Being newly sober is a scary thing. I was terrified every day that I would relapse,and go back to my old ways. I was squatting in an abandoned house and shooting heroin into any vein I could find that wasn’t ruptured. It was a very scary place to be, and I was afraid of going back there. One thing that I didn’t realize was that I would have to hold myself accountable after rehab. That was going to take a lot of work. It became clear to me that I might need a sobriety companion during this initial phase of my recovery.
What Is a Sober Companion?
A sober companion is a person who can help keep you on the straight and narrow when you are newly sober. A lot of times, this is a person that is with you from the beginning of the rehab process so that you can build a positive relationship. When you are newly sober and left to your own devices, the urges can be hard to control. You are going to have urges and they are totally normal. If you don’t have someone you can call or confide in, it can be difficult to overcome those urges. I wanted to get high every day for the first several weeks after I got home.
What Makes a Good Sober Companion?
What qualifies someone as the best sober companions can vary depending on the person they’re working with. Some people might need more support than others. Sometimes it’s necessary to have a live-in sobriety companion. Typically, sober companions are recovering addicts themselves. Helping others is a huge aspect of recovery. Just them being there to lend a hand might be the difference in their own recovery. It feels good to help, and we all need sober buddies to help get us through.
A sober companion can do a number of different things for you. They can be your transport if need be, ensuring that you get to treatment or aftercare services on a regular basis. It can be easy to neglect these things when you have been sober for a short period of time.
If you are someone who travels for work, a sober companion can travel with you and keep you in check. I was a little worried I would feel like having a babysitter, but my sober companion felt just like a friend who was there for me if I needed support. You never know when the urge to relapse can strike. It can be any time of day, at any place. Having a sober companion can help you when you feel weak in these moments.
Training for Sober Companions
Many training programs can help you become a sober companion. Training to be a sober companion requires you to be selfless and learn compassionate techniques and listening skills to help addicts who are suffering. Are sober companions covered by insurance? They usually aren’t, but there are certain scenarios where they might be. Being a sober companion is a real job and requires training and certification. Sober companion jobs are in high demand in many areas, and they can be highly rewarding careers.
We all help each other by listening. You can be a sober buddy to anyone you meet in recovery. Recovery is a very personal process that is different for everyone. Despite it being a personal struggle, you will need a lot of help along the way. It’s important to consider a sober companion if you feel you may need one. You don’t have to be a sober companion to help someone either. I try to make myself available to the people I come across in group meetings. If I can help one person stay clean, it makes the whole journey worth it.
One of the things you’ll learn through recovery is it’s difficult to continue relationships with people from your past who are still using. Peer pressure is a very real thing, and just being around someone who is using drugs or drinking can make you slip up. That makes it vital that you have people around you who are in the same boat as you. When you hang out with sober friends, it can encourage you to remain sober. Sobriety is a very communal endeavor. If you have a good support system around you, it can be the difference between you avoiding a relapse.
Sober Companions in Orange County
I’ve met so many great sober companions in the California recovery community. I never imagined that I would be a part of such a lovely group of people. I have the great people at Circle of Hope for that community. I have met many sober coaches, therapists, and doctors who have helped me and countless others. It makes me feel a great sense of pride that I can call these people my sober buddies. When you are using drugs, your friends can be your worst enemies. They can help bring you down without even meaning to. When you are sober, your sober friends will build you up and help make you the best version of yourself. Another great (and growing) resource has been the development of community recovery centers around the country, which can help form a healthy, supportive network of sober connections.
However you have entered recovery, you are going to need help along the way. You are going to need to call on someone for advice. You are going to meet people from all walks of life who are going through the struggle as well. Once you find the right group of sober people to surround yourself with, things will get easier. Sober companions and sober coaching services may benefit you greatly, but you will need to have people in your personal life who will also be there for you. It’s also important to be careful when entering into romantic relationships.
I credit my sober companion for helping me get through the hardest part of my sobriety. Once I was sober for a few months, it became easier to be on my own and trust myself to do the right thing. If I didn’t have a sobriety companion for those first few weeks, I don’t know if I would have had the strength to stay clean. You can’t underestimate the power of addiction. You can be having your best day, and it can quickly change. Your addiction is still there, and it can show its ugly head from time to time.
Reach out for Your Recovery at Circle of Hope
When you have moments of weakness, a sobriety companion can remind you how far you’ve come. It can be very easy to forget these things when you are having an off day. It doesn’t take much for a recovering addict to feel triggered. I had many moments of doubt. If I was going to relapse, why not just get it out of the way and do it? You start to trick yourself into thinking that a relapse can be a quick, one-time thing. If you relapse, it doesn’t take long for you to get back to where you used to be. A sober companion will help prevent you from throwing away all your progress.
Whatever you decide to do, your sobriety begins with you. If you truly want it, you can have it. It’s there if you’re willing to put in what it takes. You most likely will need some sort of support along the way. If you can get through the worst of it with the right team around you, you will be able to flourish in ways you never knew possible. Sober companion or not, you will ultimately be the reason for your success.