All addicts need meaningful, supportive relationships in their lives to help them strengthen their recovery. But the importance of having peers in an addict’s support system cannot be overstated. In other words, it is important for an addict to have other addicts in their support system who are going through the same struggles and fighting for their recovery as well. The reasons for this are many.
Only an addict or former addict can fully empathize with another addict. Those who have never been addicts will never have a clear understanding of what an addict’s struggle really is. Nor should they. It is an absence of logic rather than a sound logic to relate to. The empathy that addicts get from one another is a weight lifted off their shoulders. Knowing that others have gone through what they have gone through is very important to their sense of belonging and self esteem. It helps them know that they are not alone, they are not throw away people and they are part of a community of other recovering addicts.
Addicts supporting addicts is also a way of building camaraderie. When people are joined in a similar cause, they build strength in numbers. Feeling like you are part of a team in working toward recovery is much more appealing than feeling like you are the only one making this effort. Addicts build strength in their recoveries by seeing other addicts fight for their own recovery, and the shared morale becomes contagious and is lifted.
And lastly, everyone needs to know that there are other personalities who are compatible with their own. This does not necessarily mean that addicts should pursue romantic relationships with one another in order to find compatibility because many addicts are not healthy enough to be in a romantic relationship at all. What it does mean is that like personalities benefit the lives of like personalities, and for addicts, tight relationships with other addicts who resemble on another are very beneficial.