Peer support is one of the pillars of addiction recovery. Those who get caught up in a substance use disorder often become isolated. Whether you’ve had arguments with those closest to you or lost touch as a result of social withdrawal, rehab can show you the power of reconnecting with people.
When you get caught up in a negative mindset, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling alone and magnifying how bad your individual situation is. Peer support provides a unique opportunity to develop a strong bond with someone who has succeeded in the recovery process.
Not only can you draw inspiration from the methods and tools your mentor implemented to help them stay sober, but you build a positive relationship with someone like-minded whom you can trust to help you through tough times.
Communicating Openly Without Judgment
Many individuals feel shame surrounding addiction, which can make it incredibly challenging to open up to people who have never been through it. Most people going through a substance use disorder have been told to “just stop taking the substance” — which contradicts accepted science. Someone with a physical disease isn’t just told to “get over it.” Your relationship with a peer support worker is collaborative, empathetic, mutual and grounded in trust. They can give you firsthand, constructive advice on how to maintain sobriety.
A peer worker is not an authority figure or someone whose role is to tell you what to do. They offer guidance when you’re in need and recommend services that could be useful for you, based on their own experience. You can work together with them to build personal goals and work on building the skills that matter most to you. You have unique strengths and abilities that may have been suppressed by your illness; peer support services can help you to rediscover and start making the most of them again.
With peer support, you get the chance to learn various lessons about life skills, coping with cravings, self-care and social interaction and apply them as you go. While you’re in the throes of addiction and the early stages of recovery, it can be difficult to imagine a life where you don’t use substances. Seeing someone who has made that change and is living a healthier, happier life as a result is one of the most motivating methods of individualized addiction treatment available.
Breaking Through Social Isolation
When you get addicted to drugs or alcohol, you spend a large portion of your time obtaining, using and recovering from the substance. Some people fear there will be a gap in their lives once they get clean, forgetting that you can happily fill this space with healthy pastimes and social interaction. Peer support can provide the bridge you need between isolation and building friendships, as well as giving you an example of how much more fulfilled someone on the other side of recovery can be.
With peer support, you have someone you can share your successes with and voice your concerns and insecurities to. The knowledge that you’re going to meet up with your peer worker keeps you accountable. Additionally, the feeling that someone trusts and believes in you to stay strong and stay sober is a huge motivational factor.
Learn More About Peer Support for Addiction Recovery
Partnering up with a peer supporter shows you that recovery is 100% possible. They can also help to put you back in touch with your hopes and dreams from the realistic perspective of someone who has been through the healing process. To find out more about peer support at our Ohio addiction recovery center, call us today at 330-953-3300.