At Clean & Sober Recovery Services, we see one of the most powerful indicators of recovery when we witness a person actively participating in support groups and regularly spending time with others in recovery. Those sober brothers or “support sisters” might include friends or family who support recovery, members of the CSRS professional team, 12-step buddies, or sponsors. Community is powerful, and it can help build and bolster a strong recovery.
Here’s why immersion and active participation in the recovery community is so important: Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a powerful and wily disease that has been described as the 800-pound gorilla doing push-ups in the parking lot, just waiting for your moment of weakness. Anyone who is GOING IT ALONE against the gorilla for any reason is on the wrong track.
Of course, our counselors can quickly spot the telltale signs when a client is struggling in their recovery. But people are in treatment and with counselors for only a brief period of time - 30 to 90 days, at most. That short window of round-the-clock supervision can plant the seeds of sobriety, but it takes time and “practice” to nourish and grow a robust recovery.
This is a cunning and deceitful disease. Our minds might tell us “You can have a drink! One won’t hurt!” or “Pot is safe, because it's natural.” We can’t always see we are actively participating in our disease rather than in our recovery. If we regularly spend time with our peers in recovery, they can often spot the disease “acting up,” and they can offer a set of possible solutions. Like-minded people recognize changes in each other much more readily. AND the friend in recovery, counselor, sponsor will have a proven set of solutions.
Family members and friends should not be too discouraged if their loved one clams up at the dinner table but bares their soul to the 12-step buddy, sponsor or counselor. A person with SUD is more likely to openly discuss recovery-related solutions with peers, rather than loved ones. After all, it can be intimidating to open up to someone who doesn’t share or really understand our struggles. And there may be more than enough shame and guilt to stop any conversation in its tracks.
But that’s why we’re here – to offer support, resources, tools and hope. Call us at (916) 990-0190 to learn how we can help.
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