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Community: Finding Your Tribe in Recovery

Recovery from addiction can be difficult. We may need to distance ourselves from those who enable our addictive behaviors. Due to this separation, we might feel alone during a time where we may need the support of others the most. When you are in recovery, you can find a new sense of community among your peers. Your peers can help you fulfill your needs of belonging and teach you healthy ways of building new relationships. Your peers can also teach you new ways of having fun without engaging in addictive behaviors. Finding a new “tribe” in recovery can help you feel less alone and less isolated. Remember that you are not alone. You now belong to the greater community of all those in recovery, where a helping hand is always nearby!

Replacing Unhealthy Relationships with Healthy Ones

Much of the recovery process involves replacing old, unhealthy behaviors with new, healthy ones. Relationships are also important to our recovery, and we may need to seek building healthy relationships. Healthy relationships can give us the support and understanding that we need while going through the emotional process of recovery and healing. One way to start building healthy relationships is by looking to your peers in recovery. Your peers are also making changes in their lives and may have similar goals in recovery. Finding a common ground or similar interests is one of the fundamental steps to building any relationship. Peers in recovery already share many things, such as common backgrounds, similar struggles, and comparable goals for wellness. 

Recovery treatment programs and sober living homes foster a sense of community by bringing people together with the common goals of making their lives better and changing their lifestyle habits. The common bond of those in recovery gives us a sense of belonging and fulfills our need to find people from a familiar “tribe.” We share stories, express emotions, and help one another with our goals. Community is one of the pillars of many recovery programs. By supporting one another, peers build their own sense of community to ease the feelings of isolation and loneliness that can accompany recovery from addiction. Peers in the same recovery program help to hold one another accountable toward achieving common goals.

We may feel bad that we have to “replace” some of our friends. Some people have been in our lives for many years and will forever be a part of our stories. Unfortunately, sometimes our  closest friends do not respect our desire for change and may enable us to continue our addictive habits. Change can be difficult for anyone, and our friends may have a tough time seeing us change, even when we change for the better. They may also be struggling with their own addictions and might fear that they are losing a “partner-in-crime.” They may also enable your behaviors to maintain their own sense of belonging. When you notice that your friendships are not helping you change to build a better life, you may need to walk away from them. While saying good-bye and letting go of these people may be difficult, your fellow peers in recovery may have felt the same sense of loss. Your peers might be able to relate to the pain of losing friendships that you have built over the course of a lifetime. During recovery, you are not alone and you have the chance to rebuild a sense of community with others, who will support you in your goals.

Defining a Recovery Community

A community can be defined as a group of people sharing common interests that live within the same area. In recovery, our definition of a community may extend outward beyond a specific place or region. Often, those in recovery consider themselves to be part of a larger network of all others in recovery. We may find people in our community or “tribe” on online recovery groups or in our support groups, like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous. Most recovery support groups consider themselves to be a part of a larger group of individuals attending groups across the nation. We may also meet community members during stays at long-term treatment homes. Community in recovery can consist of a sense of being part of a larger group within the entire country or being part of a smaller group of supportive individuals within your hometown. Remember that there are many others out there with similar struggles and challenges as you who can help you find the resources and the support that you need to continue with your recovery.

 

One of the most difficult aspects of growth and change is realizing that we may need to let go of some unhealthy relationships. Sometimes, these relationships keep us stagnant and prevent us from achieving our life goals. We may feel lost or alone when beginning recovery, as we may be cutting ties with people we have known for years. Long-term treatment programs and sober living homes can help you foster a sense of community during your recovery. Many programs emphasize the feeling of community among all those in recovery. You are not alone in your recovery and others are willing to help you with the process. At Camelback Recovery, we have a structured home environment with individuals learning to cope with similar issues as you. Through our common goals, we cultivate a sense of community among the peers within our home. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 for more information!

Why Do Sex Addicts Need a Supportive Community at the Start of Treatment?

Like any other addiction, starting treatment for sex addiction can be a challenging yet hopeful experience. Having a supportive community around you can mean the difference between relapse and long-term recovery.

