We are our best selves when we surround ourselves with people who care about us and desire for us to achieve our goals. Recovery is challenging work and is best managed when we have the loving support of others in our lives. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains that there are ten components in recovery for mental health and addiction issues. Of those components, three are focused on community: relational, peer support, and person-driven. These three aspects of recovery signify the importance of community and force the recognition of recovery requiring a community of support.

Recovery Does Not Occur in a Vacuum

Our recovery impacts more than our own lives, just as our disease impacted more than ourselves. The beauty of recovery is not only in our ability to focus on living our best lives for ourselves but also in our willingness to invite others into our lives and help them as they help us.

Recovery happens best when we allow others to help us. Most recovery programs involve the development of a support system, whether it be from friends and family or from others who are also striving for their own recovery. One important thing to remember as we push toward recovery is that we need help, and we cannot recover on our own.

Why Have Community?

Having a community or a healthy support system enables people to live their best lives and be their best selves. Having a healthy support system is having a healthy community. While every member of the support system may be struggling with different problems on different days, there remains the possibility of support for that person and for yourself through the different members and allies in your support system.

When you are struggling in recovery from addiction to alcohol and/or other substances or behaviors, having a friend who can hold you accountable can enable you to succeed in recovery.

Finding Community

The most beneficial aspect of community as you press into recovery is the solid realization that you are not alone.
Addiction robs us of our dignity and our lives. As we progressed in our disease, we felt increasingly alone, escaping from our support systems and hiding our behaviors. Choosing recovery means choosing life and choosing to engage with those we love, opening ourselves up to being loved.

Recovery involves choosing people over behaviors. This choice suddenly helps us find community and the impressive knowledge that we are no longer alone.

Why Is Recovery Relational?

As SAMHSA explains, “Recovery is supported through relationships and social networks. A crucial factor in the recovery process is the presence and involvement of people who believe in the person’s ability to recover.” Support systems are essential to recovery. Having a support system can be a defining factor in the success or failure of one’s recovery. Having people who believe in your ability to overcome addiction to alcohol and/or other substances and behaviors can be the catalyst for change in your life.

Your support system needs to have people who do not stigmatize you based on your disease. You are not your disease, and having a support system consisting of people who see you beyond your diagnosis and past behaviors is critical to your success.

Many people care about you. You may not realize that, but as you progress in your recovery, you will find yourself surrounded by people who care about you and want to see you succeed.

What Does Peer Support Mean?

Peer support involves your allies in recovery. While there are people who think support comes best from those who understand the disease, such as health professionals and/or others who have struggled, in truth, support can come from anyone. Your allies in support are your friends, neighbors, family, faith leaders, and community members – those with whom you are willing to share your struggle and ask for help.

Another valued aspect of peer support is your helping others. Do not believe any internal dialogue suggesting you are incapable of helping others because of your own struggles. Instead, recognize how, because of your life experiences, you can offer unique insights into the struggles of other people. You play a role in your support system. You can help others too. By helping others, you are helping yourself.

Quality of Support

You have the right to recover. A diagnosis does not define you. You have the right to live your best life. As such, you need to be surrounded by people who believe in you and are willing to help you engage yourself to your highest potential.

As an individual navigating recovery, you have the right to choose your support system. You are empowered to know what you need and who is best able to support you as you push into a life of recovery. Developing a support system is not just about having a certain number of people ready to support you. Remember that quantity of persons able to support you does not equate to the quality of support.

Your Community Is Vital

As an individual, you have the right to recover in your own way, choose those in your support system, and ask for help. Asking for help is critical to your recovery, which is why a support system is so vital for your recovery and overall wellbeing.

Understanding that you are not alone in your pursuit of recovery is the basic building block of a successful recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we recognize your need to have a solid support system, which is why we have an integrated approach to recovery in all of our clinical settings. As you pursue recovery, Enlightened Solutions provides resources for you and your family to help ensure your success. Our clinicians come alongside you as your allies in recovery. The most important thing we want you to realize as you pursue recovery is that you are not alone. We are ready and willing to help you take the next steps toward your recovery. Contact Enlightened Solutions and learn how we can help you begin building your best life and become your best self. Call us at (833) 801-LIVE and choose a life of community and growth.