All Alone? Online Support Groups Can Help
Do you ever feel absolutely alone in the world?
Do you ever feel that nobody understands you?
Do you wish that you could just be "normal"?
Are you ever plagued by a sadness that is hard to explain?
Almost everyone will answer yes to at least one of these questions. Feeling lonely, misunderstood or sad is extremely common, as we've created a society with standards that are set impossibly high. It is especially hard for those with addictions because of the way that society scorns and demonizes addicts. However, with the dawn of the Internet age, communication has increased exponentially, and we must use this opportunity to improve our well-being.
Online Support Groups
It used to be that if we wanted support, we'd go to a therapist or meet with a support group. Though helpful, therapy is costly and support groups for addiction require time and effort, as well as the ability to speak openly and honestly in front of complete strangers. When recovering from addiction, it is hard enough to be honest with yourself about how bad things are, let alone being honest with a group of people you just met. Thankfully, there is a much easier, less expensive way to gain support during a time of need: online support groups.
It's estimated that 25 percent of all online activity is dedicated to health and fitness, which suggests that there are most likely thousands of people (just like you!) who need support. Not only are online support groups convenient, but they also help people who don't like to speak in public and who don't like to let others see their emotions.
One of the hardest parts of going to a new therapist or a new support group is speaking about painful topics in front of someone (or a group of people) that you don't know. It's hard not to wonder if people are judging you, if you sound stupid, if you look weird, etc. With online support groups, you have the option of editing your post, and therefore you say exactly what you mean, without fumbling for the right word or stuttering.
Online support groups, like the Addiction Forums on SupportGroups.com, allow you to gain new information from those who are going through the same struggles. Support groups that are online tend to be much larger and more diverse than support groups that meet in person, and therefore the information is much more varied, giving you the chance to learn about the newest medical news and treatments, as well as the best tips for recovery. You may find others who have the same triggers or cravings you do, and discussing ways to avoid these triggers is helpful to everyone involved. You may learn something that could save you from a relapse!
Many people don't realize how much support is available to them through the Internet. If the first support group you see isn't what you wanted, don't stop looking! The great thing about online support groups is that there are an infinite number of choices, and if you really can't find one that you like, you can always start your own! No matter what you're going through, don't be afraid to look for support online -- I guarantee that you'll find some like-minded people who need your support just as much as you need theirs.