As we commit to our recovery program, one of the best things we can do for ourselves and our sobriety is to make the effort to attend 12-Step meetings consistently. Just like working with a therapist and a sponsor, attending meetings can help us to address some of the deeply rooted mental and emotional health issues that we can’t fully heal during a short-term treatment program. Meetings can help ease our anxiety, depression, worry, and stress. They can provide us with the support of fellowship, which can be especially helpful if we’ve been isolating due to our addictions and mental illnesses. They can help us to stay sober at times when we feel nothing else can help us. They can drastically bolster our success in staying on track with our sobriety goals, particularly because we are surrounded by people who support us and who are cheering us on to keep going.
Whenever we’re feeling tempted, weak, vulnerable, sad, anxious or afraid, we have a simple solution – we can go to more meetings. Meetings give us an immediate course of action we can take, rather than wondering how we should manage and then feeling overwhelmed, lost and confused, paralyzed by our addictions. Before sobriety, anything can function as a trigger and cause us to relapse. We don’t always have a means of recourse against our difficult thoughts and emotions, as well as our addictive urges and all the pressures we feel. Whenever something difficult arises, our default instinct is to return to our drug of choice. Once we’re sober, in these challenging moments of crisis, we start to instinctively tell ourselves we should go to a meeting, and we automatically have something useful, productive, meaningful and helpful as an alternative to our drug of choice.
Getting into the habit of attending meetings regularly can be one of the healthy coping skills we develop. It takes time, energy and effort to replace the self-destructive, self-harming coping mechanisms we relied upon before sobriety. We can feel resistance to new ways of coping because our minds and bodies are screaming out for our drug of choice. Like any habit, committing to regular meetings takes time and practice. We want to give ourselves tangible, reasonable goals we can commit to, such as attending a meeting once a week, finding a sponsor to work with, or sharing our personal experience during a meeting.
Riverside Recovery is a drug and alcohol treatment center offering a full continuum of care for people suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.