As anyone who has experienced the treacherous, uncharted, and often lonely path of addiction can tell you, this journey can, at times, be one that is riddled with tones of isolation. It is often said that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but rather, connection and the relevant addiction literature seems to support this assertion. Connection, in this context, can be in the form of meaningful relationships harvested with other individuals in addiction, it can be with family members and loved ones, and finally, and maybe most importantly, a connection with our true selves. The following are 10 ways to help us remember that we are not alone through the process of recovery along with some ways we can take action in order to feel more connected to ourselves, others, and the world around us.
1. Engage in a spiritual program
This can be translated in many different ways and forms, however, ultimately it is the responsibility of the individual to seek out our own path towards a connection with the divine. Whether we believe a specific God, energy, life-force, nature, the ocean, etc. is the source of the divinity within us all, we always have the option to acknowledge and engage this “force” that transcends our own human frailty. Abandoning our self-serving and infantilized selves in order to evolve to seek out a higher-order purpose is integral to the long-term sobriety, and more importantly, long term contentment of any addict in recovery.
Get connected with professional’s post-treatment
Once we leave the initial phases of detox and treatment, we are typically expected to function autonomously and forge a path for ourselves. While, in theory, this is a great idea, in practice, it tends to fall apart. This course of action happens all too many times in the context of treatment it is one of the main factors contributing to relapse within the first month of sobriety. Addicts and their families would be remiss to not take full advantage of the services provided by a team like Hired Power who, specifically within their Care Management, Personal Recovery Assistants, and Sober Monitoring Programs, can be the flashlight that helps guide those suffering from addiction out of the messy and tangled forest of their previous life. These programs will also help the suffering addict with guidance from individuals who have long-lasting recovery themselves during the first 90 days which is initially the most crucial time frame in early sobriety.
Listen to music
One of the easiest ways to feel, viscerally, in connection with humanity is to throw on your favorite album. Music is the sublimated expression of many forms of negative affectual and emotional tones that might be too difficult to articulate or express. Although not the typical way we think of connection with others, music can provide an outlet or escape for those times when we’re just feeling stuck, frustrated and alone. Grab that favorite of yours and give it a spin!
Immerse yourself in nature
If we can learn to become patient enough to stay calm and still while on a hike, a nap on the lake, a swim in the ocean, or walk through the park, we can experience the external world in ways we couldn’t during our addiction. Not only will these acts help to connect and engage us with our natural surroundings, but it will also help facilitate a deeper understanding of what is going on within ourselves. Just as we gain patience to marinate in nature’s offerings, we will gain patience in observing our own mental and emotional states which, in turn, leads to insights about ourselves that will prove extremely helpful throughout the course of recovery.
Hit a meeting
12-step meetings are a great way to foster connections on a larger scale. Even if you are not a fan of the 12-step process, meetings can become an invaluable source of social support and community. A reluctance into investigating the 12-step process of sponsorship and step-work is not an excuse to ignore the dire need to have like-minded individuals where we can discuss frustrations, successes, and our day to day lives in the context of battling the disease of addiction. If transportation is an issue, as it certainly is for the majority of newcomers to the recovery process, Hired Power offers a Safe Passage program where they offer transportation and support for activities like meetings, and even for services that require transportation to lawyers’ offices, physician appointments, and other recovery-related appointments.
Reach out! You’re not in this alone!
Reaching out our hands is an important act in and of itself while in early sobriety, but it also acts as a new behavior we can add to our repertoire in the event that we ever feel isolated and alone. Most of us, fresh from active addiction, were stubborn and believed that we could get better on our own. Unfortunately, if we have any recovery at all, we have likely realized that this was an ego-driven fantasy. Another important aspect of Hired Power’s Sober Companion program is that the newly recovering addict is assigned a sober companion who has trudged the path that they are now on. This relationship between the newly sober addict and a Sober Companion is one that is not paralleled professional by any other organization. Early sobriety is a time ripe with possibilities, and ensuring the suffering addict has support, accountability, empathy, and understanding is only one of many invaluable facets of what Hired Power can provide to those in the early stages of recovery.