Whenever you need extra support to help you get through tough times in recovery, you should make sure you have someone available to you that you can trust. You can find a sober buddy that you met in treatment or at a twelve step meeting to be there for you when you have no one else to talk to. If you don’t have the type of social support that you need at home, you can also find a professional sober companion to attend gatherings with you or simply be there for you in times of need.
Whether you are able to find a good friend who is willing to be a sober companion or a professional sober buddy who can offer you help, there are certain guidelines to pay attention to. Having just anyone be your sober companion may not be as effective if they are not the right person. A sober companion needs to be someone you can really trust to give you assistance and who you never have to worry about.
Before deciding on a sober companion there are certain traits and criteria that it may be helpful to look for. Having a general idea of what your sober companion is going to be like can help you feel sure that you made the right decision. There are many different things to consider about an individual before asking them to be your sober companion.
Age and Experience
When you are looking into getting a sober companion, it is important to think of them as a type of mentor that you want to rely on and learn from. Considering the relationship in that way, it makes sense for your sober companion to be a similar age to you or even slightly older so that you can relate to each other but also learn from them. Having a sober companion who is much younger than you or significantly older may create too much of a disconnect and you won’t be able to take in their advice and guidance.9
In the same vein, it can also be helpful to find someone of the same gender so that you can relate to each other’s experiences. Also finding someone with similar interests can be a great help so that you can do certain activities together and the other person won’t be bored or unable to participate. A sober companion does not have to be exactly like you, but having something in common can help facilitate connection and make it easier to spend time together.
Most importantly, a companion should already have their own experiences with overcoming addiction and living sober. They need to have a solid recovery history of about 4 or 5 continuous years sober or more. You need someone you can trust to be sober themselves if they are going to be there looking out for you and who can also provide useful advice based on their own experience.
Health and Happiness
Along with solid recovery experience, you should also find someone who seems to be enjoying their sober life and is comfortable with it. Look for someone who not only doesn’t drink or use drugs but also takes care of themselves by eating healthy and exercising. Health is an important part of the sober lifestyle and spending time with a healthy person can be inspiring and uplifting.
Someone who is doing well in their recovery will also have the qualities of being happy, contented and confident within themselves. Part of being a sober companion means providing a sense of security and being a positive influence on someone who is still struggling. Someone who is emotionally unstable or insecure themselves will not be a good model for the person learning how to live sober.
A sober companion should be self-confident enough to lead someone else in a positive way without being overpowering or controlling about their actions. They are there to help people in recovery to achieve their goals but they should not be too judgmental or strict in a way that is not helpful or uplifting. People in recovery need companions that they can count on to be compassionate and understanding of their situation while also empowering them to make changes.
It can take some effort to find the perfect sober companion but spending extra time to look for the ideal traits you need will ensure that you make the right choice. You want to have a friend that you can trust to be a positive influence who will embrace their role as your mentor and friend. You will be spending a lot of time with your sober companion so make sure that you connect with them and can trust them to be honest with you.
If you are looking for a sober companion you can contact a sober service provider in your local area.