Finding Personal Role Models in Recovery

Finding Personal Role Models in Recovery

Learning from personal role models play an integral role in your addiction recovery

In its simplest definition a role model is someone to look as an example of behavior either good or bad. For example children living with someone who is an addict learn to repeat such addictive behavior because that lifestyle was modeled for them. Such a pattern of poor role modeling can continue for several generations according to a 2004 article from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In recent years professionals in the field of addiction recovery have begun to use the role model paradigm to their advantage. Role models (or recovery coaches, recovery managers, recovery guides, etc.) are being used to bridge the gap between professional treatment in an structured setting and long-term recovery that continues to take place in an addict’s everyday life according to the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services. Having the concentrated help of therapists, doctors and addiction recovery specialists is valuable especially in the early stages of recovery. However, those recovering from drugs like Xanax need the encouragement, advice and example of peers who have walked the same road and have faced the same personal demons that led to addiction in the first place.

Why Role Models Matter

According to a 2012 article from Psychology Today, changing behavior, especially those that are long-formed habits, requires more than simple willpower. Creating new ways of thinking and behaving takes the social support that role models provide. Role models show addicts recovering from drugs like Xanax that breaking the cycle of addiction can be done. Role models also show recovering addicts that sobriety is possible for them personally according to another 2012 article from Psychology Today. These two functions of role models explain the success of self-help groups like Narcotics Anonymous. Personal role models (coaches, guides, etc.) are constant reminders that success is possible and that living without drugs for a sustained period is also possible. Without such role models many recovering addicts might slip into discouragement and despair, thinking that recovery is impossible or just too difficult for them to overcome. And while public role models like celebrities or sports figures can provide some level of encouragement having extensive and ongoing personal connection with a role model provides the best opportunity for change according to a 2002 report from the National Youth Affairs Scheme.

What To Look For In Role Models

Knowing that role models are important is an important first step in finding role models. The next step is to understand what qualities or traits are most important in addiction recovery role models. Good qualities in role models include the following:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Vulnerability
  • A sustained recovery
  • Time to invest in you
  • Strong personal boundaries
  • Continued personal growth
  • Willingness to speak the truth even when painful for you
  • Willingness to hold you accountable
  • Openness in talking about their addiction and recovery
  • An awareness of one’s own weaknesses and fallibility

Keep in mind that role models are not perfect. You will never find a role model who perfectly fills the need for encouragement and accountability. You need a variety of role models in your life who can show you how to succeed in different aspects of your addiction recovery.

How Can I Find Role Models?

Once you have identified the kind of role model you need in recovery, the next step is to find those people who would be willing to walk beside you on the recovery journey from addiction to drugs like Xanax. Fortunately recovering addicts who have been clean for a significant time understand the importance of role models and are often willing to lend a hand when you need it. Ways to find role models include the following:

  • Attending meetings – Most people in addiction recovery attend some sort of peer group meeting at least once a week (like Narcotics Anonymous, LifeRing Recovery, or SMART Recovery). Over time you will hear the stories of others who have overcome their addiction to drugs like Xanax. You will likely find someone with whom you readily identify and understand. He or she (you need a role model of the same gender) may be a great choice.
  • Talking to others – Others who have completed recovery can be a great resource for finding positive role models. As you share your addiction stories, others will be able to recall a friend, friend of a friend or even an acquaintance who might be a good option for you. This is one of the benefits of being open about your recovery.
  • Looking in unusual places – Don’t just assume that your role models need to be members of a self-help group. You may be sitting on a bus or in a subway and strike up a conversation with someone who turns out to be a terrific role model for recovery. Likewise you might find a role model in church, the gym or in a hobbyist group. Successful recovering addicts have found ways to fill their lives with meaningful things without drugs, so you might find a great role model unexpectedly.

Be patient. Don’t assume that everyone you meet is the right role model for you. As you develop a relationship, you will discover whether that person’s strengths can benefit you. Also keep in mind that your role models will likely change as your addiction recovery progresses.

Getting Help for Your Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggle with addiction to drugs like Xanax, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. You can talk with one of our admissions coordinators about your addiction history and current situation. Together you can determine the treatment options that would best meet your needs. Don’t believe the lie that you can’t overcome addiction. Others just like you have completed treatment and discovered a new way of living. Call us today, and start on the path of that new life.

Are you ready to seek treatment?

If you are ready to beat a Xanax addiction and start a new life in recovery then we can help. We have admission counselors standing by 24 hours a day to take your email, live chat request, or phone call to get you in the addiction treatment center that best fits your unique & specific needs.