Most recovery groups adhere to the same general guidelines. Primarily, these group meetings are open and welcoming. Not one group member will judge, criticize, or denigrate any other group member; additionally, any and all information shared within a group will remain confidential within that group. These guidelines are designed to encourage meeting attendees to be as open and honest within their ability. It is recommended that a young person in recovery try a meeting at least five times before deciding if they want to continue attending or not.
Before you attend a meeting, try to decide what information you want to share. Some recovery support meetings will have specific themes, and if you attend a themed meeting you should try to keep your information within the theme. Be respectful of yourself and of the other group members at the meeting when it comes to talking. Rather than talking about your own experiences, you might find yourself complimenting another speaker or the group leader, or offering some counterpoint to an issue that another group member just made. Confine your remarks to your own experiences and struggles in overcoming addiction or alcoholism.
Recovery support meetings are not the same as group therapy, which has different structures and purposes. The primary purpose in any recovery meeting is to carry the message of recovery to a person with less time sober. They need to hear how you overcome the challenge of staying sober everyday, as opposed to your latest grievances. It is okay to use meeting time to air resentments, however, always be sure to bring your share back to the topic of recovery. The people in your support group are there to listen to as much of your story as you are willing or able to share, just as you are there to listen to their stories. Participate to the degree that you feel comfortable and continue with any other therapy and counseling that you may need to help you live a sober and substance-free lifestyle.
Sustain Recovery provides extended care services to young adults and adolescents in early recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism. Our unique program is 12-step based, encouraging our clients to seek a practical and spiritual solution to the problem of drugs and alcohol. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information.