The Definition of Sex Addiction

Sex addiction can be characterized by a multitude of different damaging actions with oneself or with others that are caused by a compulsive sexual desire. Common actions of those with sex addictions include:

  • Not being able to set limits on their sexual urges
  • Having guilt and shame because of their sexual behavior, but they cannot stop
  • Having negative consequences because of their sexual behavior (i.e. losing a job, breaking off a relationship, financial troubles, legal problems, etc.)
  • Ignoring personal obligations and responsibilities so they can take part in more sex or sexual fantasies
  • Using resources such as porn, prostitution, and cybersex to fulfill their desires
  • Needing to escalate their sexual behavior to get the same high
  • Spending an unprecedented amount of time chasing after or engaging in sex
  • Trying to stop their sexual behavior but relapsing when they are confronted with stress

Sex addiction is often accompanied by other mental health concerns. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Trauma or PTSD
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders (especially binge eating)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder or OCD)
  • Other behavioral addictions (i.e. gambling, shopping)

Treatment for Sex Addiction

There are various types of treatment for sex addiction. Medication, therapy, 12-Step programs, support groups, treatment centers, and other research-based models are used to treat those in need. Treatment is mainly focused on having a community of support to lean on as you learn to cope with your addiction.

Support Groups

 

Individuals going through recovery for sex addiction need a strong support network. This is important because everyone in the support group holds themselves and each other accountable in their journey to recovery.

Therapy

Various therapies can be used to treat different aspects of sex addiction. Sex addiction can be extremely damaging not just to the individual, but to their loved ones, their family, and many other aspects of their life.

Therapies commonly used for sex addiction include:

  • Individual/group therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (and other evidence-based therapies)
  • Experiential and alternative therapies
  • 12-Step programs (i.e. Sex Addicts Anonymous)

Treatment Centers

Treatment centers combine a number of tools to help someone heal from sex addiction. The different programs and services offered are primarily focused on building a community of support for the individual to lean on as they go through the different steps to recovery.

Community Support

Community support is crucial in healing. Treatment centers focus on this to make you more comfortable with sharing your struggles and concerns openly and honestly. With a supportive network of other past sex addicts, you can support each other through your shared desire for healing.

Therapies

Treatment centers offer a number of therapies, including the ones listed above. These help the addict learn to open up, trust again, and explore their feelings towards their addiction. Learning the causes of their addiction and how to cope in healthy ways can be transformative in the healing process.

Relationship Rebuilding

Support from your loved ones is everything and can often help prevent a relapse. At a treatment center, you can work on skills to rebuild your relationships with loved ones to help regain their trust and understanding.

It Takes A Village

Since the dawn of mankind, humans have been drawn to living and working amongst other humans. The core of this is the feeling of belonging. Humans want to feel as though they are a part of something bigger. This is why community support is vital in recovery for sex addiction.

Leaning on others in a time of need can help with feelings of isolation and depression. Being around other people with the same goals as you can also help your mindset. You help drive each other to the common goal. This way, you aren’t surrounded by those who could tempt you into bad habits. Socializing with others in recovery can help them empathize with you and help you learn how to have healthy, lasting relationships with like-minded people. Remember, “sober relationships support sober lifestyles.”

Your best bet in recovery is to seek out others who are also getting sober to create a support network. This way, people can empathize and give advice when you have bad days because they have lived through the experience. By cultivating these relationships with other sober individuals, you are encouraging open and honest communication. A sense of fellowship will create a deep bond between you, creating a stable foundation for your recovery.

Giving Back

Giving back to the community can give you a sense of purpose. It can also keep you bonded to these individuals who constantly encourage your healing. You can give back by mentoring others, educating those in need, and sharing your story. This can be incredibly validating for those just starting recovery, so they can see there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Finding a support community can be difficult if you are unsure where to look. Sober living homes are a great option to learn how to cope with your addiction so you can lead a happier, more fulfilling life. You can also learn new techniques that have worked for others to help maintain your abstinence from harmful sexual behaviors. Your supportive community is waiting for you! Call Camelback Recovery today at (602) 466-9880.