When you’re struggling with addiction, you need support to achieve recovery effectively. The kind of support you need comes from many directions. You need:
- Support from medical professionals who can help you detox from the substance you are addicted to physically.
- Support of a therapist who can help you explore and improve your mental and emotional health related to your addiction.
- And, perhaps most importantly, you’ll need the support of family and friends.
Each family and group of friends has a different way of dealing with addiction and recovery. You’ll come across different opinions, varying from person to person. The mixed responses and reactions you might receive from your loved ones when you discuss your recovery – especially from people with whom you used to use – can be a chaotic and disorienting experience. It’s important that family members and close friends come together as one consistent source of support for you, regardless of the occasion or their personal views on substance use.
Without a consistently supportive network of loved ones, recovery efforts are often undermined and, in some cases, made incredibly difficult to carry out. Once you’re on the road to recovery, it is highly likely that you may need to distance yourself from loved ones who do not offer you their full support. Identifying the ones who do from the ones who don't is vital. Once you are clear on who supports your recovery, you can begin focusing your time and energy toward furthering relationships with those people.
How to Know if You're Supported
- You feel comfortable talking openly to the person about your addiction struggles and your efforts to recover.
- You share interests and can participate in activities with the person without the involvement of substances.
- The person encourages you in your recovery efforts and might have even intervened in your life and initiated your recovery.
- You know you can count on the person to help you when you need the help while on your road toward recovery – whether you need a ride or an ear, you know that person will be there for you when you need them to be.
Signs You Might Not Be Supported
- You share very little or nothing at all with the person outside of substance use. All or most of your previous interactions with this person involved substance use, and you feel as though you actually don’t know the sober version of that person very well at all.
- The person attempts to get you to use. Perhaps he or she does this under the guise of “moderation” or because he or she wants you to celebrate a certain event the same way that he or she is celebrating – through using.
- The person brings your conversations about your struggle back to him or herself every time. In the end, you never feel convinced that you are being heard.
- You feel as though the person mocks or belittles sobriety in one way or another.
If you are struggling with sorting through your relationships with loved ones now that you are clean, remember to focus on yourself and your needs first. Surround yourself with people who support you so that you have the social strength you need to resist the temptation and self-doubt that can arrive alongside the presence of someone who doesn’t fully support you.