Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction isn’t as simple as just staying sober but it also includes achieving a fulfilling life. Most people in recovery will tell you that their journey has not been linear rather full of learning lessons, setbacks and new discoveries. Hence, it is crucial for those who are in recovery to find a support network of people who have great insight on how the journey is. Family and old friends who will support you are great to have around of course, however in many cases they may not fully understand the recovery process or know how to support you like recovery based peer support and coaches can.
Peer support during and after treatment has become more prevalent and effective these days because it presents benefits in which are practical to the people who are doing the not-so easy work of reconstructing their lives. Peers can be of help to eachother in several different impactful ways:
Emotional Support: Coaches and peer support are great people to turn to as they know the process of recovery, how to provide proper advice or feedback, and how to speak in such a way that can best empathize with you.
Informational/Resource Support: While someone is learning how to live life without drugs and alcohol, resource and information on how to go about this is crucial. Often times people who are in recovery based peer support groups and/or has a coach will be educated on how to take on life’s new responsibilities living sober and/or pointed to great resources that will help them get to where the individual wants to be.
Practical Support: Peers and coaches can support eachother through offering practical help learning new skills and coping mechanisms that can be shared. As a result of this, an individual will have improved self-esteem.
Affiliational Support: A sense of belonging is crucial for a recovering addict to feel. Without it, it is more probable that the individual will relapse due to feeling isolated and lonely when the going gets tough while in recovery. Peer support groups and coaches are safe places/people to go to when dealing with the ups and downs of recovery without risking feeling judged and shamed seeing as they understand and want to help you through it all.
Peer support recovery groups work! From my own experience, I have been in several different types of recovery groups and some I like more than others yes, but overall I feel safe to share my experiences without the one thing I dislike- judgment. Instead I receive support, understanding and empathy in a time that I might be feeling vulnerable or looking for new wisdom and insight. Another thing that I really enjoy is that it helps me improve my social and leaderships skills which is something that I always struggle with while in addiction.
My advice to anyone who is unsure of recovery peer support groups or coaches- try it out! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! It is proven that the chances of relapsing with a support network versus not is far more slim as opposed to doing the deal alone. If you don’t like one group/coach, try another until you feel comfortable but don’t give up on the idea that other people can help you because you would be totally amazed at what benefits will come out of taking a leap out of your comfort zone and surrounding yourself with people who can relate to you on these deep levels as you get yourself freed from the bondage of addiction.
If you are looking for accountability, peer support and coaching, I would HIGHLY recommend downloading the app, Sober Grid. Sober Grid the largest mobile sober community and is a FREE personalized, easy-to-access resource for tracking and sharing progress with others, giving and receiving support. They also have 24/7 live peer coaching!