How to Build Your Own Recovery Community

After weeks, months, or maybe even years battling your addiction, you’ve faced it head on. You’ve enrolled in a recovery program and have made it through the detox process. You’ve learned how to manage withdrawal. You’ve worked alongside medical and clinical staff, underwent individual and family therapy, and participated in group counseling. You’ve changed. You’re not the person you once were — you’re stronger, better, and healthier.

However, the time has come for you to leave your treatment program. Now it’s up to you to continue rebuilding and reintegrating back into everyday life. You have the comprehensive discharge plan from your team of expert specialists and understand the causes and risk of relapse. But one area of your life you’ll need to build on your own is a new addiction recovery community to support the community you’re leaving at your treatment program.

Here at Solution Based Treatment & Detox, we know that addiction recovery is a lifelong journey. We also know it’s a journey that you can’t do alone. Having a supportive network increases your chance of a successful recovery. Here are a few practical steps to consider as you put together a team of people that will help inspire, empower and hold you accountable throughout your recovery process.

Be Aware & Honest About What You Need

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are four major components of a successful recovery: a healthy lifestyle, a stable and supportive place to live, purpose and participation in meaningful daily activities, and encouraging and uplifting relationships that provide support and love. Knowing this is the first step in building your own recovery community. As you assemble a post-treatment recovery community, we especially recommend you consider the following questions:

  • Who helps and encourages you to make informed, healthy choices? Where can you go for this kind of support? Are there group activities you can participate in that will inspire you to maintain a healthy lifestyle? If so, what are they?
  • Where will you stay after being discharged and what is the environment like? Do you feel stable and safe there? If not, are there other places that are more comfortable that can you can call home? Will you be living with anyone or alone? If living with someone, do you feel emotionally, mentally and physically safe with them? If you’re living alone, who lives nearby that would be willing to support you as you create a home that’s safe and stable?
  • What kinds of daily activities will you participate in? What will your daily schedule look like? Will you have too much free time on your hands? What kinds of activities help ignite purpose for you and how often will you do them?
  • Who do you think will be good members of your community and why? Who currently supports you? Will you have access to them after leaving the facility? What kind of support do you need? Who makes you feel loved and full of hope?

As you answer these questions, take notes of what you will need and expect from your recovery community.

Identify A Diverse Group of People to Support All Dimensions of Wellness

When most people hear the word “wellness,” they tend to think of physical fitness or healthy eating, but according to SAMHSA, there are eight dimensions of wellness. They are:

  1. Physical wellness, which focuses on the health of your body
  2. Emotional wellness, which deals with processing and expressing emotions well
  3. Social wellness, which emphasizes the quality and quantity of your relationships and social interactions
  4. Intellectual wellness, which highlights lifelong learning, creativity and new ideas
  5. Spiritual wellness, which is centered on having a core set of principles or values
  6. Environmental wellness, which focuses on your role in making the world a better place
  7. Occupational wellness, which deals with finding work you enjoy and are passionate about
  8. Financial wellness, which focuses on meeting current and future financial goals

Ensuring that you’re supporting each dimension of wellness in your own life will help you reach and maintain your highest potential. That’s why we recommend your recovery community include at least one person for every dimension of wellness. Identifying individuals to help support your different dimensions of wellness could look something like this:

  • Exercise partners, coaches, personal trainers and/or nutritionists for physical wellness
  • Friends, therapists, psychologists and/or counselors for emotional wellness
  • People who make you laugh and sober companions for social wellness
  • Art instructors, teachers, and mentors for intellectual wellness
  • Spiritual leaders, prayer/meditation partners, and people who volunteer and/or serve others for spiritual wellness
  • Nature lovers, conservationists, and gardeners for environmental wellness
  • Life coaches, teachers, mentors, job coaches, and vocational rehabilitation counselors for occupational wellness
  • Financial coaches, accountants, or friends with good money habits for financial wellness

If you find yourself struggling to identify people to help support you in certain dimensions of wellness, reach out to our team. We’ll be happy to guide and point you in the right direction. It might also be a good idea to look for activities that promote those specific dimensions of wellness and use those activities to build real, organic and supportive relationships. Once you’ve identified these individuals and they’ve agreed to be a part of your community, be honest with them and tell them what you need and expect from them.

Identify a Primary Accountability Partner

One of the most important aspects of building your own addiction recovery community is choosing a primary accountability partner. Most people who have battled addictions have difficulty with accountability. That’s why this role is so essential. Although your entire recovery community is intended to hold you accountable, this particular person should be familiar with your struggles and be able to refuse to enable your self-destructive behaviors.

Make sure this is someone you feel comfortable sharing, listening, and being vulnerable with, as well as someone you won’t hesitate to listen to when times are difficult. We also recommend creating an accountability statement. It doesn’t need to be paragraphs long, but it should include why you’re choosing to be accountable, how you’re holding yourself accountable and what the risks and consequences will be if you break this promise to yourself. Keep this statement in your wallet and share it with your accountability partner.

Join the Alumni Program

Joining the alumni program is another way to build your own recovery community. Just because you’ve graduated from one aspect of our treatment program doesn’t mean you’re no longer welcome. Our alumni program is a great way for our members to remain connected to our staff and receive ongoing support. Additionally, our alumni program helps foster accountability and relationship building. Sometimes, our alumni will take part in volunteer activities at our treatment center or in the local community. By “paying it forward,” you are not only improving your environmental wellness but your social wellness, also.

Rebuild Relationships with Your Family

While this isn’t always easy, rebuilding healthy relationships with your family is a crucial part of building your network of support. Often your family has known about your struggles and addiction from the beginning. They may even know some of your common triggers, helping to decrease your relapse risk. Here at Solution Based Treatment & Detox, we include family therapy as part of our treatment program because we know how family members can be effective allies on your recovery journey.

Other Ways to Build Your Recovery Community

Because addiction recovery is a life-long journey, we want our members to build the best network of support possible. Here are other ways to build a successful recovery community, including:

How you choose to build your recovery community is up to you, but we encourage you to be consistent with whatever avenue you choose. A major component of recovery is consistency. That’s why we highly recommend you develop a schedule for reaching out and connecting with your recovery community. In doing so, you create accountability for yourself. Should you not check in as planned, members of your recovery community will know to check on you to make sure you’re continuing to meet your sobriety and wellness goals.

Let Us Help You Reach Your Highest Potential

Here at Solution Based Treatment & Detox, our goal is to make sure our clients receive the treatment and education they need to be successful both inside and outside of our facilities. You can’t complete this journey alone, so build an addiction recovery community that’s going to give you the hope, encouragement, love, and support you need. Surround yourself with people that will promote all your dimensions of wellness. If addiction and/or substance abuse is preventing you from reaching your highest potential, contact a member of our staff today at 1-877-309-4311.

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