How to Get the Best Out of Your 12-Step Meeting!
Attending a support group can be a very positive part of your recovery plan, as long as you understand what is healthy and what is dysfunctional. Let’s look at a few qualities of support groups and what happens when things get out of balance…
Similarities vs Enmeshment
When I join a support group and find others who share similar concerns, I have an immediate way of connecting. Why is this a good thing?
- I don’t feel alone.
- I don’t feel so awkward/strange.
- I have others who have a similar body of knowledge about our concern.
- I feel comfortable.
- I can start talking without feeling like an alien.
- I remember that this concern is a part of my life.
- I can be more honest and not feel I need to hide things.
I may bring new ideas to you, you may bring new ideas to me and we end up being able to help each other. We all come with our individual different stories and we are connected by our mutual concern. It is important for me to use the meeting as a strong reminder that I have this concern and as such I must follow my treatment plan for my concern. My concern is not who I am, it is something as a human being that I must address. I want my support group to be where I speak about how to best do my recovery, I don’t want it to isolate me from those who don’t share this concern in life. Isolating me or engaging me in any “We/They” discourse is not healthy for me.
We are all human beings in the world doing life and I may relate to many people who do not share the concern of my support group. It is not in my best interest to be around people who tell me I must exclude healthy people just because they are not in my support group. I want to feel normal, live a normal life, have the things that normal people have…and I believe I can do that if I get a solid, successful recovery. I understand my old interpretation of normal must change. I understand my network of support needs to be healthy and support me in my choices. And I understand normal by definition needs to include healthy choices.
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