Why 12-Step Meetings?
Going to 12-step meetings has been a ritual part of millions of people’s recovery around the world since Alcoholics Anonymous was formed in the late 1930s. Alcoholics Anonymous was the first 12-step group and founder of the worldwide infamous “12-step” program for recovery support. At a time when there was little to no information on alcoholism or how to treat it, members of AA found reprieve in their lives through the undertaking of the 12-steps which lead them to a “spiritual experience”. This spiritual experience and the journey of getting to it was enough to change even the most chronic of alcoholic’s lives for the better. Today, millions more people find a new way of living, social support, routine, accountability and more from making 12-step meetings part of their recovery.
Do I Have To Go To 12-Step Meetings Specifically?
The 12-step life is not the only way to get social, pragmatic support outside of treatment or professional care. There are numerous other programs which hold meetings, have their own version of the 12-steps or have created another kind of program entirely, and offer immense support for those in recovery. Recovery support groups exist for Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Atheism/Agnosticism, Science, Women, LGBTQ+ specific, and more.
Going to meetings regularly isn’t about whether or not you are attending a 12-step meeting, or Alcoholics Anonymous. Meetings are about routine, consistency, and accountability. Regular meeting attendance has been proven to increase the likelihood of sustained abstinence. When you go to meetings regularly, and you share vulnerably at those meetings regularly, you maintain therapeutic practices. You forget to remember that alcoholism and addiction can make you feel entirely alone. In the rooms of recovery support meetings, of whatever kind, there are people there walking the same walk, facing the same challenges, and doing the same work as you. We’re told to “find the similarities, not the differences” with the people we meet “in the rooms” because no matter how different our lives, our common problem and purpose are the same: We are seeking recovery from a life-threatening disease. In our effort to do anything and everything possible to avoid picking up another drink we go to meetings, we talk, we help others, and we just keep doing that, over and over again, like breathing, like eating, like not picking up another drink or drug.
Maintaining Meeting Attendance
During treatment, we are likely offered to be taken to some kind of recovery support meeting every single day. Going to meetings becomes part of our routine as a result. We make friends at meetings, we find a sponsor, we take on commitments, and we start to work the program. We even find that we start to enjoy going to meetings, seeing our friends, talking to our sponsor, feeling responsible for our commitments, and working a program outside of treatment. Our lives in recovery can be enhanced in a magical, miraculous way when we participate in recovery support groups.
Once treatment is over, maintaining the routine of attending meetings can become challenging. Oftentimes we feel like we’ve been given some kind of freedom, like we’ve earned the right to lay off of meetings for awhile. Life continues to happen after treatment and now that we’re recovered, we’re able to hop into the flow of life more fully. Creating accountability for meeting attendance helps us maintain our familiar system of a recovery routine and keep us involved with our friends, fellowship, and sponsor.
If we’re in sober living, a home designed to help us maintain abstinence, we will likely be required to attend a certain amount of meetings per week and prove our attendance. Sober living homes, sponsors, treatment programs, therapists, and our Care Manager at Hired Power might ask us to check in at meetings, send a snapshot of where our meeting is, and provide a signed piece of paper as proof.
How many meetings you attend is both up to you and not up to you. If you have a required amount from a program, home, or therapist, that is how many meetings you have to attend. At Hired Power, we help individuals and their families self-direct a plan of recovery which puts the clients’ best interest in mind. You know best what truly works for you and what doesn’t when it comes to meeting attendance. We’re here to meet you exactly where you are and how many meetings you’re able to go to at any point in time. Our goal is to help you progress in your recovery. We’re always here to stand by you.
Hired Power is a team of dynamic recovery professionals with combined decades of personal and professional experience. Together, we strive to provide you with services you can count on, designed to help you and your family focus on what matters most: bringing recovery home. For information on our recovery services, call 800.910.9299.