The same old, same old.
Recovery can be a lot sometimes. While it’s the greatest decision anyone struggling with substance abuse can make, recovery has a habit of filling out our schedules. New obligations, events at our addiction center, therapy appointments, group meetings – it’s easy to see why it’s normal to feel a little burned out from time to time.
While burnout is normal, it’s also a problem. Feeling overwhelmed can make us seek out relief, and although there are certainly healthy ways to cope, we might find ourselves drifting towards denying ourselves the things that help us.
Recovery group meetings are often something we skip out on if we’re having a rough week (or month). Despite being places where we grew, learned about ourselves, and began building a support network to rely on, they’re also a lot of work. Speaking in front of a crowd and sharing our stories isn’t always easy, and sometimes we might not feel up to it.
Again, while this is understandable, it’s also a mistake. Whether it’s an Alcoholics Anonymous study session, a SMART Recovery meeting, or just the people we talk to about our experiences in addiction, recovery support groups are the foundation of a solid, long-lasting recovery.
Support Groups are All About Relief
When we left our drug rehab or entered the outpatient stages of addiction care, we reentered the “normal” world.
Kind of intimidating, wasn’t it?
Compared to the structures of rehab, the normal world can seem chaotic and noisy, especially when we’re experiencing it without the dulled senses of addiction. Plus, it’s a world that often misunderstands – or even attacks – the life-saving decision we made when we decided to get sober.
This is where recovery support groups come in. They’re shared experiences among people who are going through the same journey. Some members of the group might have less recovery time than you; others may have decades of sober experience to share and learn from.
Recovery groups are places where we’re free to talk about the details of recovery without fear of judgment, shame, or being misunderstood. We can express our feelings without being worried someone might make fun of us. Plus, groups like AA really help us measure the hard-won progress we’ve been making in recovery.
Finally, let’s talk about those recovery veterans with decades of sober experience some more.
Recovery Groups are Great Places to Learn and Grow From
In David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, they were called “crocodiles” – a group of tough, been-there-done-that AA veterans who had decades and decades of recovery time behind them. Wallace had been through the recovery process himself, and his dystopian black comedy features many scenes set at AA meetings and a recovery house.
While these characters can seem intimidating the first time you meet them, they are perhaps the best resources at a recovery group meeting. They’ve likely been through the same rough situations and environmental triggers you may be struggling with and know how to get out the other end.
The occasional crusty personality aside, recovery group vets are people who can give you real guidance and support so you can stay on the right path.
They’re not the only ones in a recovery group meeting who can help, however.
Recovery Groups are Places Where You Can Make a Difference
When you stand up and share your experience, you’re helping yourself … and others. Voicing your story is a great way to help deal with your experiences, and also helps others realize they’ve been through the same things. This in turn can free them to understand, accept, and share their own experiences.
Also, active participation in a recovery group feels good. It’s human nature to want to belong to something other than yourself. Being able to speak freely, be heard, and help others is what keeps recovery strong.
Even helping to set or put away chairs, wash or fill coffee urns, or even pick up the doughnuts before the meeting are all ways to engage in service. Recovery is all about being of service to others and helping recovery group meetings happen is one of the best ways to serve others.
Finally, Recovery Support Groups Keep You in Fighting Shape
Recovery isn’t a destination. It’s a state of being which needs to be maintained, and you need to stay in shape to stay recovered. Recovery support groups help you do this in two ways.
First, the participatory, sharing environment of a recovery group helps keep your mind on your recovery. By speaking up in front of a crowd of people and participating in the group, we’re reaffirming our decision to get sober every time the group meets.
Secondly, this helps us stay accountable to others in our recovery. If you’re facing a substance craving or a potential relapse, reminding yourself that other people are looking up to you and expecting you to say sober is a great defense against falling off the path you’ve chosen.
Recovery support groups, 12-step or otherwise, are some of the best tools around when you’re working on your recovery. But there’s another great tool you can use.
Find a Sober Living Home Today with SoberLivingNearYou.com!
Sober living homes are great to have in the outpatient stages of recovery – or even after you’ve graduated from a program. Drug and alcohol-free communal living spaces, joining a sober home give you even more incentive to stay on the right path and stay recovered.
Your roommates aren’t just people you live with – they’re potential life-long companions who share your recovery goals and understand the journey you’re on because they’re on it themselves. Sober homes are staffed by house managers, many of whom are veterans of recovery and able to offer advice and understanding 24/7.
It’s precisely why sober living houses are a great way to stay accountable and avoid relapses. But finding a sober home can be a challenge.
It’s why we developed SoberLivingNearYou.com. The web’s largest directory of sober home listings, our site is your ideal tool to find a sober home near you, for your needs … and on your budget. Starting your search is as easy as one click.
Keep your recovery strong with SoberLivingNearYou.com!