“I’m not here to make friends,” it is often heard in treatment centers for recovery. “I’m just here to get sober.” The idea of having to socialize with complete strangers for multiple months of one’s life is unappealing. Why would someone choose to divulge their innermost feelings, most traumatic memories, and strangest insecurities in front of people they don’t know? Relapse rates are high, this is an unavoidable truth. When someone enters recovery and makes friends, there is a small likelihood that many of those people will be around, be alive, or be sober within a year. However, community and fellowship are essential for recovery. Connecting with others isn’t about increasing the amount of friends one can count on one hand. Feeling part of a community who understands the specificities and idiosyncrasies of something as fatal as addiction is a necessity. Addiction tends to be a tremendously isolating disease, making someone feel as though they are the only person in the world suffering with what they do. Connecting to community and fellowship is actually the foundation of recovery worldwide, discovered through the origins of the original 12 step fellowship Alcoholics Anonymous.
Bill Wilson, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, had been sober for a few months. After finally having what he would come to call a “spiritual experience” and immediately working through a few simple steps of recovery, he found himself at a crossroads. Though he was sober, gaining success in his life and repairing broken relationships, he had cravings for alcohol. To his best knowledge, he deeply knew the consequences of drinking. Yet, the obsessive craving would not cease. In a desperate effort to talk to someone who might understand, he happened upon a Dr. Bob Smith, who would become the other founder of AA. Together, the men talked and shared their stories of alcoholism. Dr. Bob, who was still struggling with alcoholism, was also inspired to get sober. They realized they were onto something. AA was born.
Theory of Fellowship
Since the development of Alcoholics Anonymous the theory of fellowship has been proven to be true. Numerous social psychology experiments have discovered that people are happier and healthier when supported by other people. Especially when those people have something specific, trying, and unique in common, true healing can occur.
Aurora Recovery Centre supports 12 step recovery is an important tool for healing. We help members create community by taking them to recovery meetings. Additionally, due to the step down nature of our program, recent graduates can support the efforts of new members with their experience, strength, and hope. For more information, call 844-515-STOP.