Supports are an integral part of the recovery process, and their willingness to face the challenges of recovery alongside those suffering from addiction is an incredible thing. For those navigating their sobriety in detox, residential, or ongoing treatment, choosing the right support is crucial for effective treatment. Supports are incredibly influential people with whom one confides and trusts with the vulnerabilities of their journey.
Having effective professional and personal supports has a substantial impact on one’s recovery experience. Identifying the traits of effective supports can help each individual manage these relationships and identify the most influential, positive people to help navigate the intricacies of the difficult recovery journey.
What Is a Support?
Supports are any person who acts in a dedicated manner to further one’s sober goals, either by providing resources, outlets, or engaging in recovery-focused coping strategies to facilitate continued sobriety. Supports are active members of an individual’s recovery in a variety of ways. This is either through constant communication or by helping enact specific plans to cope with the trials throughout any stage of recovery.
Personal supports can be any trusted person in one’s life. For many, parents, siblings, and spouses are incredibly powerful supports, while others may find the most effective support from friends or peers met throughout the recovery process. Not all people will be able to provide the same level of support for a variety of reasons. Determining the people who can provide the best support is essential to one’s sobriety.
Availability is crucial for effective support. In order to provide support or take action in the face of difficulty, a support must be actively available to do so. First, this availability can be physical. Being physically around to talk to or engage with is necessary for an effective support.
Physical availability can be the ability to meet with an individual on a regular basis for anything from enacting coping or escape strategies to exploring new hobbies and activities. Even the availability to occasionally take an afternoon to go see a movie can be a powerful thing in addiction recovery as these relationships continue to develop. This availability also is the ability to pick up the phone when called or answer text messages and emails readily.
A support’s availability also includes their emotional availability. Being physically present can be of little help if a support is not emotionally available. Providing stifling communication or providing few emotional outlets with which to express oneself will not be helpful. Being sympathetic and emotionally open and mature are hallmarks of effective supports.
Supports are a major point of contact throughout the recovery journey, and effective communication strategies are necessary to truly utilize this support. This can mean that supports are attentive when being spoken to. They should also be engaged in the conversation with their own verbal and body language.
Effective communication means learning the right vocabulary to help one navigate the addiction recovery sphere. They need to be able to help an individual understand emotional complexities and needs, as well as be able to keep communication streamlined even in the most difficult or stressful of times.
Challenging One’s Recovery
The most common misconception about supports is that they are supposed to help an individual with everything they need to get through their recovery. This is not the case. A support’s goal is to help an individual prioritize their sobriety above all else. This means that effective supports may challenge an individual for their own good, building responsibility and holding one accountable for their actions.
There may be times when a person may be compelled to act against their own best interests, especially when stressed or throughout urges. Effective supports should maintain a focus on sobriety, even if it means confronting the person about it.
Creating Different Types of Relationships
Effective supports play an invaluable role in recovery, but not everyone in an individual’s life will necessarily make the most effective personal supports. Yet, this does not mean that these relationships do not have value. It only means that a person should identify the different types of relationships they have with those in their life.
Identifying one or two supports and a number of friends who may have knowledge of one’s recovery efforts will be effective. While distancing oneself from relationships should only be considered when they pose an active threat to one’s sobriety and recovery.
It is important to remember that even a person’s most effective supports can be in a state of flux, and they can always search for new supports to confide in, with no limit to the number of supports they can have. For some, developing these relationships can be instrumental if another support becomes distant or unavailable for any reason. By utilizing a combination of professional and personal supports, an individual can gain the care and understanding needed both inside and outside of a treatment facility. This helps individuals facilitate a healthy, sober future.
Supports are a fantastic resource. Creating a community of support from personal and professional resources can create the best approach to an effective recovery. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we understand the need for an effective group to help you through each step of the recovery process, and we are committed to guiding you through each step of your recovery journey. From your first step into our detox program to residential and outpatient care, we can help personalize your recovery journey each step of the way. We will help you build on your strengths while overcoming vulnerabilities. Our sense of community and a comfortable, accepting atmosphere encourages you to develop these relationships that are so important for your sober future. For more information on how we can help personalize your time with us, or to speak to a trained professional about your unique needs and goals, call (714) 492-1119.