Group meetings are one of the best ways to maintain sobriety. They act as a safety net, giving us support and guidance at all times.
There are no concrete rules for what you should share at a group meeting, or how you should share it. The reality is, at least at first, sharing may be difficult. In general, the trick is to make yourself say whatever is on your mind–get it all out there. Still, you’ll want to do this in a way that is respectful to other group members.
A few reminders:
There is no benefit all to lying, exaggerating, or minimizing your thoughts and experiences—not for yourself or for those listening. Fellow group members benefit from adapting their own thoughts and actions in accordance to what they teach each other.
It’s called sharing for a reason: everyone should have a chance to talk. This can be tricky, and it depends on how long your meetings run, but in general, remember to remain vigilant when you’re talking, because emotion can lead us onto long tangents without us even realizing it.
Always raise your hand
Whoever is chairing the meeting needs to be responsible for choosing who speaks and when. Organization is critical when it comes to sharing, because equal-opportunity dialogues don’t happen naturally; without guidance, we tend to interrupt each others or become argumentative.
Talk about yourself, not others
Never criticize another member during your speaking time, and never use the time to challenge or promote any political, religious, or spiritual beliefs/ideologies. Offering words of encouragement is okay, but really, the moment is yours. It’s for reflecting on yourself.
Try not to depart too far from the subject
Each meeting will be assigned a particular subject, like forgiveness, anger, and so on. Do your best to remain at least somewhat on topic, even if your presentation is abstract.
Don’t feel pressured to talk
If you don’t have much to say, it’s okay not to speak much, since there are probably present members who do have a lot to say and who could use the extra time. However, if your sponsor or chairman approaches you concerned about how little you’re speaking, do take that seriously. Chances are, you do have some thoughts that you could get out there.
The Last Resort is a champion for 12 step recovery and advocates the importance of group support during this process. If you’re interested in more information about addiction recovery, contact us at 512.575.4071 to schedule a consultation.