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Peer Support: Standing Proud Helping One Another

Recovery can be a challenging process for anyone. Change—even change for the better—can be one of the most stressful aspects of life, and recovery is all about change! Remind yourself that you are not alone in your recovery. Your peers will be proud to help you. Peers in recovery have been through similar struggles and may have overcome similar obstacles. They might have tips on recovery or coping skills that they can teach you. Overall, your peers can support you and help you to build a sense of community in your recovery process. You may also help your peers during their recovery by listening to them, helping them when they struggle, and supporting them as partners along the pathway to wellness.

Support as a Pillar of Recovery 

Support is one of the five pillars of many recovery programs, along with accountability, structure, community, and purpose. Support is incredibly important for you to both begin and maintain your recovery. While in a long-term recovery treatment program, such as a sober living home, you might be living with a group of peers and staff within a supportive environment. Not only will you be supporting one another in recovery, but you will be supporting one another in your daily life. Your peers may help you in your recovery by teaching you new skills or by leading group sessions. Your peers may be further along in their recovery, in the same stage, or newer to the process. Wherever your peers are in their recovery, they may offer support in solidarity, as you offer them the same, during your treatment.

Group Therapy Sessions and the Power of Vulnerability

While you are in a treatment program, you will likely be invited to participate in peer support groups. Some of these groups may be separated by gender; by addictive behaviors, like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous; by co-occurring disorders, like Anxiety Support Groups; or by specific issues, like a Bereavement group. During your group therapy sessions, you will hear from others, who have experienced issues similar to what you have experienced. Your peers in group sessions may have an understanding of your struggles in a way that others cannot comprehend. Sometimes, when speaking to our immediate supporters, like family and friends, we may feel that they cannot relate to our problems. Group therapy sessions can help us connect with others and allow us to be vulnerable as we open up about our emotions.

Our vulnerability can be a powerful aspect of our recovery, as we expose deep emotions to others. While we may not feel comfortable opening up to others, with support from our peers in group sessions, we may feel inspired to express otherwise hidden emotions as we hear others express themselves. Healing from painful emotions can be difficult and often require us to re-experience the pain to recover. We may need to open up old wounds during recovery. Being vulnerable may be much more bearable in a supportive environment surrounded by peers, who have also been in similar positions. Group therapy sessions offer us a safe place to express painful memories and emotions while learning from our peers. You may benefit from finding peer support by seeking groups specific to your current struggles and addictions.

Learning to Care for Yourself by Supporting Others

For some of us in recovery, we struggle with not having supportive families or friends. Maybe our family and friends have the best intentions, yet they do not understand our struggles. They may also have given up on helping us due to the complex emotions they feel about our past behaviors. When we surround ourselves with people who do not seem to care for us or who enable our addictions, we may not know how to take care of ourselves. Recovery programs can offer us the support we need to deal with our struggles and provide us with opportunities to help others.

While you are in a recovery program, you may find yourself helping others through their issues, as you work through your own. Sometimes, learning how to help others can be a model for how to help ourselves. For example, if the voice inside your own head is negative and self-defeating, consider talking to yourself as you would talk to another peer struggling with the same issue. When we help others, we learn how to help ourselves. We also may learn from the examples of others by observing other peers supporting one another. As you help your peers and offer support, you may discover a sense of belonging and community within your peer group. You and your peers may help to hold each other accountable for achieving your recovery goals. By standing proudly to help one another, peers can build a supportive environment where recovery is possible. 

 

Finding a supportive environment for recovery is a key component to success. Some of us do not have support in our homes or communities. We may continue to struggle separating from those enabling our addictions. While we know that these environments may not be healthy or helpful, we might feel afraid of being alone without them. Peer support can help you to find a sense of community and belonging that you may be lacking. Support is one of the pillars of many recovery programs, and peer support is a way of connecting with others, who may share our unique experiences and struggles. Camelback Recovery offers a safe and supportive environment within a sober living home for you to learn healthy lifestyle skills for your recovery. 

Call us today at (602) 466-9880 for more information on how we can help you or someone you love!