When recovery begins, most men and women are solely focused on getting sober and staying that way. It’s common to have all of those who are providing support also be focused on sobriety. For instance, a person new in their recovery might make sure to have a sponsor, drug counselor, therapist, and members of their support group around them. And having this kind of strong support around sobriety is incredibly important in the beginning.

However, as one continues to stay sober, the circle of support continues to widen. Recovery is no longer narrowly focused on sobriety. Instead, recovery is an opportunity to change many areas of life, including social, family, financial, occupational, educational, and relational. And if a person is going to change each of these areas of life, he or she may need supports that address these life facets.

For instance, if someone in recovery were preparing to return to work, then he or she may want to have a mentor to help navigate the challenges that come with having a full or part time job. That mentor might also help them with facing the difficulties that might come with having lunch with co-workers and how to stay true to sobriety in those situations.

Over time, as recovery begins to include more than just sobriety, recovering addicts may need some support in the following areas of life:

Education: Certainly, a large part of recovery is learning. A recovering addict might want to learn about the illness of addiction and the latest information on how to recover from addiction. At the same time, part of having a fulfilling life is learning how to learn new skills, gain new information, and be a part of a community of others. If a person were to take classes in the community and/or go back to school for a degree, there are many people to call upon for support. For instance, if you’re taking community classes, such as art, pottery, swim, or karate, the instructors of those classes can be helpful. Certainly, other classmates can be a support as well as school counselors.

Intimacy and Sexuality: One’s relationship partner can be a support in this area. However, at times when a relationship is problematic, a person might need to reach for outside help. For instance, a therapist, counselor, or close relative might be supportive.

Home Life: For those who have positive relationships with one’s family, relatives can be a great support. However, for some people, this is not always a good idea. Instead, neighbors, pets, and friends might be those to rely upon when a need arises in one’s home life.

Spirituality: Religious groups, such as a Bible group and local places of worship can be a great support. In fact, in recovery, it’s common for people to rely upon their spirituality to help them get through challenging times. A group of people who are like-minded spiritually is helpful to meet with on occasion.

Leisure: This area of life is likely to be the one area that might change significantly. Whereas at one point in your life, you might have always included substance use, with sobriety, leisure time must have a different focus. Furthermore, the types of people that a recovering addict spends time with will also change.

As you grow in your recovery, you might recognize that all areas of life changes. In fact, you might notice that you become an entirely different person.

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