June 7, 2013
There is no doubt that drug treatment is THE crucial turning point in an addict’s life. No matter if it is intensive inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment or a day program, drug rehab provides addicts from all walks of life the tools and support they need to address and overcome their substance abuse issues. Those new in recovery learn the skills they need in order to be able to handle the pressures of daily life while working their individual program of recovery. Perhaps one of the most important tools that someone in recovery can utilize to minimize the dangers of relapse is regularly attending 12-step meetings.
12-Step Meetings Are A Great Source of Support
If you have had substantial recovery time and are working a 12-step program, you can easily think back to your first meeting. Before and during that first meeting you were experiencing a wide range of emotions from frightened and confused to angry and even lonely. As you entered the room and sat down, you may have been saying to yourself that you really didn’t belong there, yet in a deeper sense you felt you belonged there. You may have felt like a complete stranger, yet several people came up to you and welcomed you and offered you support. As they say at the end of each meeting: keep coming back–and you did.
Having the support and encouragement from those who have walked in your shoes is an immense help in your recovery journey. When you regularly attend 12-step meetings, find and work with a sponsor and have a home group that you regularly attend meetings, you know that you have a safe and supportive place to go when your recovery is on shaky ground. You also are able to share your triumphs and celebrate the victories of others. Additionally, you can learn from others how to strengthen your own recovery. Whether it is doing step work with your sponsor or learning about the struggles of someone who is new to the program, each meeting and encounter offers you a chance to learn and grow.
Working the Steps
While the fellowship and camaraderie that is found in 12 step groups are extremely beneficial in proving those in recovery a sense of encouragement and support, it isn’t enough to sustain any kind of long-term sobriety. In order to get the most out of these meetings, you need to be fully committed to working the Steps. The 12 Steps provide a blueprint for those in recovery to follow and helps them move past their addictive past and become the healthy, happy and spiritual beings they are at their core. If you are not taking the time to work the Steps with a sponsor, you are just going through the motions. Eventually, the signs of relapse will appear and grow stronger–and your chances of relapse significantly increase
12-Step work and regularly attending meetings help you move past the loneliness and guilt associated with your past, and you can learn how to make amends to those you had harmed during your period of substance abuse. 12 step meetings also help you develop your spiritual self and you are able to connect more fully with your higher power of your design or understanding. When you actively work the Steps and have them reinforced through regular meetings, you are able to better serve others who are struggling with addiction.
Additionally, the 12 Steps and meetings provide a sense of structure that is easy to follow. It is much easier to accomplish goals and see where you need to go in recovery if there is a consistent structure in place. Ultimately, working the steps and attending regular meetings will help you better function in your daily life. You are able to take what you learn from your meeting time and put it to practice in daily affairs. If certain things aren’t working or if you need further assistance, your support network of your home group can give you feedback and guidance on how you can improve.
Be Careful of Getting Stuck
You often hear around the tables of 12-step meetings that regular attendance increases your chances of sustaining your recover over the long haul. There is no doubt then going to meetings on a regular basis–along with utilizing other essential life and coping skills–will help you stay on the straight and narrow. While meetings are beneficial, it can be possible to have “too much of a good thing”. In fact, if you aren’t careful you could end up jeopardizing your recovery.
We often hear the saying 90 meetings in 90 days when we start a 12-step program, and in early recovery it is crucial to get that support and structure established. As you progress in your recovery, however, continuing to attend meetings with that frequency can produce diminishing returns. The real goal in recovery is personal growth, and much of that growth can be experienced outside of the rooms. Make no mistake about it, going to meetings are essential, and especially if you are experiencing rough patches in your recovery. If you aren’t getting what you need out of meetings and you still attend, you can experience burnout.
You must remember that 12-step meetings is a part of an overall individual plan of recovery and not the “be all end all”. In a way, you can look at meetings as a place to learn ways to improve your recovery–and you can apply those lessons in your everyday life.
The Tools You Need To Get and Stay Sober Can Be Found at Ocean Breeze Recovery Center
Struggling with addiction can take a physical, mental and spiritual toll on those in its grips. In order to break the vicious cycle of addiction, professional help is essential. With our unique holistic-based treatment approach and individualized attention and treatment plans, Ocean Breeze Recovery Center has helped a countless number of addicts break free from substance abuse and towards a life of serenity, peace and happiness. Call us toll-free today and find out more about how we can make recovery a reality.