What is a Recovery Community?
Many people have the misconception that once you or your loved one completes treatment, they go back to their regular lives they were living prior to getting clean and sober. While part of that may be true, as far as returning to your job or your hometown (if it won’t compromise your sobriety), a big part of maintaining your sobriety is being a part of a recovery community.
So what exactly is a recovery community? Nick Goslin, Alumni Coordinator and Recovery Coach for Lakeview is a big supporter of recovery communities and is very active in his. He describes a recovery community as “a strong group consisting of many facets, including but not limited to, 12-step based recovery groups, religious recovery groups, substance abuse treatment facilities, and non- recovery based advocacy. They as a whole make up what a person in early recovery may need to succeed.”
Nick also understands that it might not be easy for many people coming out of treatment to agree to be a part of a recovery community, since he has been there himself. “Utilizing the recovery community is difficult for most of us [addicts] because we are pre-programed to be independent and not ask for help. That is the exact opposite message the recovery community wants to convey. We know how hard it is to get on your feet in early recovery, but together we can accomplish anything.”
Being a part of a recovery community doesn’t require anything formal. You don’t have to fill out an application, or do any uncomfortable interviews. Someone is always welcome to become part of a recovery community simply by advocating for people that need help while striving to continue to stay sober and reaching your full potential. Nick talks about the incredible recovery community in Jacksonville, FL, where he lives and how so many non-recovery-based businesses contribute to the recovery community. “The non-recovery based advocacy is amazing where I live. Fitness centers offer discounted gym memberships and many places offer employment possibilities for people in recovery.”
The recovery community comes together based on the need in that area, and while some areas are much stronger than others, there is always potential for growing a small recovery community into a strong one like Jacksonville, as Nick mentioned. All it takes is for one person to care and inspire others in order to build a foundation, and if you’re fortunate enough to live in a community like Jacksonville, you’ll have continued support every day.