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 personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

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 of others.

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 their struggle.

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 of group.

At the end of group - the Serenity Prayer or other closing will help participants to move on from a sometimes emotional discussion.

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 up.

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 to listen.

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 Group.

Try to not disregard or distance your self from what you hear.

It is not about the other person who is talking. It is about what you may need to hear - to further your recovery today.

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 different ways.

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 speak up.

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 hear today.

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 of recovery.

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.

In Summary

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 today.

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 Recovery.

You have now reached the end of Recovery Support Group.

Look for this and other Learning Series topics at www.SupportNet.ca – Resources for Your Recovery.