What Are Sober Supports?

Recovery takes time, and there’s always a chance that relapse may occur. However, part of the journey to recovery is having the right kind of support network to help. The overall responsibility will always be with the recovering person, but the task does require help from external sources. Friends and family provide some of that support, but having more people to be honest with and help you cope with the urges is always a good thing. Sober supports are individuals who step up to help you complete your journey to recovery by offering their personal support when you need it.

Sober support can help in several different ways. They are there to hold you accountable for your decisions. If you manage to drop the ball, they will help you get back on the right track. They offer emotional and spiritual support if you need it and know when to tell you that you’re not doing the best you can. Sober supports are a vital part of recovery because they are people who believe in you and that you’ll manage to pull through. That feeling of camaraderie and fellowship can be a powerful motivator to remain striving for recovery. Sober support networks are more than just a few people who are there to pat you on the back and tell you, “good job.” They are people who can be honest with you and you with them.

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The Importance of Sobriety While Recovering

A recovering individual usually has an uphill battle to leave their addiction behind. Sobriety is the start of their journey, and it’s the state they want to remain in, but the temptation to go back to using a substance can be overpowering at times. One of the strategies that many recovering people use to stay sober is isolating themselves from places and people with easy access to the substance they’re trying to stay away from. This absence strategy is a great tool, but it works within reason. The same goes for surrounding oneself with people who often don’t use the substance.

A sober support network is as essential as remaining sober oneself while recovering from substance use disorder. The company, a person, keeps can influence their decisions. Sometimes, it’s not even peer pressure, but the very fact that a person you’re close to is doing something that encourages you to do it. To avoid having this temptation to relapse, a sober support network needs to be as sober as the recovering person. Anything less risks driving the recovering person back into use. Sobriety is necessary for a peer group because it makes it easier to cope with the lack of the addictive substance.

How Can I Find Sober Support?

Finding sober support isn’t impossible. Many of the resources you can use to build that network are already available to you. If you’re looking to create your own sober support network, a few things might help you find the right people to build it with:

  • Get Educated: The start of building a proper support network is to know what you need. Ideally, you’ll be aware of the triggers that impact you personally and learn about the people who could help you avoid falling prey to those urges and thoughts.
  • Start With Support Meetings: Support meetings are a great place to meet people in the recovery program as well. These people may be searching for a robust support network just like you are, making them great candidates for consideration.
  • Rebuild Ailing Relationships: Many people who go through substance use disorder destroy their interpersonal relationships. However, you could bring those people back on your side and make them a part of your sober support network with the right approach.
  • Be Welcoming, but Cautious: Opening up for a sober support network means being vulnerable but to a point. It might feel like the right thing to invite anyone into the network, but you should be a bit more discerning about your associations. Not everyone you meet will want to be part of your network or want to be your friend. Just take it one relationship at a time.
  • Reach Out to the Community: Recovering people may have burned bridges during their time in the grip of substance use disorder. Rebuilding those bridges with the community can be a long process but a cathartic one. It also allows you to find people within your neighborhood that can be a part of your sober support network.

Why Set Up a Sober Support Network?

A sober support network is an essential part of long-term recovery. While it might seem easy to distance oneself from a substance simply, the reality is that it becomes more difficult with time. A sober support network is there to give you grounding and listen when you need someone to talk to. Among the benefits that you can get from a sober support network include:

  • Like-Minded People: Isolation can be the thing that kills a person’s aspirations for recovery. No person is an island, and the longer they remain in isolation, the worse their mental state becomes. A sober support network actively fights against this feeling of isolation by giving you people to talk to and interact with.
  • Increased Self-Worth and Self-Esteem: Social connections are a core part of how human beings overcome adversity. Sober support networks give you people who believe in you and give you the self-esteem you need through your social connections. Your sober support network increases your self-confidence and makes you think that you can achieve sobriety in the long term and follow through on that belief.
  • Accountability and Relapse Monitoring: No one is perfect, and sometimes we make mistakes. Unfortunately, it’s hard to hold oneself accountable when there’s no one else to talk to about the problem. A sober support network provides that accountability and enables someone external to yourself to monitor the potential for relapse.
  • Hope: The most potent motivator a recovering person has is hope for a better life. This hope becomes clouded over time if there isn’t someone to help them keep it in focus. The sober support network provides that perspective for them and helps them keep their eyes on the prize.

