Having a mentor in recovery can keep you motivated and be a strong source of support. While friends and family members want to do whatever they can to help and see you succeed, they are not always the best choice as a mentor. They can still be an integral part of your recovery and support you along the way, but seeking a mentor outside of your inner circle can be more beneficial.
Family members may have too close of a connection. Yes, they knew you before, during, and after your struggle with active addiction, but that can make them biased. They may not be able to see the bigger picture or have an objective view when it comes to advice. You may also feel embarrassed or uncomfortable sharing your feelings or challenges because of the close relationship you have. It can be easier to tell them what you think they want to hear instead of the truth. In addition, they may not have personal experience with addiction or be able to really relate to what you’re going through.
Finding an outside mentor – possibly someone you met in recovery – can prove more valuable. They can share insight from their own recovery journey and have firsthand experience dealing with addiction. They don’t necessarily know your past, so there’s no judgment or expectations there. They see you for who you are now and where you want to head.
A non-family member mentor can be more objective and truthful with their advice. They have no personal connection except your mutual path in recovery. When you’re having a tough time, they can remind you of your accomplishments and what you’re working toward. They’ve been there and they know what to say to help you keep your chin up.
Family plays an important role in recovery, but they don’t have to do and be everything to you. Connecting with a mentor who has stood in your shoes can help take you further.
Tell us about your mentorship experiences in the comments or on Facebook.