A healthy support system is important for everyone, especially those in recovery. Everyone needs someone they can reach out to in times of turmoil or those times you just need to talk.
What is a Support System?
A strong support system is made up of family, friends, mentors, sponsors, therapists, counselors, physicians, or even work friends. They make up a group of people that you can call when you begin to feel stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious. For people in recovery, this is vital. It becomes a group of people that an addict can share the good, the bad, and the ugly.
A healthy support system can help an addict not only focus on abstaining, but also rebuilding once lost relationships. A trusted and healthy support system can help a person in recovery because it can show kindness and compassion, helping to raise an addict’s self esteem. Tough love may be necessary at times, sometimes people need to hear things that they may not want to.
People close to that addict or alcoholic can begin to see some of the warning signs of a relapse and possibly help prevent it. Having a support system provides a level of accountability that can help an addict or alcoholic get their life back on track.
What is a Healthy Support System?
It is truly important that the people around an addict are healthy themselves. Some traits that make up a healthy support system are accountability, fellowship, and the sharing of common experiences. For example, when rebuilding relationships a lot of different emotions come up. Sometimes, an addict has hurt a family member so much, they may need to rely on a friend to help navigate those emotions.
That friend needs to be trustworthy and in a place that they can offer healthy and appropriate advice. Support systems are not limited to only those close to you. A great way to add to a healthy support system is reaching out to those you meet along the way. You may meet them in rehab and stay in touch after you get out.
The new people met at support groups, like AA or NA, or even an online community that you can relate to. As long as the people you meet and keep around you are providing you with encouragement and accountability, you will know that you have a healthy support system.
The Dangers of Unhealthy Relationships
In recovery, and in life, people come in and out of our lives. Some of them leave good impacts and others not so much. Being in an unhealthy relationship, of any kind, can negate all the work put into getting to a healthy and safe place. An argument or disagreement can put an addict or alcoholic in possible danger of relapsing.
Relapses can be prevented with the right people around. Being in an unhealthy relationship truly can set someone in recovery back. Old behaviors may begin to surface. Interactions with people within their support system may not be as frequent. These are types of warning signs that someone in a strong and healthy support system will see and say something. It can be any type of relationship. It can be trying to reconnect with a family member that just is not there, yet.
A person in recovery will need others to rely on when things get hard. Realizing that all you can do is keep your side of the street clean can be a tough thing to do, especially when it is someone you truly care about.
It can be hard being in recovery, at times. The counter to that is all the new things to do and all the new people to meet. Including yourself. Getting out of one life puts you into another that you get to design. You decide who takes parts in your life and you decide what your life will look like. It will have remnants of the past, but you have a new freedom.
There will be things that you have to deal with, but you don’t have to do it alone. One of the most important parts is picking the right people to be around and being honest with them. A truly healthy support system is made up of relationships that should be beneficial to all parties.
They are give-and-take relationships. As long as you put in the work, you may find yourself in someone else’s support system. Getting to that place is so important. If you aren’t and would like to be- reach out.