One of the greatest qualities of communities is that they have something in common. They share a goal, a vision, or an endeavor. A group of people who come together are not necessarily a community. What makes them a community is when they have something in common, something they commune with, which unites them. An online dictionary defines community as “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common”. For instance, in New York City, there are many ethnic communities, such as Little Italy or Little Brazil. What makes these parts of the city unique is that they inhabit a group of people who share the same culture. The people in these communities immediately have a bond because of their ethnic background.
The same is true in recovery. There can be an immediate bond because of the shared goal of sobriety. There is an immediate understanding of one another. Everyone is struggling with or has struggled with the endeavor of getting sober and staying sober. Everyone is making an effort toward changing their lives. Because of the shared vision of living a healthy and sober life, simply being in the community helps to strengthen one’s own personal vision.
Another benefit of having a shared vision is that everyone has someone to rely on. Individuals in the group eventually find their unique roles, working toward supporting the benefit of the whole. For instance, within a sober community there might be:
Leaders: These are those who might say hello to newcomers, volunteer to set up 12-step meetings, become sponsors, and take responsibility for the health of the group.
Sponsors: These are those individuals who know the difficulty of the process and who might volunteer to support others through the 12-step process, or another type of recovery model.
Spokespeople: These are the individuals who know the importance of sharing their own story both to heal themselves and to help the healing of others. They might visit recovery centers, speak at 12-step meetings, or facilitate support groups.
Gatherers: These are people who may not necessarily play a role in a recovery community but gain so much out of it that they often invite others. They see the benefits of community that they feel inspired to share those benefits with others.
Attendees: Newcomers may not play any role at all. But they may simply be a part of a community and that alone is significant. It is significant for their own recovery but also for the recovery of others. Simply being a part of a recovery community supports the health and wellbeing of everyone involved.
Regardless of the role you play in your recovery community, you matter. The community exists because of the people involved and the vision you share. And simply by being a part of the community, you gain from it. You gain the support, courage, and hope that sober communities offer to each of its members.
If you are reading this on any blog other than TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com, it is stolen content without credit. You can find us on Twitter via @TranscendSL and Facebook via Transcend Recovery Community. Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog