to help you, even if you hurt them during the time you were an addict.
Countless recovered addicts will tell you that the love and support of their families made a huge contribution to their addiction recovery, and that’s confirmed by studies that have shown that family involvement reduces the chances of a relapse.
- Your counsellor
There are deeper reasons why you became an addict – and you may not even be aware of all of them. Your counsellor will help you to identify and address the root causes of your addiction. You may have detoxed and lost the physical craving for drugs or alcohol, but the psychological issues that underpinned your addiction won’t just go away all on their own.
Plus, a professional counsellor will never judge you. You can tell him or her things you’d never want to discuss with your family – things you need to clear up if you are ever to recover fully from your addiction, its causes and its consequences.
Make sure that you feel comfortable about opening up to your counsellor. A personal connection is important. A counsellor needs to be someone that you can like and trust.
- Your therapy group
The people in your therapy group have been through similar experiences and right now, they’re in the same place as you are. You know that they are going through a similar process, and its great having the support of a group of people who really understand because they’re battling similar problems.
Although group therapy may seem awkward at first, you’ll soon find that you loosen up and begin to experience its benefits – and while you are being helped, you also provide help for others. As time goes on, you’ll find that your therapy group becomes closer and more supportive.
Therapy groups are a form of ‘peer pressure’, but it’s a positive kind of pressure. You know that you aren’t alone, and you can discuss any problems you encounter with your group.
- Your church or spiritual mentor
Your healing has to cover every aspect of your life, and spiritual guidance can provide you with the inspiration you need to keep at it when the going gets tough. Making peace with yourself, forgiving and being forgiven are vital steps in addiction recovery, and having spiritual guidance can go a long way towards making that a reality.
Having a person or a group of people that you deeply respect on your side can work wonders, even if they’re not physically present, and reaching beyond yourself to draw on a higher power for strength can get you through trials and temptations.
- True friends
True friends will be glad that you are now in recovery, and they will want to help. Sometimes, just knowing you can get on the phone and talk to someone who is supportive can be a huge advantage. But do be cautious that you aren’t mixing with people who will tempt you towards the very substances you need to eliminate from your life!
- Your employer
Telling your employer that you are in recovery may seem like a scary step, but most employers will be supportive. Just telling your boss about your recovery process will make you even less likely to backslide.
As you can see, addiction recovery takes a team of people who are all on your side rooting for you. It’s a good idea to keep a few ‘emergency numbers’ handy. Promise yourself that you will call one of these emergency supporters if you are tempted to use alcohol or drugs. You may find that just knowing they’re on standby helps you to pull through difficult times.