Now that you’ve finished your treatment for addiction, it’s time to get back into the social scene.
By starting your own fun group, you can socialize, make like-minded friends, and have fun rather than slip back into old habits that can impede your recovery.
We walk through just how to cultivate a community around your interests. Starting local groups, or even international groups through online communities can help you connect with others.
Identify Your Passion
What do you want to do? From forming a thought-provoking book club to starting a hiking club, it really is up to you. Look at what you enjoy spending time doing and then pursue those passions. We’ve created a few ideas to help you get started.
- Go local: If you enjoy the farm-to-table movement then celebrate that. There are sure to be others who would be interested in visiting local farms, farmer’s markets, and restaurants that support the same ideals.
- Book clubs are ubiquitous: You can create one that focuses on a specific genre, like memoirs, cozy mysteries, or science fiction. Your local library may be able to help steer you in the right direction.
- Volunteer: Helping others is one of the best ways for people struggling with addiction to take some pressure from themselves and focus on others in need, locally or globally. Start in your community and check with hospitals, schools, rescue shelters, or food banks for needs.
- Think about what intrigues you: Are you interested in coding, foreign languages, cooking, or painting? You don’t need knowledge, just a healthy interest!
Once you’ve determined what your group will be doing it’s time to move onto the when and where. Use the following outline to help you define group logistics.
- Determine a time frame: How often do you want to meet? Do you need a weekly event to help stay on track, or does a monthly group fit in with your busy schedule?
- Number of members: How many people do you want in your group? You may want to start small. Groups often grow organically as word spreads and more people express interest.
- Determine leadership: Who will run the club? You don’t have to do it all yourself! Enlist others to help. For example, members of a monthly book club can take turns choosing a book and leading the discussion.
- Define specific parameters: Rather than starting an exercise club, create one that zeros in on an activity like swimming, walking, or weight training.
Keep It Substance-Free
Make it clear from the beginning you’re forming a drug- and alcohol-free group with a short statement on your flyer or other materials promoting your group.
Connect With Others
- Promote with social media: Social media and online resources make it easy to connect with others. Use Facebook to create a “Group” for your event or activity; you can make it closed for privacy. Use Twitter to tweet blurbs about your events and direct people where to go for more information.
- Spread the word: Hang flyers at your local coffee shop, library, or community center.
Where to Meet
You may not have room for the group to meet at your residence and that is ok! If your group doesn’t already have a predetermined area (as a volunteer group might) try looking into the following options.
- Places of worship: Often times community groups are held at local religious buildings. Check out local churches, synagogues, mosques and other worship centers for availability.
- Community centers: These are convenient and local. Make sure the hours of your local community center match yours.
- Libraries: These are great for more than just book clubs! Check with your library about hosting small groups such as coloring, horticulture, or sewing.
- Find other fun social spots: If your activity doesn’t require a bricks-and-mortar place, meet on an as-needed basis at a restaurant or ice cream parlor.
Starting a group that allows you to connect with others who share common interests is a great way to have fun and keep busy. Start brainstorming and create your own fun group today!