We, as humans, are social animals.
From birth we learn from our family; as children, friends take on a bigger role until when in our teens, the collective wisdom of our peers exerts a primal influence. As adults we tend to think it all past us, but in reality our peer environment still influences our actions and perceptions, and the people we choose to associate with tend to have a profound impact on our lives.
And this is why although recovery alone is possible, recovery in a group is far more possible, and for the best likelihood of success recovery should harness the power of the group.
As using addicts or alcoholics, we tend to associate socially with others who share our life-focus for intoxication; it’s a natural byproduct of the disease! We take our social cues from our group of peers, and in a big way what we perceive to be acceptable standards of behaviors are derived from what others around us are also doing.
If I drink 12 beers a day but my friend drinks 24 beers a day, well, I’m a moderate drinker!
Getting into rehab offers a lot. It offers a period of enforced sobriety, which can transform a life on its own. It offers the wisdom and guidance of addictions professionals, and it offers classes in relapse avoidance and life skills that impart the tools we’ll need to succeed. But more, much more than this, it also offers us the inspiration of others also in recovery.
We learn through the process of group recovery that although we are unique as individuals, our problems with drugs and alcohol share an incredible similarity. We also see that if others, who have it just as bad as we do, can recover – then there is no reason why we can’t too. There is a real sense of inspiration that comes from working together towards a common goal with others who share the same troubles; and it can work a real magic on even the most reluctant and hard-headed of addicts.
Rehab is supposed to be a place of transformation, and there is true power in this collective effort of recovery. You might be able to do it alone, but it’s easier and far more likely done in a group setting.
Find a place of healing where you can find your inspiration. Find a group of fellow alcoholics or addicts who understand you as you understand them, and start your journey towards recovery together. It helps.