Getting and staying sober can seem like an impossible task for a newcomer in the rooms, and it is easy to lose sight of the simple joys and benefits our new life will bring. For example, being surrounded by a group of loving and compassionate people who have also been through the same feelings and experiences that we have. Although there are a lot of alcoholics and addicts out in the world, the recovered ones are a pretty rare breed. We are told from the very beginning of our journey to “stick with the winners” which means building relationships with solid sober supports.
For many of us, the first step was unconsciously taken before we even decided to get sober. We are powerless over drugs or alcohol, and our lives have become unmanageable. So moving forward, we became willing to believe in a power greater than ourselves.
This is where a lot of people have a lot of trouble. It is also a crucial building block for a happy sobriety. A majority of people come into the rooms as complete and total agnostics, in other words, they believe that there is something great out there, but they aren’t sure what it is.
Trying to put reliance into something that you can’t see, touch or hear can be tricky for us, especially in the roller coaster like times of early sobriety. This is where the value of sober supports comes into play.
In my previous life, I took advantage of God by praying only when I was trouble and needed help, like avoiding that DUI ticket or finding enough money to help me feel okay for the next few hours. As I became more connected to and honest with my sober supports, I was taught that although I wasn’t sure what my idea of a Higher Power was, I could be damn sure that the overwhelming sense of community and compassion that these alcoholics had for each other would work just fine.
Surrounding ourselves with solid sober supports gives us just a little bit of hope that we can someday build a spiritual life for ourselves. Even if we may not necessarily believe, we can see that our sober supports do and that it is working for them. We can witness the reliance and the trust that our friends place in their Higher Power (each original to the person) and finally after we are told for the hundredth time to “pray on it” or “ask your higher power” we begin to seek out our own understanding of a God.
Our sober supports are the people who guide us through the maze of early recovery. They provide us with a template for which we want to base our sobriety off of. This is why it is so important to choose to surround yourself with people who are doing right by their program, right by their Higher Power, and right by the traditions of the 12 step programs.
All of these changes can be pretty exhausting without some strong shoulders to lean on. We first have to admit that we can’t do this alone. If you’re like me, that was a pretty hard pill to swallow, I hated asking for help, and I never wanted to be a burden. After multiple relapses, I finally decided to reach out to the other alcoholics who were so desperately trying to help me when I was struggling.
Strong sober supports give us their strength when times are tough. They provide us with a network of like-minded people who understand our craziness because they have probably been through the exact situation that we are going through. The best part is we can learn from their experiences without having to make our own mistakes.
What Makes Someone a Good Sober Support?
Again, they tell us to stick with the winners. A winner is someone in recovery who is “doing the deal.” In other words, someone who is actively working their program, i.e;
- Someone who has a sponsor, has finished their steps and is taking others through theirs.
- Someone who actively participates in meetings and has commitments.
- Someone who has a solid trust in their higher power.
- Someone who has a generally positive and healthy hold on life.
These examples are only a few, but these are a solid start. Personally, I always liked to really pay attention to what people say at meetings. If I heard something that I could truly admire, or if they shared a message of hope, I gravitated towards them. I have found in my own experience that “old timers” who have been involved in AA for decades always have a level head about them. I would introduce myself, ask questions, and then try and emulate how they work their program. These are the people who have been through the ringer and have come out the other side stronger, wiser, and with compassion for the rest of us.
Staying in the loop with your sober supports can be hard sometimes because as alcoholics and addicts, we are prone to isolation. However, all we really need to do is just make a phone call, and be honest. Now that doesn’t mean every detail of our day, but just checking in, sharing a little of what’s going on in your head, and then asking about them. It is truly just retraining ourselves how to be normal, social, human beings. It’s almost funny how hard it is for some of us to simply just be open, I know it was for me!
Reaching out feels awkward and forced and uncomfortable at first, but I guarantee that if you approach the person you admired after the meeting, they will not only be ecstatic to meet you, but you will walk away feeling like a million bucks. It is almost a natural high, and it is crazy how well it works.
Our sober supports will be honest with us, they will encourage and cheer for us when times are both good and bad. They will guide us back to center after we fall off track. They will help to put our trust in our higher power, and they will never judge us for what our conception of God is. They will love us until we learn to love ourselves. They will understand when we have a bad day and want to shut the world out, and they will love us through it. All we have to do is ask.
Seeking Treatment for Alcoholism and Addiction
Getting clean and sober from drugs and alcohol is the most important thing that an addict or alcoholic can do in their life. At Pinnacle Recovery, we understand this and we are here to help you through the anxiety that going to a treatment center for drugs can bring. With help from our professionals, you can find a new life in sobriety with the least amount of resistance possible, and you can learn what it means to achieve a sustained and happy recovery. So call us today at 1-866-301-0573 and begin your journey to recovery the right way, with Pinnacle Recovery.