One of the most important things a person can learn to do is to build a healthy support network. A support network is a group of people you love and trust who understand and support you. They can be made up of family, friends, mentors, and others, as long as they give you support. A support network is important in maintaining someone's mental health, and it's vital to the recovery process.
However, it's easy for someone to be tempted to self-isolate if they are struggling with addiction or a co-occurring mental health disorder. Someone may feel ashamed or be worried about judgment. It's easier to just pull away from others and try to deal with it on your own. However, this is not the right or healthy way to deal with addiction and other mental health disorders. Doing so only makes them worse and can even have dire consequences for someone's health and well-being.
That is why mental health care facilities like Pathways Wellness Center emphasize the importance of building support networks. Clients can not only expect to learn the skills in how to build a support network, but they also learn why it's so important to the treatment process and recovery. Some burdens, like trauma and pain, are heavy. Having those you love and trust is essential to help you carry those burdens and find the peace you deserve.
While in a treatment center, the client will learn important life skills. One of these is recognizing what a toxic relationship is. A toxic relationship is a relationship in which an individual is abused, taken advantage of, manipulated, and harmed by another person. Two people can be toxic to each other at the same time. When building a support network, you need people who will support and care about you without judgment or belittlement. Learning how to keep toxic people out of and remove them from your support network keeps it healthy.
Sometimes as part of treatment, someone may participate in group therapy or a support group. These are not the same thing, although they sound similar. Group therapy seeks to make changes in a person to better their mental health. A support group seeks to offer someone support and encouragement from others with the same or similar struggles. Both offer a place to connect with someone who can understand what you are going through. In treatment programs like a residential or partial hospitalization program (PHP), clients often are around others for long periods. Here, it's possible to build long-lasting friendships.
Pathways also offer family therapy, which helps families understand and support a loved one who is receiving treatment. This can help expand and strengthen someone's support network, all of which are important for recovery.
After treatment, someone re-enters society with the skills they learned to cope with their hardships. However, these skills can be difficult to remember when someone is being constantly triggered. For example, alcohol and its use are heavily ingrained in our society. Someone who has recovered from alcoholism has to contend with several triggers in society. Alcohol can be bought at most grocery stores. There are bars everywhere. Alcohol is shown in commercials or used heavily in movies. Some people will attempt to pressure someone into drinking, even after they say they are sober.
These triggers are harder to deal with while someone is alone. Pathways Wellness Center seeks to make sure its clients don't start their post-treatment journey at a disadvantage. We encourage our clients to build support networks while in treatment to prepare them for society again. One way is the peer network program. This program helps connect those in recovery with others in recovery as well. It helps those who have been sober longer share advice and experiences with those just beginning their journey.
Pathways also introduces clients to exciting hobbies that can continue after treatment. For example, adventure therapy includes outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and rock climbing. Clients can also enjoy art therapy in which they can experiment with different artistic mediums as a form of expression. It's easy after to find like-minded people out in the world, especially with the internet. Joining a hiking or an art club is a type of support network, which helps people stay in recovery.
After all, someone could buy alcohol, but they want a nice pair of hiking boots because they have a hike with their group planned later. Someone might want to go to a bar, but they were invited to an art jam with fellow art lovers, and they don't want to miss that. These moments of joy that come from a support network help someone realize what is most important in life, and that they don't need drugs or substances to be happy.
When we walk our mental health and recovery journey, it can feel like we are all alone. However, nobody has to feel lonely or out of place when they have a support network. A support network is a group of people you love and trust who understand and support you in treatment and recovery. Here at Pathways Wellness Center in Glendora, California, we know just how important support networks are to help someone heal from their struggles. A support network not only helps someone reach recovery but helps them stay in recovery as well. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction or its co-occurring mental health disorders, call us today at (888) 771-0966.