Creating Your Support Network in Recovery

making support network

Everyone needs friends and people who support their sobriety. When you first get sober, you’ll meet many people with the same goals as yours. However, hanging out with only newly sober people isn’t necessarily healthy. To stay sober, you need to have more than just a few friends in your network. You also need people who have experience staying sober longer-term and a sponsor to help you work the steps. But how do you go about building your network?

Getting Started Building a Support Network

When you first get sober, you may feel intimidated talking to people with more time sober than you. However, it’s essential to build a network in recovery that is as robust as possible.

When you first get sober, you will probably go to detox, where you will be among your peers. You may want to exchange contact information with them – this is fine, but don’t make them the first person you contact when you walk out the door.

Instead, focus on the speakers at the meeting, who tend to have more time sober. If something one of them says speaks to you, ask them for their contact information at the meeting.

Many people who go to detox don’t continue to treatment. Relapse is a part of many peoples’ stories; this is why you shouldn’t reach out to somebody with fragile sobriety if you feel like you’re in a bad spot.

If you have outside speakers come to a 12-step meeting in treatment, this is an excellent place to network. Try to get contact information from people who have been sober for a year or more.

Making Friends in Recovery

Most people in recovery like to surround themselves with others who have the same values and goals. Here are some ways to make new friends in recovery:

  • Go to a 12-step meeting early and leave late. Help set up chairs or clean up after the meeting. Talk to people and learn their names.
  • Get phone numbers of speakers and other people whose recovery is attractive to you.
  • Consider going to 90 meetings in 90 days when you first leave treatment. This will help you truly begin to get to know people.
  • Go out after the meeting with others. When meetings are early in the evening, some groups will go out to dinner afterward. Make it a point to spend some time socializing with the group.
  • Go to events like picnics or conventions. You’ll meet people from all walks of life.
  • Consider sober living. Sober living is often a perfect way to stay grounded in recovery while transitioning to the real world. They usually provide structure as well as social outings, often resulting in a lifelong friendship.
  • Find and use a 12-step sponsor. Your sponsor can also introduce you to others in recovery. They can help you work the steps and build a support network.

Learn More About Sober Living

Sober living is a great way to start building your new life in recovery while in the presence of others who are doing the same! Learn more about our programs by calling 760-216-2077.

 

 

Everyone needs a friend, and as you spend more time in recovery, you’ll find you have a lot of people you call when you need support. Supporting others is an important and productive way to give in recovery.

The 12-step world can be a big second family as you start to find your way without the use of substances. The experience, stories, and support that other people share with you is essential to making your way in life. You'll end up becoming part of a support network for others, too.

As time goes on and you begin to feel more confident with your new life in recovery, you’ll want to be able to give back to others. Supporting others is a great way to do that. But how can you make sure you’re doing it in a healthy way.

You’ll want to be cautious as well as supportive if the person you’re trying to help as been sober less time than you.

Keeping Healthy Boundaries

Make sure you set healthy boundaries in your friendships. If you become friends with somebody who does risky things, be wary. A friend who is in relapse mode may end up trying to take somebody with them. Offer to be a shoulder or a ride to a meeting, but never put yourself in a situation where you’ll be around drugs or drug users.

Let people call you, but if you can’t take calls at work, don’t. Turn off your phone if you’re sleeping or at work. Let new friends know which hours are best, and it’s okay to send a text message to you.

If you become friends with the opposite sex, be aware that there may be complications. 12-step programs often warn newcomers from getting into any romantic (or potentially romantic) relationships within the first year of recovery. Relationships can be thorny and complicated. When you care for somebody romantic, you won’t be able to focus on your own recovery. Take some time to get to know yourself.

You may want to limit your outings to groups of people, or “guy’s night” outings rather than spend time alone with the opposite sex. Most of all, try to make friends with people who have been clean and sober longer than you. Don’t surround yourself with newcomers. You need other people with more experience for support, too.

Consider Sober Housing

If you’re looking for an excellent place to take your time transitioning to “regular life,” sober living may be the right choice for you. In sober housing, you’ll learn to stand on your own two feet while living among others working on their personal goals in recovery. You’ll have space, structure, and support to help you continue the journey. Call us at 760-216-2077 to learn more about your options.

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