As humans, we are meant to be with others. We need love, belonging, friendship, community, and a steady sense of being supported. We were not created to live in isolation. As a result of old behaviors, we may have destroyed relationships and currently may be unable to repair those relationships. Our inability to change the past does not mean we do not need nor deserve a full social life in the present and future. Developing this social life takes effort and a willingness to be vulnerable with new people.
Having social support is fundamental to your recovery. With proper social support, your stress levels are reduced, and you become less vulnerable to relapse. There are many benefits to social support, and you may find that developing new friendships creates a new family for yourself. You need and deserve a tribe to support and provide you with the proper resources to enable your recovery.
Benefits of Social Support
Social support networks offer many benefits, some of which you may not even readily consider. Yes, being part of a group provides support, but being part of a group also allows you to give to others, boosting your self-worth. When you belong to a community, you will feel better about yourself and your role in the world. You not only receive in a community, but you give back too.
When you are a part of a community, you also learn how to communicate better, which allows you to be more in touch with your thoughts and feelings. You will also learn how to listen to others and reflect on how the world and others affect you. When you are better able to reflect, you develop more compassion for others and yourself. You also learn your limits and are better able to cope.
Other benefits include networking, which can help you find jobs and other opportunities to build an even larger social group. While having a large social group can improve your outlook, you want to have a few close friends who will become your inner tribe or new family. A close-knit group of friends ensures your ability to cope effectively through dark nights and weeks when you are struggling with your recovery.
A significant benefit to social support is the build-up of resilience. A solid support network ensures your ability to tolerate stress and emergencies, building your ability to cope with the ups and downs of life. A stable sense of resilience can assist you in preventing relapse and ensure ongoing recovery.
How to Build Your Tribe
There are a few considerations you need to make as you develop your support system. First, you need to ask if their behaviors are supportive of your recovery. Do the people you want to rely on to assist in your recovery use alcohol and/or other substances? You must carefully consider the ramification of others’ behaviors on your recovery.
As you build your tribe, you might need to identify what resources you can ask of each person as you move through your recovery and create the life you want and deserve. Ask yourself what you can expect and need from each person in your tribe. These are not questions of greed but of selfishness for your recovery. In turn, your being selfish about your recovery ensures you can give back to your community in a way truly beneficial to others.
An important question to ask as you begin building your community is whether the new people in your life can teach you how to have fun when sober. If your new friends do not know how to enjoy life without alcohol and/or other substances, this is a red flag showing their inability to help you in your recovery. Do not give up on building your new family. You deserve and need friends to ensure your success, not only in recovery but in life in general.
Another question to ask yourself is if these new friends can question your motives and your actions. If your new support system does not provide you with accountability, then those “friends” are not helping your recovery. These people will not make up the close-knit group of friends you need to ensure your recovery.
Will your new support system encourage your learning? You must keep learning to advance in this ever-changing world. You need to change your outlook, your skills, and your coping mechanisms regularly. These changes are necessary to promote forward movement. As you move forward, you are better able to provide for yourself and others. You are also providing for your recovery.
The Importance of Building Your Support System
We all need people in our lives to help us in emergencies; however, we also need accountability and encouragement to keep growing. Recovery takes so much effort in the beginning and on those dark nights. Having a solid support system or tribe ensures our success and our ability to abstain from relapsing into the use of alcohol and/or other substances to cope with the struggles of life.
We were not created to battle the struggles of life alone; we were made to have a tribe of people surrounding us, supporting us through our most troubled times and sharing in our joys. A fundamental element to your life and helping ensure your recovery is a solid social support system. At Renaissance Ranch, we understand the importance of a stable support system. We assist you during the struggle of recovery through support during treatment and the Band of Brothers network when you return to life after treatment. We believe in supporting you through every step of the recovery process. We also believe you deserve a life worth living, and part of that life includes a strong tribe to call your family. Contact Renaissance Ranch today by calling (801) 308-8898 and learn how to begin your recovery and build a network to support you. You are not meant to struggle alone. Let us help you begin the process of healing.