Community is crucial in addiction recovery. The community you create can help you in the most challenging of times and be there to enjoy the good times alongside you. Sometimes, the community isn’t the easiest to find, though. After finding a group of people to bond within residential treatment, you may be scrounging to find friends in the outside world. We all crave a community we can belong to, but how do we create that fellowship if we can’t find it?
If the treatment center you attended offers an alumni program, this is a great way to create a community. Not only can you continue relationships with people you met in treatment, but you can develop bonds with those who have been through treatment before. These people may know and understand your struggles better than anybody else you meet and can provide you with a strong sense of community.
At Jaywalker Lodge, we provide many great ways for our alumni to stay involved, including networking opportunities, alumni events (expeditions and activities), and a broad spectrum of volunteer opportunities. Whether at alumni aftercare, alumni dinner, on the way to a 12-Step meeting, on the ski slopes, or on a mountain bike trail, our alumnus provides an integral link to a successful life in recovery after treatment.
You may live in an area with limited 12-Step meetings around you or in a rural area, where meetings are a drive. Meetings are spectacular places to create a fellowship of people who have your back, but it can be a challenge when you can’t get to them. Luckily, with the COVID-19 pandemic, online 12-Step meetings have been introduced to us all around the world.
Finding an online meeting is as easy as a simple Google search. You can type into a search bar, “Alcoholics Anonymous meetings near me.” You can even do this for any other fellowships you wish to attend, whether that be Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and more. Most meeting directories will have Zoom links with the meeting time. Simply clicking the Zoom link or entering in the Meeting ID and password (if there is one) will have you in an online meeting in no time.
Use Other Online Resources
With the world at your fingertips, finding a fellowship of people to walk through recovery with has never been easier. There are countless Facebook groups, Reddit pages, and websites dedicated to recovery. While some of these people may not be able to enjoy real-life interactions with you, they can be there when you need a helping hand. A fellowship is only just one phone call, click, or direct message away.
Putting Yourself Out There
Sometimes, we have access to meetings and other people, but we may just be too shy to put ourselves out there. Getting to know others and letting others get to know you can be a challenging process. Early in recovery, you may not yet be comfortable with who you are in sobriety. Give yourself grace during this process, and do your best to put one foot in front of the other and speak to different people.
You can also talk to other members of a 12-Step program or your sponsor about putting yourself out there. Chances are, at least one person around you has gone through the same thing. We all face a level of discomfort when in early recovery. Getting to know who you are without drugs and alcohol can be a long and arduous process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek the advice you deserve.
Find Activities You Enjoy
Finding fun things to do in sobriety can help you find a fellowship of people you relate to. These people may not have experience in addiction recovery, but they are people you can create a community with while doing other enjoyable activities.
You can consider joining a yoga or fitness class, a gardening group, or anything you find joy in. In these classes, you can meet people who have similar interests. Together, you can do things you enjoy and create friendships.
If you can’t find classes or group activities near you, there are various online options. Just like 12-Step meetings, many groups have online options due to the pandemic. A quick and easy Google search can help you find what you are looking for.
Giving Back to the Community
Another option for creating a community is giving back to the community you live in. Become a part of your surroundings. You can sign up to walk dogs at a local animal shelter, work to plant flowers around your city, or volunteer at a local homeless shelter. The possibilities for volunteer work are endless.
While volunteering, you can not only meet new people, but you can also gain a sense of self-confidence and gratitude. Just like giving back in 12-Step groups helps you stay sober, so does giving back to your community. Find something that interests you and bond with the people you meet through giving back.
Community is a significant aspect of recovery. Sobriety shouldn’t be done alone, and a community can give you the support you need through your journey. Unfortunately, a community can sometimes be hard to find after treatment. Whether you live in a remote area or are having trouble putting yourself out there, a lack of community can have devastating effects on your recovery. Luckily, there are various ways you can find the community you crave, including alumni programs, online meetings, online sober groups, and volunteer work. If you are struggling to find community in your recovery journey, Jaywalker Lodge is here to support you. Our alumni program is a group of men ready to help you in your sobriety. We plan numerous events for our alumni to get together and support one another. Jaywalker can also help you find new ways to create a community that will best benefit your recovery. For more information on how we can help, call us today at (866) 529-9255.
As Chief Executive Officer Bill provides leadership and manage all day-to-day operations of Jaywalker Lodge, an extended care residential addiction treatment program for adult men.