Human beings- we’re all wanderers of this earth. We all sightlessly feel our way around as we make mistake after mistake and learn a little bit each time as we go. Err hopefully- that’s the idea at least. The point being is that none of us really know which direction we’re heading in this game of life as all sorts of curve balls are thrown at us. So then we wing it as we go and hope for the best right? That works for some, yes, but hope doesn’t always transform into action, though. So what happens when you take drugs and booze and throw it into a mix of addicts and alcoholics? Talk about having no sense of direction or any clue to where your “X” on the map is. When you add various substances into the pot, you have a slew of barely functioning human beings blindly feeling their way around in the dark with no ambition to get out. Entering recovery is like being lost but knowing there’s still a path to follow at least.
On the road again, going places that you’ve never been. Becoming sober and starting over can be a very anxiety ridden thing to do. Realizing that aspects of our lives need to change entirely including people/sober supports, places, and things can be overwhelming in some ways. Yet at the same time, we as addicts and alcoholics tend to blow things out of proportion and make this “new life” thing some sort of scary monster when it really isn’t. Starting over and entering recovery teaches us that we have to love ourselves and that we need to find sober supports in our lives that love us for who we are- not just pretending to love us for the bag of dope in our pockets.
It wasn’t until I entered recovery and kicked the chemicals that I ever realized what real friendship was. Through our using travels and ever growing cynical mind frame building along the way, a large percentage of us become blinded to the idea of friendship. There are no such things as sober supports when we’re getting loaded because we push them all away for not sharing the same ambitions or aspirations we do. It’s all using friends with everybody sharing the “every man for himself” kind of mentality. So when we enter recovery finally and have had enough of life dumping on us, we want to look for ideal people to be around that maybe share some of the same values we do. This all pairs up with the saying, “you are who you hang out with.” If you want to remain sober, hanging with solid sober supports is specifically the way to go.
We psych ourselves with anxiety and/or claiming to be introverts most of the time and make things much more difficult than necessary, but making sober supports and new friends is easy as cake. How do you attract sober supports and new friends you ask? Well, this kind of goes hand and hand with an old Gandhi quote saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Without a doubt, we will make sober supportive friendships if we provide sober supportive friendship outwardly.
Going regularly to Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meetings is a great way to meet new sober supports. Of course, given the name, these are support meetings filled with all sorts of people that are there to overcome different addictions and alcoholic thinking of the sort. What better place to meet sober supports than at a large gathering of people all in the same shoes. Finding somebody unsupportive would be like a “Where’s Waldo” page at some of these meetings.
At these support groups- and most anonymous meetings for that matter, they have “phone lists.” These are just a compilation of names of the people who usually attend said meeting and have written their phone number down to be of recovery related aid. Taking one of these phone lists can be a life saver- literally. These scraps of paper consist of all sorts of names who are willing to be there for you, a stranger, at the drop of a hat. That’s what recovery and finding solid sober supports does for us. This is a fantastic start but of course was the introverted manner of doing things. Going to one of these N.A. or A.A. meetings and walking up and shaking hands with some of the welcoming faces is another way to step right into it. Once we get a little more comfortable with ourselves and slowly crawl out of our shells, we find it much easier than anticipated to spark conversation with somebody who has so many similarities to our own selves.
The absolute best method for making sober supports is just being social- plain and simple. Once we fully recognize that we are not alone in this world and that there are other like-minded people, we begin to understand that vulnerability isn’t such a bad thing after all. Opening up to others and not self-sabotaging the potential relationships that walk into our lives is one of the best ways to build a support network. It can be hard to not pre-evaluate the dude across the room with awful tattoos and a pookah shell necklace, but being open and willing for new relationships to waltz into your life is the ones of the keys to making strong friendships. All it takes is just greeting one or two unfamiliar faces and having him/her introduce you to somebody new. This, in turn, will continue to snowball as long as we put into it what we’re expecting back. Sober supports walk amongst us everywhere if you actually look in the right places. Connect to the right people and it will benefit you more than you could’ve ever imagined.
We all want to find people that we connect with. Supportive relationships sometimes are the love we need to really keep going when the tough times have reduced us down to rubble. It’s nice to have others there for us, but when we can be of healthy mind and body and flip the switch being the support for others- that is where the reward is at. It takes getting clean and sober first before we can do anything for anybody- including ourselves. If you or a loved one are struggling with chemical dependency and looking for a change and new beginnings, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com where one of our specialists will be waiting and happy to discuss the possible options for building a promising tomorrow we can all give a thumbs up to.