I really think that one of the hardest things for many newly recovering addicts and alcoholics to do is ask for help. Despite the fact that we made the biggest step by just admitting that we needed to get sober, it seems like an impossible task for many of us to reach out to other people in meetings. However, when we do, our entire sobriety transforms. These people are called sober supports, and for us women, they are the most beneficial aspect to any strong sobriety.
What They Are
In short, a sober support is someone who carries our butts through the tough times. We rely on these people because sometimes… well, most of the time, we don’t really know what we are doing.
That is why it is important for us to have a strong network of sober supports who have been actively working a program of recovery and know how to get through the tough times. Now granted, one person alone may not have been through exactly what you are, which is why the network is important. We gain insight and different perspectives from each sober support that we talk to, which gives us a better understanding and ability to take on any problem we come across.
What They Do
So depending on what kind of sponsorship family you come from, your sponsor will often advise you to get connected with your sponsee sisters. This is where most of us usually start off, and it is a springboard to a whole world of recovery. Once I finally let my walls down and decided to reach out to these women (I was in so much pain that I had to admit defeat and call someone) my whole sobriety changed. I found that not only did the phone call help, but these women actually wanted to talk to me too. It helped them with something they were dealing with as well.
Female sober supports provide us with an understanding ear, a shoulder to cry on, a big sister to look out for us, and a good friend to call us on our BS.
So What Should You Look For?
If you don’t have a sponsor yet, or your sponsorship family is very small and you would like to branch out, you can be brave and share at a meeting and ask for sober supports. I would like to point out, that, if you are doing this, you are a bad ass because this takes guts.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, which is totally normal and okay, another way to find a sober support is to keep your ears open in the meeting. Try to especially get to women’s meetings. When you hear someone share something that you can relate to, try your best to find her after the meeting. Tell her you are new, and that you liked what she said, and get her phone number.
You Gotta Drop the Fear and Just Do It
For some of us, me included, the thought of doing this in early recovery can very difficult. We have gone for so many years being resentful, jealous, hateful, and envious of other women. We have been hurt by other women in the past, we have hurt women in the past, so it seems crazy that in order to stay sober we have to befriend and entrust complete strangers with our problems and deepest secrets. Trust me when I tell you that you don’t have to carry this tough girl act anymore. In fact, that will do you more harm than good.
I am also not saying that you have to tell your secrets to every woman you come across; not at all. What I am saying is, when you find your tribe, or even just one other woman in recovery who you look up to and who is working a strong program, the more you allow yourself to be vulnerable with them, the sooner you will recover.
Do you know that feeling when you walk into a room of strangers and feel like everyone is staring at you? Even back in the day when I was drinking, I would feel this way at a bar or at a party. If I didn’t know anyone, I would usually end up meeting a strange guy and go home with him, or I would just get completely hammered and make a fool out of myself. However, when you saw a friend, you immediately felt safer.
Today, I never have to feel that way anymore. do on a pretty set schedule, I am always sure that I will know one person in the room. And do you know what? They are always excited to see me, too. I am always guaranteed at least one good hug at every meeting. When I see a sober support, I sort of get this little feeling that I am home, that I am loved, and that I belong.
Our sober supports remind us that we are now a part of a beautiful and endless fellowship. We have been embraced by a community of people who have been to the bottom, and have come out on top.
Getting Help at Wayside House
If you are a woman struggling with addiction and mental health issues, Wayside House can help. We offer a women-only program and provide a safe, supportive environment to recover in. We have outstanding treatments and therapies that are often only found in more expensive programs. We offer inpatient rehab with various therapies, relapse prevention education, outpatient, and aftercare, as well as services for medical professionals and veterans. Contact Wayside House at 800-655-0817 to learn more.