By Ryan Rhodes
My personal tribe consists of both blood and water. Family and friends whom I respect, admire, teach and learn from. A group of like-minded people from varying backgrounds who have the common goal of improving ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually on a daily basis. This is not some “Hallmark card” warm and fuzzy regurgitation. This is truly how we try to live our lives.
Finding your tribe in recovery is the foundation upon which long-term sobriety is built. Our circle of friends are often a snapshot into not only our daily lives and interests, but more importantly, a reflection of how we tend to navigate our human experience. Choosing a tribe can be a make-or-break decision for people early in recovery. The idea that we are not alone, and that others can relate to our situation, effectively opens communication and is often where personal evolution begins.
The youngest of four boys. Growing up, the idea of brotherhood was all around me. I looked to my older siblings as my source of inspiration and pure, unbiased advice. In my case, I was blessed with three of the most amazing brothers. Each of them has their own unique qualities that provided such a multifaceted outlook on adolescence. My two oldest brothers are from my father’s first marriage, which is important to mention because the varying ages effectively gave me an older brother in nearly every stage of young adulthood.
How do I find my tribe? It may seem a bit obvious, but seeking people with common interest is the best place to start. Be it music or hobbies, common interests allow us to connect with one another on a more intimate level. Secondly, it is important to seek people who have a positive effect on our quality of life. Just because someone is seemingly popular with the opposite sex, has a nice car or is the center of attention does not necessarily equate to spiritual wellness. Look for peers with a sense of peace and maturity. People who walk through fear with the help of their fellows. People who ask questions, remain teachable, want to evolve. Most importantly, people who are having fun while doing so.