It Takes a Village: Why You NEED a Support System

Have you ever heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”?
Well, it takes that same village to help you through your recovery phase.
As social creatures, humans thrive on interaction. It’s the reason why friendships are so sacred, relationships are so common, and family members are so close.
When dealing with recovery, this interaction isn’t just encouraged– it’s necessary.
Research suggests that surrounding yourself with individuals who don’t engage in risky behaviors can act as positive reinforcement for a brain that’s still fragile and could be stimulated by old triggers. Additionally, having the positive support of peers, loved ones and friends can more effectively encourage you to keep pushing through, even if things get hard.
But it’s also important to surround yourself with a community of people that have successfully been through what you’re attempting to do. After all, a goal is always easier to actualize when you can see, touch, and talk to the final result. To that end, surrounding yourself with individuals that are currently working in the same steps as you can also be greatly beneficial. Going through struggles and successes with a trusted colleague or friend can allow you to support each other as you both work to accomplish your own goals. Making a planner or journal to jot down feelings, and sharing those feelings with that colleague as you all work your ways through your recovery journeys can be a great way to address common issues you all might be facing.
In choosing a community or support system for your recovery journey, it is important to choose individuals that align with the direction you’re attempting to take. While this may seem obvious, it isn’t always easy to spot people that may not have your best interests at heart. In fact, the sad truth of the matter is that some people that you might even call your friends aren’t necessarily inclined to look out for your best interests. If they slip through the cracks and make it to your inner support group, this could spell disaster for your recovery efforts.
It’s important to ascribe to the idea of a recovery support group as early in your recovery process as possible. This group will be one of the biggest sources of motivation for you to pull from through your journey, and their encouragement will sometimes be the only thing to help you get through a particularly difficult day. These individuals, be they family members, friends, colleagues, or loved ones, will have your back from day one of your journey, and will be right by your side for the whole ride.