How to Lean on Others for Support in Recovery From Drug & Alcohol Abuse
Sometimes life puts you in tough situations, and you need someone to communicate your feelings to. When you are recovering from substance use, there might be days when cravings hit, and you feel like hiding yourself away. On those days, rather than isolating, talk with your close friends and family who are there to help you through.
Help them understand the situation and work with them to find a solution to those urges, triggers, and cravings. Let’s discuss ways you can lean on others for help.
Ask for Help
Everyone needs the help of someone else in one situation or another. As you grow and change, you will face many situations that require asking for help. Leaning on others can be difficult because pride and embarrassment might get in the way.
Asking for help is highly beneficial when you just can't make something work on your own, so ask for help and support when you need it. Accept that help and return the favor when that person is in need. When you do this, it helps you grow as an individual and accomplish your goals.
Recovering from addiction is a massive undertaking, and nearly everyone going through it needs some kind of help, whether that be from a treatment center, a therapist, or a supportive group of family and friends. Reach out to the proper person when you need it.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Like asking for help, stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult. Just imagine the possibilities awaiting you! You might discover a hidden talent or find something you didn'\t know you would love.
Try doing new things with people you know and trust at first so you can gain the confidence to step up again and outside of your comfort zone. You may just find a group of people with similar interests to spend time with and grow close to.
Take the time to explore new hobbies, read new books, or try new foods. Exercise or yoga releases brain chemicals called endorphins, which can make you feel peaceful, good, and happy. You might rather spend time volunteering for a good cause, like an animal shelter, orphanage, or children’s hospital.
Whatever it is, new activities can lead to new friends with interests like yours and giving back goes a long way toward healing. It's easy to lose part of yourself while in the grip of addiction and need something good to occupy your mind afterward.
Now that you've taken care of yourself mentally and physically, it's time to challenge yourself in other ways.
Find a Support Group
Lean on your close friends and family for support and help, even if your relationships aren’t as strong as they used to be. Think about going to counseling sessions or family therapy sessions to help you and your loved ones reconnect with each other.
Similarly, consider joining a support group like a 12-step group or a sober living community. This gives you a chance to interact with people who have been on a similar journey as you, where you can share and receive tips, have accountability, and mutually support each other's journeys.
Communicate Your Feelings
You may fear being judged by others if you open up to them, causing you to avoid communicating and sharing. Isolation in recovery is never a good thing. Being able to articulate your feelings is a skill and takes great bravery and humility. It takes patience and hard work to be able to communicate your frustration, grief, pain, love, and anger constructively.
Enhancing your communication skills in recovery is essential to working through all these things you feel. Being able to communicate with others, whether family, friends, therapists, consultants, or recovery group members, is vital to your continued well-being.
Heal Your Social Insecurities
You might be insecure facing the public. You might find it daunting to simply run out to do some grocery shopping or meet friends for coffee. Many people who struggle with substance abuse isolate themselves from others, making it hard to get back into regular social events. Others feel insecure talking about their treatment and recovery process, especially if they've spent time in inpatient treatment.
The best way to deal with that is to prepare yourself in advance for social outings. Social insecurity is very real, but it's important that you face that fear little by little so you can integrate yourself back into society. This may take some counseling or a patient friend or family member to help you through.
You might be nervous about something bigger, like attending a gathering where alcohol is present. In that case, make a plan to avoid the temptation to engage with the substance and decide what to say if someone asks why you aren't drinking. It's good to have an accountability partner for times like this.
Avoiding triggers may mean that you need to cut ties with someone who still uses or avoid places that cause you to want to use or drink. You might find a new social circle, do new activities, go to some other place to relax, etc. Triggers may also be emotional, like stress, grief, or celebration.
When those feelings come up, talk to a friend or therapist to find healthy coping mechanisms and outlets.
Asking Others For Help Isn’t Easy, But It’s Part Of Recovery
Many people are afraid to reach out to family and friends when they need them out of fear of judgment or misunderstanding. The fear of losing respect stops people from communicating their feelings to others. Having people around who support your recovery and can offer help through the process is crucial.
The Edge Treatment Center is here to share your problems in tough times. Reach out and lean on us to help you find the strength within you to beat substance use disorder … or keep your recovery going. Call (800) 778-1772 for more information.