Recovery Support Group - from the
Recovery Learning Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources
for Your Recovery
Recovery is learning to enjoy life - without the use
of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.
It is treatment for the condition of addiction - an
approach to the challenges of life - and a path to
Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature
It may be personalized - but it has its necessary
Principles and its Ways.
Recovery is fortified by a day to day structure and
routine. And it will always benefit from the support
This Learning Seminar introduces the topic of Recovery
Support Group -
What you need to know - How Recovery Support Group
can empower your recovery from addiction.
What You Need To Know
Recovery Support Group is two or more people - who
share a common goal of recovery from addiction.
A formal group may be facilitated by one of the group
participants - or by a professional person.
All participants in a Recovery Support Group have
personal experience with addiction.
A basic principle is that no one need justify or explain
Everyone is encouraged to accept
and to relate to each other’s experience in
addiction and recovery.
Groups differ - but most offer voluntary attendance
to persons with a similar addiction - or to those who
are enrolled together in treatment.
Groups usually start with first name introductions.
Topics may be pre-arranged - or chosen at the start
At the end of group - the Serenity Prayer or other
closing will help participants to move on from a sometimes
Many groups offer open discussion of recovery topics
chosen at the beginning of the group.
Other groups begin with a selected recovery reading
- and followed by group discussion.
Recovery stories are also commonly told. The traditional
recovery story is in three parts - What was it
like for me before recovery? What have I had to do
for my recovery? And what are things like for me now?
Regardless of topic, a few common courtesies allow
everybody to enjoy the discussion.
These include to listen while one person speaks at
a time. Allow each speaker to finish without interruption.
And ensure that everybody has opportunity to speak
Certain important features define Recovery from other
types of group.
Participants are encouraged to always use the ‘I’ word
- to speak only from personal experience - or about
what you have heard from others.
Examples include: I used to think I could do it
on my own - or - I’ve had to accept
that I can’t fix everything at once.
As long as we speak from personal experience - there
is no right or wrong.
There is no need for anxiety about what you have to
say - and there is nothing for others to disagree with.
Recovery Support Group is about expressing your self
- and about telling your story. It is not a place for
intellectual argument - or for telling others what
they should be doing.
When it is not your turn to speak - it is your turn
Addiction is a condition of closed mind. Those in
active addiction will ignore - or will quickly disregard
- what they do not want to hear.
Practice just listening during Recovery Support
Try to not disregard or distance your self from what
It is not about the other person who is talking. It
is about what you may need to hear - to further your
When others talk - you may find thoughts and feelings
stirred inside of you. Your experience in recovery
may be similar to theirs - or it may be quite different.
When it is your turn to speak - talk of your experience
- to the whole group. If you direct what you say to
one person - it shuts others out of the discussion
- and can give rise to tensions.
Otherwise, Recovery Group discussion is guided by
our traditional Principles of Recovery.
Talk in general about problems - and in detail about
their solutions. Focus on the here and now - the challenges
and goals of today.
Respond to the despair of others - with stories of
how you apply the Principles and Ways of Recovery to
the challenges of everyday life.
Remember that others in group may be vulnerable in
Avoid talk of drugs - or the settings where they are
used. Swearing - or detailed talk of violence may be
upsetting to others.
Just listen for a bit - and give others a chance to
Recovery Support Group can help us in many ways. The
world can be a busy place. The mind of early recovery
is restless - feelings raw and exaggerated.
Recovery Support Group offers a break - a place of
health where we can just sit - with others who understand
- and where we can listen for things that we need to
The experience of others in recovery is a powerful
message to hear. What has worked for them. What has
lasted. What has done neither.
We are not sitting in a lecture hall - or being told
what we should do. We learn in group by analogy
- by listening to the stories of others. We listen.
We relate - and learn.
Recovery from addiction is not an easy process. The
path is filled with obstacles.
Attendance to Recovery Support Group allows you to
give - and to receive support for the day to day process
Each time that you walk into group - you empower your
recovery - and you support that of others in group.
Denial - Justification - Complacency - Blame - Compulsion.
The sick mental habits of addiction are more likely
to occur when we isolate to our selves.
The stories and the sayings that we hear in group
- ground us in the day - and remind us of what needs
to be done.
Recovery Support Group is a place to talk about your
experience of addiction and recovery.
It is a place to listen - and to learn - from the
experience of others who have been where you are at.
Recovery Support Group grounds us in our recovery
It educates, supports and encourages
us - and it reminds us of what needs to be done.
Recovery Support Group is a most powerful of the healing
Ways of Recovery.
It always has a place in your Personal Program of
You have now reached the end of Recovery Support
Look for this and other Learning
Series topics at www.SupportNet.ca – Resources
for Your Recovery.