“A what?? I don’t need anyone to tell me how to be clean and sober. All I have to do is not take drugs, right?” – If it were only that simple…
Making the decision to pay someone to be your sober buddy might seem like a pretty weak thing to do. I mean, do you really have that little control over your actions? For many people starting out on the journey to recovery, the answer is almost always YES.
Newly Sober People Still Need a Little Help
When you are newly sober you may feel like you have the world by the balls. You’re clean, feeling great, telling everyone how you’ve whooped your addiction like a red-headed step child, etc. The reality is that the new you is most likely a facade, and you’re still healing from the underlying cause of your addiction. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be proud of your sobriety, because you definitely should, but you still need to keep it real. This is when a sobriety coach comes in.
A sobriety coach is there to point out the reality of your situation, to lend an impartial ear when you have problems, and to ultimately help you make the best decisions for your life. When you leave treatment, you’re filled with a sense of accomplishment and optimism. This optimism can fade quickly when you enter the grind of daily life. Losing your job, boredom, relationship troubles, etc., can take the wind out of your sober sails, causing you to relapse.
A sobriety coach is the person who you can lean on to discuss your issues with. This person will provide advice and coping methods that do not involve turning to addiction. Basically, the sober buddy provides insight into situations to give you perspective, which can help prevent relapse.
Newfound recovery can be pretty lonely. Many of your former friends and acquaintances may still be in active addiction, leaving you with few people that you can open up to. This lack of social relationships can sometimes bring about a relapse. A sobriety coach or “sober buddy” provides a meaningful relationship with someone who is invested in your well-being.
Keeping You on Your Toes
One important part of recovery is accountability. If you’re coming from an inpatient facility, you are used to an extremely rigid system of structure and accountability. Once you’re on your own, you’re left to your own devices, which hasn’t really worked out too well in the past. Having a sobriety coach present in your life will provide a set of expectations that can keep you on course.
Your Network is Your Net Worth
The recovery community is very tight-knit group of people who are more than willing to help each other out when needed. Your sobriety coach can make introductions that could possibly open doors for you. When it comes to things like employment, sometimes it’s more about who you know than what you know.
Even Family and Friends Can Benefit
When an addict is in active addiction, the family and friends can often suffer too. When the person is finished with inpatient treatment, the family and friends can face whole new set of challenges. Some family members might think that closely monitoring the addict’s behavior will stop them from relapsing, but they might have a hard time if their approach is intrusive.
A sobriety coach can help bridge the communication between the person in recovery and their family, and offer guidance on how to deal with issues that may arise. The coach can also advise on how to improve the relationship with their family.
So Do I Need a Sober Companion or Not?
This is entirely up to you. One thing we can say with 100% certainty is the people who have a sobriety coach are more like to remain in recovery and not relapse. It’s certainly possible to do it without a coach, but having that one extra tool in your arsenal might make the difference between ongoing recovery or relapse to active addiction.