There’s something to be said about going through something with someone else and the bond that forms from it. A mutual experience, or a mutual trauma, can be an incredible foundation for building the bridges of connection. Through these shared experiences, we learn something about another person, we begin to see who they really are on the inside. Experiencing a moment of joy, or a moment of pain can create a bond stronger than anything you can imagine. It doesn’t even have to be the same experience, as in the case of mental illness and recovery. All it takes is for someone to have gone through something similar to you, to know what it can feel like, and the connection is formed. It can even be in the midst of recovery and figuring it all out. 

In our articles, we have talked a lot about talking about your experiences. We want you to feel like you have a voice and that your voice matters. We know the importance of feeling heard and the necessity of vocalizing your thoughts and emotions. We want you to seek others out who will listen to you, even if that person is someone who has not experienced what you have. But we also want to encourage you to lean on those who have gone through or are currently going through what you are. There is something special about connecting with someone through the experience of mental illness. The pain that you have both felt is a surprisingly good starting point for building a bridge. You can share your stories, your emotions, and fears, what you have thought about the whole thing. Discuss coping strategies and actions you have both taken to make sure you are the best person you can be. It is comforting to know that both people have come from the same place; many of the variables may be different but the basis of your origins is primarily similar. 

Group Therapy Is Essential to Trauma Recovery 

They are someone who can truly understand what you are talking about, and can truly sympathize with you in detail your experience. We understand the benefit of keeping a sense of humor in all of your experiences. Looking at it through that kind of lens can help create a sense of control or power over your struggles. By finding the humor in it, you can laugh at it, which will take the power away from it. Who better to understand those jokes than someone who can understand where the inspiration comes from? You can laugh together, and laughter is another tremendous building block for bridges. 

This is the main part of why group therapy is a strong foundation for recovery. Talking with a group and hearing other stories that are similar to yours is paramount to conquering your own struggles. First off, engaging in group therapy helps decrease any feeling of loneliness you may have. It helps reinforce that while our experiences are unique and personal to us, we don’t have to be alone in our struggles, and can lean on others to help us get through it. It helps to facilitate the giving and receiving of support. When experiencing group therapy, it’s not just one person taking a turn to work with the therapist who is present. It’s not about that at all, really. It’s about the therapist being there to help start and monitor all the patients working together, seeking help from each other, to improve one another. It helps you to speak out; speaking alone, with just a therapist, by yourself, can be intimidating, as the focus is specifically on you. But with a group, you are then amongst your peers, on the same level as them, and that can give you a ton of motivation to speak up. Group therapy helps create a network of relatability and support for you. It shows you that you have so many other people, who know what you are going through, and that they are there for you. Never underestimate the power of feeling like a part of a group or something that is bigger than yourself. 

Finding the people who know what you are going through can make a huge difference in how you are able to recover from it or continue to cope with it after recovery. Finding these people can help you create your identity in life post-recovery, it can help you in becoming the better you that you are seeking. We often think that these experiences are only destructive, that their existence only serves to harm. But we have to find the silver linings in it and understand that not everything that comes from dealing with mental illness is negative or harmful. We can build something positive, something beautiful, and move on to bigger and better things. Pain doesn’t have to tear down; use those pieces to create something better. 

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]