How Sober Living Sparks Healthy Connections For Sustained Recovery

“Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.”

How far did your addiction push you from the people you love and care for?

When caught in the throes of addiction your denial and fear of having to explain your behavior to others cause you to shy away from interacting with those you love. Without these relationships, you lose your sense of wholeness. You learn to isolate.  The more you spiral downward, the easier it becomes to disregard the ones you love. Your addiction fools you into meeting their attempts to connect with you with contempt.

Once you’ve completed treatment, you can experience a time of fear, indecisiveness, even boredom. You feel disconnected. It is crucial to use this time to establish healthy connections in recovery.

Residing in a sober living home will assist you in learning to strive for the most significant potential of life. As you begin the process of early recovery, you will form new connections and rekindle long-lasting relationships with family and friends.

Isolation is destructive

Your primary relationships during active addiction were toxic. All activities revolved around drinking and drugging. You didn’t want to fear your behavior being confronted or challenged so you pushed your loved ones away seeking the comfort of those who could care less about you personally.

Isolation deprives you of the physical connections needed to live and grow, creating a void. Due to the lack of human interaction, your drug and alcohol use increase in an attempt to fill this void

Once you set a course for life in recovery, you long to reconnect with positive friendships.

In the opening quote, Brene Brown writes in the opening quote, “we are hardwired to connect with others.” Without human interaction, you devastate the core of your humanity. In recovery, you begin to change, and the feeling for human interaction grows.

Connection is the opposite for addiction

In recovery, you learn connections are vital to providing the support, motivation, and sustainability for change. You prosper when you're connected because you feel love and belonging. As you mindfully connect with your family, loved ones, support network, colleagues, career, and hobbies, and most importantly yourself, you’ll thrive towards achieving your higher purpose.

Sober living creates valuable connections in recovery

Learning to grow in recovery is a process. It will take vigilance and persistence action. At first, it’s challenging to interact with others. Healthy relationships encourage you to grow, learn, and heal safely and live each day better than the last. Residing in a sober living home will help you create valuable relationships with peers focussed on achieving the same goal: living life in long-term recovery.

Here are several ways sober living creates an environment which sparks healthy relationships:

1-   Sober support

Living sober is difficult on your own. You long to experience the “ups and downs” in life with others. The experience of sharing your triumphs and losses with others is what makes us human.

When you come into a sober living home, you’ll meet new peers whose goal for long-lasting recovery mirror your goal. As you establish new connections, you’ll find compassion, social and physical contact, empathy, validation, and accountability. Rekindling the sense of belonging triggers the need for healing and growth.

In a supported living environment, you’ll be able to safely learn to use new coping strategies, mechanisms, and experiences while bonding with peers who want to help you succeed, work through denial, and create a plan to safely work through dangerous situations.

2-   Join a Club, sports team, or fitness center

While stuck in your routine of active addiction exercise and proper nutrition were not a priority in life. As you begin a process for recovery, you start to become mindful of how you look and feel. Years of disregard for your health and the consistent use of illicit chemicals take a toll on your health.

Enjoying physical activity with other residents helps to nurture bonds of trust. Recent research has established that exercise reduces stress and lessen the urges to use. Not only does exercise reduce stress and cravings but the physical exertion potential produces moments of euphoria similar to the effects felt after using illicit substances has the setting up a gym membership or joining other exercise programs create situations for you to establish new relationships with people who are health conscious.

Health conscious, sober living homes whose goal is to aid you in finding a personal path in recovery which is holistic in nature. Residents and staff will encourage the use of aerobic and anaerobic exercise equipment, swimming, running, or going for leisurely walks.

You can find listings for community organizations or clubs of like-minded individuals. While you were active in your addiction, you only had one goal. Now that you are sober you are learning more about yourself. Don’t let yourself succumb to boredom. Boredom is dangerous and a common trigger for relapse. Instead, take some time to research outdoor activities which might interest you, but you have to make the effort to participate.

During workouts, outings, or events with these various clubs introduce yourself to other members, Exchange contact information with them so you can start building a multifaceted network and spark healthy relationships which can support change.

3-   Rekindle family relationships

Sober living can play a crucial role in rekindling your relationships with family and loved ones. When you first get sober, feelings of guilt and shame can create barriers between you and your family. One primary goal of recovery is to repair the damage you’ve caused your loved ones.

Gaining the trust of your family takes time.  

Your family support is critical in recovery. Residents who have experienced the same regrets will guide you through acceptance of your past so you can reunite with your family. Your addiction abused the family through negative consequences. Sober living homes provide the time for you to make amends and rebuild healthy family relationships which are needed to support you in recovery.

4-  Support groups

As stated early, recovery is attainable when you're connected with a network of support. The best sober living homes do not force one pathway to recovery upon you. Instead, an upscale sober living home will help you to establish and find your own personal path. For some, this might mean attending 12-step meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, or SMART Recovery, or several other alternatives to the 12-step modality.

Nonetheless, if you find 12-step works for you, a sober living home will make it possible for you to have access to daily meetings. You and fellow residents of the house will have access to meeting schedules, a list of potential sponsors, and transportation to and from the support group meetings.

Support groups encourage growth and healing in recovery. The environment provided at 12-step meetings is one of empathy and understanding. Participants assist you in gaining coping mechanisms, relapse prevention, and connecting with like-minded peers through sharing their experience, strength, and hope.

5-   Volunteer and support others

Be a friend, and you will get friends. Taking part in some type of volunteer project is an excellent way to give back and make new friends at the same time. Research consistently shows those who volunteer their time to help others find a renewed sense of well-being.

Volunteering opens doors to meeting new people and benefits the community, which in turn will boost your self-esteem. You’ll experience a heightened sense of purpose the more you work to help others in need.

Residents in sober living homes frequently donate their time to help others in the community. Volunteering their time at community events, fundraisers, such as Overdose Awareness events, Recovery Walks, Blood or Food drives, or other events.

A recent study of the helper therapy principle, found that members of treatment programs benefit from helping others stay sober. When sharing their experiences with others who’ve experienced the same struggles these men felt a higher sense of purpose.

What happens next

In today’s post, you have been given several ways sober living can spark connections to new relationships. You have learned how healthy relationships help you to stay focused on your new life in recovery, help you overcome struggles, and rekindle family relationships.

In sober living homes, a newcomer can benefit from your sharing your experience, strength, and hope. When you first move into a sober living home, you’ll find the residents are willing to reach out and support your efforts in recovery. You’ll work a more focused program with new energy the more you give of your time to helping others.

Healthy relationships are crucial for forming new skills and developing a new set of values so you can THRIVE in early recovery. Our next several blog posts will outline the valuable skills gained when your purpose is to connect and participate with a healthy sober support network.

Head over to LinkedIn or Facebook and comment on other times or places you have established bonds with sober support?

John Makohen