Whether you need some words of encouragement or to be talked out of picking up a drink, instant communication is extremely valuable. The internet can be a great resource for people recovering from addiction by providing information as well as connections.
It’s no secret that people have been going through the process of getting sober for decades. But over the years, that process has changed. The stigma around alcoholism and addiction has shifted and the advancements of technology have allowed for a more open dialogue. For those of us who have gotten sober in recent years, technology has likely been part of the ride. Inventions such as the internet and smartphones have provided us with a number of resources that haven’t always been around.
Yes, it’s obviously possible to get sober without the aid of technology. But the truth is that there are many ways in which technology can be helpful for sobriety and recovery. These are just a few ways people in recovery can take advantage of that technology.
- You can share your story on social media/blogs. This has perhaps been the most helpful tool in my recovery. Though sharing so publicly is not for everyone, it has its benefits. Being open about your journey on social media allows others to understand sobriety in a way they may not otherwise. It allows them to put a face to the disease and realize that stereotypes are not reality. Putting yourself out there will probably be healing for yourself, but it also has the potential to reach someone else out there who is struggling to get and stay sober because they may need to hear what you have to say. Sharing your story out loud also allows you to connect with others in recovery and build up a solid support system, which is crucial.
- There are a plethora of sobriety-related apps out there. These days there are apps for everything. And luckily, that includes sobriety. Some of the most common recovery apps are ones in which you enter your sobriety date and the app tracks the time you’ve been sober, reminding you of important milestones and even giving you an inspirational quote each day. Many of these apps also allow you to input how much money you typically spent on alcohol and remind you each day how much you have saved by not drinking. And there are other sobriety related apps, too. Some allow you to input your location and connect you with other people near you who are also in recovery. Simply open the app store on your smartphone and search “sobriety” and many of these apps will come up immediately.
- It’s possible to join recovery groups on Facebook. Facebook groups are an amazing resource for people in recovery because they provide a safe, private space to ask questions and discuss sobriety with people who have been through the same thing you have. These groups allow you to connect with people online, but also in real life. I’ve met many of my closest friends through Facebook groups. We grew close online before ever meeting in person, and when we did finally meet in person, it was like we’d known one another forever. If you’d like to join such a group, search “sobriety” or “recovery” on Facebook and be sure to filter by groups. Sometimes you have to wait to be added by an admin, but it’s usually approved fairly quickly.
- Searching hashtags on Instagram allows you to connect with others in recovery. Seriously, give it a shot. Go on Insta and search #recovery, #sobriety, #soberlife, etc. You’ll be shocked at the number of accounts out there that deal with recovery and post motivational content. It’s helpful to follow such accounts and have that type of positive, recovery-related content come up in your feed from time to time. It’s a good reminder that you’re far from alone and others out there understand the journey of recovery. It’s also a good way to connect with the people behind the accounts and add more people to your sober circle.
- Friends/12-step sponsors are just a button push away. We’re lucky because today when we want or need to talk to someone, all we have to do is shoot off a quick text or press a call button. It’s easy to get in touch with people, no matter where you each are. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, you can simply pick up the phone and reach out for help in a matter of seconds rather than being stuck in said situation. Whether you just need some words of encouragement or need to be talked out of picking up a drink, instant communication is extremely valuable.
- You can attend 12-step meetings online and search for nearby meetings. Though not for everyone, many people do get sober through 12-step programs. Technology has made it easier than ever to attend and locate meetings quickly. Certain meetings are actually held online, whether through chat rooms or video streams. This means you can attend from anywhere, as long as you have internet access. If you prefer to attend a meeting in person but are unsure where and when the nearest meetings are, a quick Google search will turn up many results with times and locations.
- The internet has endless resources about addiction and recovery. When all else fails, Google can be counted on. The answer to anything you are wondering about addiction can likely be found on the internet. There are websites dedicated to addiction and recovery, as well as chat rooms that allow you to ask questions and hear from others who have been in your shoes. If you’re looking for a treatment facility, a quick Google search will turn up results in your area. The ways in which the internet can aid in early and continuing recovery are endless.
It’s true that some people may prefer to get sober without the aid of technology, and that’s perfectly okay. Everyone is different and one person’s methods may differ from the next person’s. But if technology is something you are familiar and comfortable using, it has the potential to be a key resource in making the most of being in recovery.
By Beth Leipholtz 08/25/17
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