Left to its own devices the mind can be a terrible thing. This is especially true for the alcoholic or addict. They suffer from an illness that centers in the mind, creating smokescreens, convincing the host that it does not exist. It is an illness that does not want to be found and so it is suffice to say that the alcoholic or the addict is a person who more so than others, cannot trust their own thinking. They at times suffer from delusions and due to the chemicals coursing their brains, their thinking is often clouded and not reliable in the least bit. What’s interesting is the way that the disease of addiction works, it convinces the addict or alcoholic that their thoughts are the only things they can trust. Also, that people are out to get them, and in time, the person becomes completely isolated, relying solely on their own thoughts to navigate the confusion that is their world. This, however, is until disaster strikes and the alcoholic or addict is given a moment of clarity. A moment in time where the true nature of their thoughts are exposed for what they are and the delusions come crashing down. From this point recovery is then possible.
When a person enters into recovery, they are hit with a barrage of information, most of which centers around the idea that they cannot get sober of their own accord, that they must have a fellowship of like-minded individuals if they are to overcome their affliction. This can, in the beginning, be overwhelming. As if it is not enough that their lives have been ruined, many now have to deal with the uncomfortability of creating new friends and new associations with complete strangers. So why is there such an emphasis placed on having a support network? Why is it that someone can’t get sober on their own, or if they can, why is it that as time passes they will ultimately relapse if they don’t have certain contingencies in place? The simple answer to these questions is because they are human.
Why We Need Sober Supports in Order to Recover
Part of being a human being means having a natural inclination towards community. This means that no matter how much of a loner someone may feel they are, what is rooted in their DNA is a need for belonging. Many alcoholics and addicts have said, once joining a 12-step program, “I found what I’ve always been searching for, a sense of belonging.” As a species, this is what we are predisposed to do and fighting that usually results in all sorts of absurd social and mental conditions. So part of the reason why we need sober supports in order to maintain sobriety is because we need other people. The amazing thing about being in a 12-step program is that there is no shortage of people with who you can hang out with, and what’s more no shortage of people with whom you’d like to hang out.
Being around people and creating a fellowship is exceedingly important, especially in early sobriety and what you will notice is that the people who are serious about recovery tend to gravitate towards each other, while those who aren’t, don’t do the same. Surrounding yourself with people who, like you, are serious about overcoming the deadly illness with which they are afflicted will not only give you a sense of belonging, but will also give you the extra push needed in order to do the things that you need to do in order to stay sober. This is basic psychology, in that if we see other’s doing something enough, then we ourselves will start to emulate that. So in early sobriety, if you are hanging around people who are invested in their recovery, you yourself will become further invested and vice versa.
How Having Sober Supports Allows for Long-Term Sobriety
Another reason why having sober supports is so important is not made immediately apparent. The longer a person stays sober, the greater chance there is that devastation in their life will occur. This may mean the death of a family member, the breakup of a marriage, the loss of a job, or any other number of things that can occur. As morbid as this sounds, it is true. Just because we are sober does not exclude us from the trials that life often throws at us. So as we stay sober longer, we are dealt these hands and at times, you will find that the friends you have created, your sober supports, will be the only thing holding you up. This does not necessarily mean that they will be the only thing between you and a drink or drunk although it may mean that, but it means that they will carry you through these hard times. At difficult times in sobriety, especially as the years past, your faith can lapse and just going to a meeting, may not necessarily cure what’s ailing you. At times like this, your support network is going to be indispensable helping you stay sober, but helping you work through whatever issues may be arising.
But Surely I Can Trust My Thinking Now
Probably the most important reason that we need sober supports is that even though we may be sober, our thinking can still be extraordinarily skewed. It is said that an alcoholic or addict almost completely lacks the ability to have an accurate self-appraisal, and so it is safe to say that in order to accurately see one’s self, the input of others is paramount. The same goes for many situations in life. What may initially seem like a great idea turns out to be dreadful after discussing it with another alcoholic or addict, but this conclusion was only attained once counsel was sought. So it is extremely important to have a sober support so that we can accurately see situations for what they are, and accurately see where we currently stand. Without the input of others, most alcoholics and addicts would be grasping blindly in the dark, attempting to figure out what was going on in their lives.
If you have arrived at the point where you can correctly see the destruction that alcohol and drugs have brought to your life, then don’t delay— call Elevations Health today, at 866-200-3224. Get started on creating your own sober supports and join the road to recovery.