Navigating alcoholism or Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) can be a lonely and isolating experience. Those who suffer from this disease often lose loved ones, which can result in a lack of support.
However, those in recovery often find that their Recovery Circle is incredibly supportive of their healthier lifestyle pursuit. Friends and family most often champion their loved one through treatment and recovery and help build a robust support system to prevent relapse.
Staying connected to loved ones during recovery is often crucial to the success of those going through treatment and hoping to remain in recovery. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay connected to loved ones during this time in their lives to help sustain their sobriety.
The Importance of Connection During Recovery
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is classified as a chronic illness and requires longstanding treatment to manage, much like other lifelong diseases. It is also considered a family illness as those closest to the one suffering usually experience consequences from the drinking as well.
However, as accountability (both self and other) is vital in a successful recovery, having a support system as a source of encouragement is also necessary.
Group Accountability and Recovery
One of the main resources required to sustain recovery is group accountability. This includes resources like Alcoholics Anonymous, Group Therapy, and staying connected to your loved ones.
Staying connected and asking family and friends to help you stay accountable is crucial to staying sober. Doing so helps build strong and healthy bonds that bring an individual joy, and also allows for transparency in a relationship. Remaining accountable to others can help offer support, guidance, fun, and understanding through the intimate recovery process.
Like many things in life, recovery seldom can be done alone if one hopes to succeed.
Ways to Stay Connected to Loved Ones During Recovery
Staying connected to loved ones during recovery does not need to feel complicated or daunting. It is crucial to an individual's recovery, but it also should be a source of joy and hope during one’s journey.
Regardless of which method(s) you choose, it is important to pick one you can remain consistent with as consistency is key to staying sober.
Here are five ways to stay connected to loved ones during recovery:
1. Schedule Phone or Video Calls
Scheduling phone or video calls is an excellent way to stay connected to your loved ones during recovery. Structure and stability are extremely important during treatment and recovery, so having a call scheduled may be the best way to stay connected and consistent with this practice.
Utilizing phone or video calls also benefits individuals who are physically distant from their support group. Miles apart should not equate to minimal support, and, thankfully, with today’s technology, sober individuals can contact their loved ones at the touch of a hand.
2. Stay Connected via Text or Email
Talking on the phone or via video call with a friend or family member can be intimidating, especially if an individual's AUD has caused a rift amidst their social circle.
If this is the case, many find that staying connected through text message or email is a helpful alternative to calling. It allows for connection without the stress or anxiety associated with receiving an immediate response.
Benefits of text and email include having more time to respond, including photos or videos you hope to share, and the ability for spontaneity. These avenues are also beneficial for individuals who do not have family near them or are separated by a significant time difference.
Another great way for loved ones to stay connected during recovery is utilizing Soberlink’s remote alcohol monitoring system. Soberlink is a favorite amongst thousands of recovering individuals because its comprehensive system tracks and monitors alcohol use in real-time using Advanced Reporting features.
One of the unique qualities of Soberlink is the ability to share results with those in your Recovery Circle. Once a test has been completed, the system sends a detailed report directly to the Monitored Client’s support network, allowing for trust to be rebuilt between loved ones.
By having the ability to share your results with those closest to you, Soberlink helps keep you connected and focused on staying abstinent from alcohol. This allows your intimate circle to be aware of your progress and allows them to offer support in the event of a relapse or slip.
4. Plan Sober Activities
A great way to stay connected to loved ones during recovery is by planning sober activities. This may look different depending on the individual and their community.
Many find some type of physical activity enjoyable, like hiking or taking an exercise class together.
However, something as simple as a coffee date or binge-watching a tv show together can bring people closer and deepen connections.
By scheduling or reserving time for these activities, an individual in recovery has something positive to look forward to, can learn how to socialize without alcohol, and may be less likely to slip or relapse.
5. Utilizing Snail Mail
Though technology allows us to connect in an instant, there is something especially exciting about receiving a letter or package in the mail; the novelty of this mode of communication makes it feel exceptional.
This mode of connection, like scheduling sober activities, allows for excitement as an individual waits for a letter or care package from a loved one. The anticipation and the surprise of what’s to come increases connection and gives the individual in recovery something inspiring to look forward to.
Though it is not as common anymore, sending mail is a fantastic way to stay connected to your loved ones during recovery.
Connection and Long-Term Sobriety
Navigating treatment and recovery from AUD does not need to intimidate you, especially when you have a strong support system.
By utilizing one of the five ways above, connecting with your loved ones does not need to be another task to check off, but instead a reprieve during your recovery journey.
By choosing connection, you can withstand the tribulations that may accompany recovery, as everything in this life is made easier with people by your side.