Finding Brotherhood in Recovery

Table of Contents

A life of alcoholism and drug addiction can distance people from their loved ones. Friends, family, and a sense of community are commonly pushed away by our shame, resentment, behavior, or a combination of things. We often attempt to adopt a “lone-wolf” mindset and try to convince ourselves that we like being on our own. But by the time we seek sobriety, the truth becomes clear – in order to have a successful and happy recovery, we simply can’t do it solo.

Meetings require other people for there to be a meeting at all. Taking the 12-Steps requires a sponsor. Being of service usually means there must be someone to help. After a little time in the Jaywalker Lodge program, we see how much we can learn from other people, and how much the fellowship adds to our life – providing us with laughter, learning, sharing, guidance, and being of service. All the best parts of life require a human connection. Thankfully, such a connection is bountiful in the rooms of recovery.

Initial Challenges

However, people often begrudgingly accept this social aspect of recovery when they are new. Some people attempt to retreat, figuring they have learned enough to go it alone from here on out. This can be a difficult thing to discourage someone from doing but can be highly detrimental to sobriety. Distancing oneself from the people in recovery can mean slipping out of one’s sobriety. This is one reason why Jaywalker Lodge provides an open community model of care, encouraging clients to build authentic relationships and embrace their shared experiences.

Connection, community, and true brotherhood can and should be introduced as vital parts of the recovery process right away. We simply don’t get sober alone, and after we experience true communion with our fellows, we are glad it is that way. However, being part of a community can be a hard thing for many newcomers to accept. They often feel nervous, unworthy, or pressured by this sudden push to socialize. It is our job to ease them into this crucial element of recovery.


Meetings are a great start. The newcomer can hear that we understand them. We’ve been in their shoes, experienced similar things, and most importantly, we’ve felt how they feel. They can get used to being around people they relate to, who share with them openly and take an interest in their recovery. Meetings are likely where they will find their sponsor, and this will further acclimate them to the idea that community is a lovely thing. They will work the steps with their sponsor and become more comfortable sharing their life openly and honestly with another person. They will learn how to make commitments to people – and keep them. They will begin to experience the beauty and impact of reciprocity in relationships.


Then, of course, there is the fellowship. Seeing a group of sober people laughing together can be like witnessing a miracle for many people new to recovery! This can be a major part of the attraction to the program and life in sobriety. Naturally, this fellowship and brotherhood are also some of the greatest gifts of life in recovery. Those who already know the joy of fellowship are responsible for welcoming a newcomer, since many of them do not yet know they are allowed to feel joy and have fun in sobriety.

Being introduced to people who thrive together in recovery can be a vastly uplifting thing for someone used to loneliness and misery in active addiction and alcoholism. Seeing a group laugh heartily over coffee, go to meetings, and hike in the mountains together can be exciting for a newcomer whose life has revolved around little more than active addiction. It is so important to expose newcomers to this element of sober life, for it can often be the attracting factor that keeps them in recovery. Unfortunately, it is something newcomers usually resist, perhaps out of shame or resentment. That’s where fellowship can show the new man how many of them felt just like he did once.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Not only telling of the importance of brotherhood and community but showing how much it can add to the joy and fullness of living sober can be incredibly impactful on someone entering recovery. Let them hear the laughter and see the smiles on people’s faces so they know that sobriety can be fun. It’s okay to open up and laugh and enjoy life sober. In fact, the Big Book insists on it! It reminds us that “we are not a glum lot.” So often those new to recovery miss that part or think they are unworthy of being a part of the brotherhood that springs up amongst sober people.

They need to be told the simple truth that is okay for them to be happy in sobriety, and that intimacy, brotherhood, and communion with people isn’t weakness. We all need help, and we all need to help others. We simply need each other in recovery. The lone wolf doesn’t make it too far, nor does he get to laugh and share his life with his brothers.

There’s no need to go it alone. In fact, you’re selling yourself short. None of us recovered alone, and you won’t have to either. Everyone deserves to find their tribe and feel like they belong. Jaywalker Lodge understands the power of brotherhood, unity, and community. It’s one of the greatest joys of a life in recovery. Find your place among us and join us as we walk side by side with our brothers. Call now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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