Our humanity as a whole has been thriving off of good relationships and a sense of community for thousands of years. Peoples’ relationships tend to go hand in hand with their personal well-being. More so, addicts in particular tend to isolate themselves as they get more entrenched in the prospect of getting high and drunk. But no one can change the reality that, as humans, addicts too have certain emotional and psychological needs. At their core, every drug or alcohol addict requires basic connections in their lives. It is the basic necessity of a human to feel loved, protected, and validated by others. According to studies, it has clearly been observed that there is a direct relation between untreated addicts and loneliness. People who do not have a sense of belongingness with their community members are most likely to take alcohol, drugs, and other illegal substances to cope with social isolation.
It is crucial for addicts and alcoholics alike to have a connection with a community because it facilitates the process of recovery. In simple terms, the community is important to maintain and sustain sobriety; else, in order to avoid the feeling of isolation, an addict may face relapse. At the end of any rehabilitation program, the journey of a sober person begins. Therefore, during the recovery process, it is pivotal for an addict to have a strong support system in the form of a group or peers.
Top 5 Reasons to Have a Community for Maintaining Sobriety
If a person has not experienced isolation beforehand, then anyone who is suffering from an addiction can feel it. It is because substance abuse can become very detaching for a person. Therefore, in order to maintain the impact of rehabilitation treatments, it is imperative for an addict to share their feelings and ask for help if it is needed. Here we have mentioned the top five reasons that a strong community can aid in the sobriety process:
It gives a sense of connection:
Recovery treatments like sober living houses help a lot in finding a community. When an addict undergoes such a program, they do not feel alone in their journey. The community comprises other people who have already faced similar moments in their life and have discovered their way out of their situation. It is an endless cycle of being helped, then turning around and helping the next alcoholic or addict. There is no kind of judgement in the social environment of the community. An addict doesn’t have to face condemnation because of their situation as other members of the community have struggled with the same problems. The sense of acceptance becomes the first healing factor.
It increases accountability:
When an addicted person remains isolated, they do answer to anyone and do not take on any responsibilities in their lives. Isolation often is the main factor in continuing the painful cycle of drug abuse in their life. It may look like freedom in the beginning, but it becomes the major reason for the breakdown in the long run. It becomes very easy to answer to justify one’s own excuses and negative behaviors. When you become a part of a community, you remain surrounded by those people who are there to support your recovery. When you have someone with expectations, our sense of accountability tends to increase towards them. This helps in setting another layer of accountability and protection from temptations. When people share real-time advice and insights, it becomes motivating for an addict to remain on the path of sobriety.
Learn to Have Fun
Many alcoholics come into sobriety knowing only drugs and alcohol. For many, drugs and alcohol were the center of their universe for years and years. During the initial phase of the recovery, medical professionals recommend to avoid social gatherings and parties where you can get temptations to take drugs, alcohol, and other illegal substances. But when you decide to walk on the path of sobriety, you will find it essential to have support in your life by having positive and encouraging people in your friend circle and family.
You must know that an addict can find community in the office, school, church, or within their own family. However, during the recovery phase, it is suggested that you seek the companionship of other sober people as they can extend the right support and guidance to you. Other sober people in our sober living can teach a newly sober alcoholic that there is such thing as fun without drugs or alcohol.
You get to live a healthier life:
Contrary to most addicts belief, recovery is not just about physically stopping the use of alcohol or any kind of drugs. You not only get to choose your way of living life but also get to create a fresh and healthy lifestyle. By choosing a life of sobriety, one chooses to move forward rather than binging on old patterns and habits. Establishing new relationships with people to whom you can relate is a primary component of recovering successfully. This open and honest connection also establishes a strong basis for the relationship to endure a lifetime. Thus, community helps a lot in empathizing and providing a life-long circle of friends who can have fun in sobriety!
You become joyful again in your life:
While in addiction, one might feel numb most of the time, and joy seems to be constantly missing from life. Even during the early stages of sobriety, one might face a tremendous urge to slip back into old habits and find it almost impossible to get past that feeling of helplessness. But this is where the community comes in. It makes a person realize that he is not the only one struggling and that his struggles be a page of history one day. The joy that the person has long forgotten starts coming back gradually. He or she will start feeling joy in activities like long walks, exercising, and even meaningful conversations. The hope for a joyous and loving future flows back. This is sobriety and this is freedom.