Ways to To Build A Sober Support Network Successfully

Ways to To Build A Sober Support Network

What makes up an excellent sober support network? First of all, a sober support network must be sober themselves. It is possible to gain insight from someone who still uses a particular substance, but introducing that person into the support network could ned badly for everyone involved. A sober support network should be sober and dedicated to the idea that everyone in the group should also be sober. This underlying premise is necessary for a sober support network to achieve the goals they’ve set for themselves. Just being sober isn’t enough, though. There is a bit more that makes up a competent support network.

At least one person in the network should be a professional. While members from twelve-step groups and therapy meetings can help hold each other accountable, one person should be a mental health professional. You should locate this person early on and tell them what you’re doing and why you need their help. You could attend therapy and self-help meetings for a long time, but without the support from a trained professional, all of this won’t really help you overcome your substance use disorder. A psychiatrist or psychologist is a necessary addition to a sober support network. Some facilities like Emerald Isle offer direct counseling services for clients who need that professional support.

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Specific Things to Look for Choosing Sober Supports

Your support should be people you like and get along with. The most obvious reason for this stipulation is that liking someone makes it easier to talk to them and rely on them. However, there’s also an underlying reason. If you like your support group, you won’t feel it’s a chore to come to them for help. The easier it is for you to broach a subject, the more likely you are to use their help. That doesn’t mean that you should only have people who adore you in your group. Some people are rough by nature, and they understand the concept of tough love. The group should be made up of both of those people, but not the kind that makes you feel that you might be better off outside of the support group.

A wide variety of people is what builds a solid, sober support group. You should have favorites within your support group and friends you get along with better than others. But you shouldn’t just have one sort of person in your sober support network. A sober support network ensures that you don’t lose sight of your goal and get the best advice to remain on your journey. Sometimes, getting the best advice means asking different people. Having various people makes it easy to find someone to ask about nearly any problem you might encounter on your road to recovery.

Sober Support and The Nature Of A Relapse

Relapse happens in three phases, namely emotional, mental and physical relapse. During an emotional relapse, a person might not even consider using the substance again, but their behaviors and thoughts create the right environment to fall prey to temptation. In the mental relapse phase, part of their brain wants to use the substance again, but the other part is aware that they’re creating problems for themselves if they do. This internal war can rage for months, but it wears down a person until they feel that relapse is the only option for them. Physical relapse is the actual act of using the substance again. Sometimes, the initial use is all the person needs to realize why they decided to get clean. Sometimes, however, relapse leads to returning to old patterns and habits.

Sober support erects barriers at every stage of the relapse process, making it more difficult for the recovering person to accept using the substance again. Accountability and community support help deal with emotional relapse by giving the recovering person an outlet for their thoughts. Being surrounded by people who support them makes a recovering person realize that they are trying their best, and others recognize that. This feeling of support helps to avoid mental relapse. Once mental and emotional deterioration are avoided, the person never gets to the point of using again. Sober support is among the most successful ways for a person to avoid falling prey to relapse.

Residential Treatment with Sober Support In Mind At Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle provides residential treatment and a sober support network that can help recovering people develop their own safety net. The members of Emerald Isle all come for the same reason. Mental health professionals set the stage and give visitors the tools they need to succeed in the long term. However, the facility also provides a place for bonding and creating a recovering person’s own sober support network. Won’t you join us and craft your own support network? We’ll be glad to guide you along the way!