The Importance of Fellowship in Recovery

For those struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, fellowship with other people who are also going through the recovery process is essential. At Roots Recovery, fellowship forms the backbone of our treatments and methods. Socialization is important, and it’s natural for us to seek relationships and friendships that allow us to be vulnerable and open about who we are. Fellowship has immense intrinsic value; regardless of context, it makes our lives better and more meaningful.

Fellowship in rehabilitation typically takes the form of a support group, often formed from 12-step programs and other methods. In fact, even when fellowship is not the underlying basis for a treatment model, friendships and community typically emerge anyway, as shared experiences bring people together. Below, we’ve outlined several reasons why fellowship is important in your recovery journey.

Early Community Support Sets the Stage to Kickstart Rehabilitation

In the early days of recovery, there is an emphasis on changing your thought patterns and behaviors. Typically, friends from when you were using are circumstantial friends, and interactions with these people often disappear after you stop using. This sets the stage for a phase of isolation and loneliness, even if the substance use started in social settings. Isolating can be dangerous, as trust issues can present themselves and it can be difficult to open up to people during your journey to recovery. That’s why a fellowship can help, because it gives you a community of people you can turn to in tough times.

Fellowships Give Us a Sense of Purpose and Belonging

Addiction is difficult to deal with, and having a fellowship means creating a new environment for yourself. This environment should foster your growth, encourage you, and allow you to connect with people in similar circumstances. Your fellowship can enable you to learn new things and make some of the “work” of recovery less difficult by giving you people to rely on and discuss it with. A strong group can give you a sense of purpose and belonging, which is helpful when you’re going through a unique journey that many others may not understand.

Support Between Treatment

Whether it’s anxiety in-between a session of counseling or feeling the urge to engage in risky behavior again, talking it out with a group provides release and a place to go to help better understand yourself. Sometimes we cannot see things in ourselves that are obvious to others, and fellowships allow us to be vulnerable and honest with ourselves, allowing for more personal growth and encouragement.
A support group session at Roots Recovery in Milwaukee, WI

Friendships Have Health Benefits, Too!

Everyone needs community — it’s a vital part of our lives. Having people alongside you to trust and communicate with not only makes your life better, but theirs as well. In addition, many studies show that friendship and community can lead to a reduction in some health issues, such as high blood pressure and depression. This includes a reduced risk of relapse, which is important for anyone on their recovery journey.

Fellowships Can Ease Us Back Into the World

Between jobs, finances, socializing, and the pursuit of better health, the transition to a sober lifestyle can be difficult. A fellowship can be a welcoming space to readjust to societal expectations and discuss experiences with others, rather than struggling with it on your own. You can learn important life skills like conflict resolution, emotional regulation, active listening, and expressing yourself in an environment that is more conducive for developing those skills.

Fellowships Create a Network to Allow for Sober Fun

A fellowship is also a built-in network of people who are seeking sober fun, allowing you to spend your free time with like-minded individuals who want to have a great time without using. While you might be worried on your own about what to do for fun, fellowships create opportunities to get out in the world and enjoy yourself in your sobriety with others who are looking to do the same. Not only do you have a group to turn to when you’re lonely that actively discourages using, you also have an outlet to engage in sober activities that can brighten up the monotony often found in daily life.

Our Fellowship at Roots Recovery

At Roots Recovery, we know from firsthand experience how uplifting and empowering fellowship can be on your journey. We’re proud to have built such a strong connection between our alumni, recovery staff, and our clients that go far beyond superficial interactions. It’s why we have group therapy, 12-step programming, aftercare planning, and residential options in our Sober Living and Alumni Homes. When you have a strong support network, you can heal with others to form an irreplicable bond.

Our Alumni Network is constantly growing as more clients join the fellowship, regardless of whether they’ve completed their programming years ago or just recently! Reconnecting with others is a great way to continue to share experiences, bond with others, and continue to grow. We encourage all our alumni to connect with us, we’re always here for you: learn more by contacting us.