For practically any problem in life, talking to other people who know exactly what you are going through can help shed some light and bring clarity to a situation. This is also true for those who are facing addiction and alcoholism and are trying to recover from it. There is a wide range of self-help groups out there for people managing their recovery and trying to find ways to make it better. You can benefit greatly from the mutual support and nonjudgmental environment offered in these groups.
Self-help groups are groups of people who provide mutual support for each other. In a group, the members will share a common problem, often times a disease or addiction, where their shared goal is to help each other deal with and possibly heal or recover from the problems they face. Through self-disclosure, members of the group will share their stories, experiences, stresses, feelings, strengths, hope, and means of recovery with each other so that they can solve a common problem.
12-Step Programs and Addiction Recovery
There are many different 12-step recovery programs out there that you can choose from. These programs are a very common and effective way to face your addiction or alcoholism head-on so that you can get sober and stay sober and live the life you always wanted but never felt you could achieve during active addiction. A huge resource that these 12 step programs offer is self-help groups or meetings. The fact is, 12-step meetings promote recovery because that is the whole premise of these programs; recovery.
What Do Self-Help Groups Do For Recovering Addicts?
There are not many places in the world where you will find more honesty and courage than in an addiction self-help meeting. It is an amazing experience unlike any other that helps in so many ways for a recovering addict or alcoholic.
- They can help you decide if you have an addiction. Any person can go to a self-help meeting and hear another person’s story and decide if there are any similarities between their story and your own. It helps you overcome the denial you may be holding about your own addiction. You can see and understand that literally anybody can be battling with addiction no matter his or her background, religion, financial status or race. Addiction is a battle; it is comforting to know that you are not alone.
- You meet people going through the same thing as you. The premise behind a self-help group is that you feel stronger when you belong to a group that is doing the same thing as you are. Peers can model healing from each other. The person, who has already been where you are, helps the new member. An addict’s first reaction is to deal with it on their own because addiction and alcoholism is an isolating disease. These groups give people the chance to reach out and ask for the help they need.
- It shows you that recovery is possible. When you see that other people have recovered from addiction and are no longer in a hopeless state of mind, it helps others develop the confidence they need to change their life as well. One of the fears many addicts and alcoholics have is that their life won’t be as interesting and feel smaller once they get sober. Self-help groups give others a chance to meet new people whose lives are bigger and more fun now that they have stopped using.
- You learn other people’s techniques for recovery. These meetings are a resource where you can ask others in the same boat as you how they handle certain situations.
- These meetings are a judgment-free zone. Many addicts and alcoholics have a lot of difficulties sharing their emotions and experiences because they are afraid of feeling judged or as though no one will understand them. The people in these groups won’t judge because they have heard it all before and likely experienced some of the same things you’re afraid of sharing about.
- Self-help groups are a safe place to go. If you are having a bad day, or need to get out of harm’s way, you can go to a meeting. It is especially useful when you feel ling using. Spend a couple of hours in a meeting and when you come out you will feel better and motivated again about your recovery.
Self-help groups promote recovery. If you are unsure about whether a self-help group will help you, give it a try anyway. What have you got to lose? They offer support, encouragement, and growth to addicts that want to get clean and sober. Self-help groups give you the tools and knowledge for the best possible chance at a successful recovery.