Isolation is one of the most common characteristics of the disease of addiction. As the desire to acquire and use intoxicating substances takes over your life, you become secretive and withdrawn from family and friends. Other intense emotions, such as feelings of guilt and denial, can perpetuate the cycle of loneliness and make you want to separate yourself even further from the world.
Many addicts refuse help for years because of this isolation, insisting that their problem is not severe enough to merit professional treatment or that they can quit drinking or using on their own. The idea of getting well by participating in recovery can be frightening because it requires you to trust others after years of hiding the extent of your substance abuse and lying to yourself and other people about your activities.
The Importance of Community in Addiction Recovery
Once you have decided to pursue your recovery, the community you can find through group therapy, 12-step meetings and recovery coaching will form the backbone of your sobriety. The people you meet while you are in addiction treatment will all share the same goals, which can be highly motivational and go a long way toward holding you accountable for making continued progress.
When you hear other people talk about the challenges they are working to overcome, it will help you feel less alone to realize how similar their stories are to yours. Becoming a participating member of a recovery community and remaining active within that group, even after your treatment period has ended, will be integral to helping preserve your sobriety and prevent a relapse.
The Role of Your Sober Support Network
The first year of addiction recovery presents many challenges, potential pitfalls and relapse triggers. During this time, the sober support community you have assembled – including the new friends you have made in treatment, as well as your family members – will be essential to helping you stay motivated and keeping your eyes fixed on your goal.
If you are a recovering addict, your sober support network will play a vital role in maintaining your hard-earned sobriety. Having the encouragement of peers who share many of the same experiences is important, and so is finding a group of friends who are not linked to the memories of your active addiction.
Setting the Stage for the Rest of Your Life
Often, the initial rehab treatment time is not long enough to fully address all the needs of a recovering addict. After all, the addiction took years to develop, so it stands to reason that the longer you spend in a structured setting, the more successful you will be in your long-term sobriety.
At Vista Taos, we understand addiction is a chronic illness, and that healing requires an individualized approach to care. We have created a recovery community that provides structure through extended care for men and women who have already established four to six weeks of sobriety. If you find yourself needing additional help in bridging the gap between addiction recovery treatment and the outside world, contact us to learn more about our client-centered approach.