The Search for Community

The Search for Community

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

In our fight against addiction, we can forget we are not alone. However, our ability to fight addiction increases when we unite with others toward a common goal of sobriety. That is what a community is.

A community is a gathering of individuals working toward an idea. However, joining a community can be daunting, especially when addiction treatment is the focus. Since there is a stigma attached to reaching out, it can make us more inclined to go solo in our health journey. That leads us to ask, why is community important, and how can you find your community?

Why Community?

Brett Ford, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, collected a team of researchers and conducted a study to determine if we are able to seek happiness on our own. According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, the study focused on four different cultures: America, Germany, Russia, and East Asia.

After their research, they discovered that Americans were least likely to find happiness. However, Russians and East Asians were more likely to have increased happiness. This is all correlated to one key difference in the cultures. In Russia and Asia, they relate happiness with social relationships. Unlike in America, where they focus on individual accomplishments.

The study shows that the more collective-focused you are, the easier it is to join in on personal celebration and accomplishment. While personal achievement is important, we can tend to hyper-fixate on our success. Too much internal focus causes us to stagnate in our own growth and withdraw from others. This applies directly to addiction.

Our ability to grow remains strongest when we make the decision to open up to those outside of us. When drug or alcohol addiction is at its height, we are hit with waves of depression, anxiety, and shame. This causes us to crave isolation in order to fight back the thoughts of condemnation we feel from others. While this may feel like the answer to our situation, it feeds into a lie that we are unreachable. Our isolation is lying to us.

How Isolation Damages

According to a study published by the Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, there is a strong correlation between poor general and mental health and lack of community presence. One of the biggest lies that hinder healing is that we must isolate ourselves.

Consequently, we buy into the idea that our situation disqualifies us from fellowship. Because isolation cuts us off from everything that helps us heal, it is a detrimental force. Similarly, it makes us believe we are unable to be saved.

When we place ourselves in isolated situations, fueled by that belief that we are alone and unable to be helped, we give ourselves space to relapse into our addictions and vices. Since this relapse gives our brains evidence that we cannot fight our addiction, it encourages us to continue using.

Unfortunately, we are creating our own loop of negative feedback. The moment we choose to reach outwards is the moment addiction loses its power. Once isolation is pushed away, we see the worth of getting help. It takes a community of people to help us know we are not alone in this fight because we are all beating addiction together.

How to Find Community

While we are recovering from addiction, our energy to socialize with those around us may be severely limited due to lack of practice. Aside from our struggles, it can be frightening to make that first step to reaching out to ask for help and fellowship. Because of this need, First Steps Recovery created the alumni program.

Our alumni program recognizes that those in treatment all have one goal in common: recovery from addiction. While in treatment, you will create friendships that will act as a support system during your early recovery.

Next, you will be connected with a sober community of like-minded individuals after completing treatment. This ensures recovery in everyday life. While our resolve may be strong when we complete treatment, our strength will only remain with the presence of support around us. Attempting to succeed alone is an almost impossible mission.

The Move Toward Others

Whether it is moving to a new area, finding a job, or fighting addiction, the search for community never becomes easier. However, the decision to break out of our shell of isolation is the first step to recovery. We can fight the natural draw towards isolation and break our habitual patterns of self-abuse.

First Steps Recovery sees your needs and is prepared to help fight. We can help you find your identity and connect you with a group of like-minded individuals ready to grow. With community, there is hope and strength.

While our culture bases its idea of success on independence and individuality, our true success lies in the support around us. If you are exploring treatment and opportunities for community support, options are available to you and those you love. First Steps Recovery is not just invested in your drug rehabilitation but is also dedicated to freeing you completely from addiction’s grip through continued resources. We ensure that your treatment is uniquely tailored to your journey while introducing you to support groups that will continue your growth long after you complete treatment. We are an accessible drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that will fight alongside you for a life of normalcy. Don’t let the lie of addiction tell you that you are not worth treatment or relationships. You are worth getting help, and we can help you. Call First Steps Recovery at (844) 489-0836 for more information. 

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