5 tips to finding the best meetings for your recovery
Recovering from addiction has never been easy. If you have been in rehab, you may have already been sent to aftercare. Otherwise, if you are addicted to drugs and trying to find a way out, you must first realize that you have a problem. After this self-admission, you then must ask for help. So, where can you go to safely get help from trusted people? Here is a short guide to finding the best recovery meetings.
The wild west of recovery meetings.
Showing up to a meeting for the first time can be scary. Not only do you not want to be there, you have the additional pressure of your addiction telling you to leave. In fact, your addicted brain will tell you to get out at all costs. Hence, you will find any excuse possible to go away.
Tip #1, avoid clubhouses.
First, I should say that the best meeting is the one that you can go to right now. What I mean is that you should not use any of my criteria as an excuse to not go to a meeting. That being said, when it comes to finding the best recovery meetings, I want to tell you about the problem with many clubhouse meetings. Clubhouses are places that exist to host recovery meetings. They may have NA, AA, CA, OA and more. Or, they may focus on just one type of meeting. Alcoholics Anonymous clubhouses are fairly common.
While you can find many meetings to attend at such a clubhouse, you fill find a rougher crowd here. If you are concerned about fights, shouting, disrespectful behavior, drug dealers outside and other things that can disrupt your recovery, you will find that the clubhouses have a higher incidence of these problems. On the other hand, many clubhouses do have excellent meetings and solid recovery. But why take a chance?
Tip #2, ask an expert!
If you are making an effort in finding the best recovery meetings, why not ask an expert? So, how can you find such an expert? Call the helpline! Most organizations that host meetings have local helpline phone numbers. Local members usually answer these phones. Hence, you will find that they often have the best information about local meetings. When you call for help, don’t just ask where any meeting is, ask where the best meetings are! If you cannot find a local helpline number, try this national helpline.
Tip #3, Stay until the end.
When you go to a meeting of AA or NA for example, you will find that the meeting starts with a prayer and ends with a prayer. So, try to stay from the first prayer to the last. When you are fighting an addiction, you will find that you are often tempted to walk out early. Whatever you do, don’t walk out! Stay for the whole meeting and listen carefully. In fact, you should stay a bit after the meeting and get to know the people who have a lot of clean time. Try to talk to the people who spoke about recovery in a good way during the meeting.
Tip #4, Get to know people of your gender.
This is an important one. When you go to a meeting, it is to save your life from the disease of addiction. While you do enjoy meeting new and attractive people, a meeting is not the place for this. Of course, I should mention that when I say you should associate with people of your gender, I realize that gender and sexual orientation are more complex than boys liking girls and girls liking boys. To simplify, don’t make best friends with people whom you are physically attracted to. Therefore, you will keep your focus on your recovery.
Tip #5, Find a sponsor.
Maybe, this should have been tip #1. For the best results, you should find a sponsor. Even though a sponsor is important to your success, you don’t have to overthink it. If you are concerned that you will choose wrong, ask someone to be your temporary sponsor. This way, you will have a chance to get to know them a bit. And don’t forget, read tip #4 to see who you should not pick for a sponsor.
Bonus tip for finding the best recovery meetings
While there are no definite rules for what makes the best meeting, you will likely find that there are some common characteristics. While many of the best meetings take place in churches this does not mean that they are religious. Churches often rent space for weekly meetings. What you will find is that the bad meetings get kicked out of the churches, so meetings that have been in a church for a long time tend to be good. For some reason, the good meetings tend to meet weekly, in the early evening, from around 5pm to 8pm.
Good luck in finding the best recovery meetings! When you find a good one, take note of when and where it is. Set an alarm so you remember to show up every week. When you find a bunch of good meetings, you will be able to fill out your whole week with the best recovery your area has to offer. We wish you the best of luck and success!