Addiction groups function to help those who are willing obtain recovery.
Every group is different. Some groups you’ll like, but some groups you won’t. They each have their own personality and their own mix of people. Finding the right group is important because when you do find the right group recovery becomes a lot easier.
Don’t keep on going to a group that you don’t like just because it’s convenient or close by. If you do that, eventually you’ll convince yourself that you don’t need to go to meetings. You’ll tell yourself, “They’re real addicts. I’m not like them.” The beauty of 12 step groups is that there are so many to choose from, it’s not hard to find at least one group that you can connect with.
There is a simple technique for finding the right group. All the meetings in your area are listed on the internet. (Find Treatment and Support Resources.) They’re also published in a booklet that you can get free at most meetings. Go to your first meeting, and pick up one of those booklets.
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Then find someone who you have something in common with. Ask them what other meetings they like. It’s a common question, so don’t feel embarrassed to ask it. Then go to one of those meetings, and do exactly the same thing. Find somebody else, and ask them what other meetings they like. Do that a few times, and you will quickly zero in on meetings that work for you.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Group
Become active. The magic of recovery happens when you actively participate and share at meetings. Recovery doesn’t happen when you just sit passively and listen to other people. You recover when you’re honest – nakedly honest, and share what’s going on inside.
There are two types of 12 step meetings. There are open meetings (also called speaker meetings), and closed meetings (also called discussion meetings). In speaker meetings, someone stands up and tells their story of addiction and recovery. You sit back and listen, and you’re not expected to say anything. The beauty of speaker meetings is that they’re a non-threatening way to get started because you don’t have to do any work. The downside is that you don’t get to do any work.