Your birthday is around the corner but, unlike many whose birthday is nearing, excitement isn’t building. Instead, as the day draws closer, you find yourself fearful or anxious. That’s because you feel your sobriety could be at stake.
Most Americans of age mark their birthday with heavy drinking and perhaps a dabble of drugs. During your days of addiction, you did too—only the good times just kept on rollin’ all year long.
If you are new to recovery, or even if you’re more seasoned, you know special events like this are the roughest. You could easily find yourself back at square one if you get around the wrong crowd or settle in the wrong places.
To help you get through it, you need a recovery community that can support you and help you bring in another year of life the healthy way.
What a Recovery Community Has to Offer
Around birthdays or holidays, it is not uncommon for those in recovery to isolate themselves. They think they are guarding themselves by being separated from the outside world. If they don’t leave the house or their safe place, and if there is no one there to tempt them, they can’t possibly be lured into substance abuse, right? Wrong. Isolation is typically a precursor for relapse. In solitary, you are alone with your thoughts and much reflection occurs. When it’s your birthday and you find yourself another year older, you can’t help but think about your age and what you’ve accomplished over time. This can send you in a dangerous downturn if many of your years were spent in a painful addiction. Feelings of disappointment, shame, guilt, and worthlessness can surface, leading to relapse.
A Sense of Community
Staying in touch with your recovery community allows for a substitute family experience when family get-togethers, well, just aren’t healthy. As humans, we crave tight, close bonds with people. Family represents a group of individuals who love and accept us, and those whom we can trust to support us through thick and thin—or at least this is how it is pictured in a perfect world. But if we’re honest, family members who’ve never suffered from addiction can’t truly understand the dynamics of addiction nor the recovery process. It could cause them to judge—see you as your addiction regardless of how many years you’ve been clean—or they may, in their unintentional ignorance, apply pressure to use or have substances around. A recovery community can act as a chosen family, one that is ideally far more supportive and less dysfunctional.
Staying connected to a recovery community during your birthday is a lifesaving choice, particularly when relapse can result in overdose and death. To better ensure you make it to your next year having made progress and no regrets, keep plugged into your community.