Recovery meetings are not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, people may hate going to them at first because that is what the first days of recovery are all about. Stepping out, trying new things, meeting new people. There are stereotypes that exist in the 12-step world about who people will meet out there at recovery groups. It helps to know that you will meet some of these people out in groups, but you can still make friends, anyways. Here are some people to watch for and some to consider becoming closer to as you journey forward.
Some people love knowledge, even thirsting for it on a regular basis. Acceptance is all about having the answers, is their response to everything. The book lover is someone who quotes the Big Book constantly, and always has quotes handy to share with others (whether you like it or not). Helpful tip: just put up good boundaries if you find this person is too eager to tell you what you should do in quotations from the book. It’s okay to tell them you don’t need to hear it right now but thank them for their efforts.
It may seem that there is a person who is addicted to meetings and cannot stop meeting shopping. Whatever meeting is going on, they show up. This person thrives on attending any and all meetings and asks where you’ve been if you haven’t been to a meeting they’ve been at in a while. Helpful hint: don’t let them shame or blame you if you haven’t been to the same meetings. Maybe you found another support group or you just have been working your way through different circles. It’s okay not to feel ashamed and let them know you thank them for worrying about you but you’re okay.
The person at meetings you may encounter is someone who suffers from chronic texting. You may not see her face because it is looking down at the phone, taking meeting notes, or texting people, and looks busy by staring into her phone. It is possible this person is struggling to navigate meetings or is having social anxiety. It is also possible they are avoiding the work of recovery. Helpful hint: don’t worry about other people and what they do. Go up, try to politely have a conversation if you choose, but don’t feel you have to pull them out of their situation. Deal with your own recovery on your time and slowly get them to open up if they seem curious but don’t obligate yourself to other people’s journeys.
End of the day, you will meet these and other types of people. It may be someone around the block several times, over several decades, who comes to impart wisdom. It may even be someone for whom you may relate but didn’t know it yet. Don’t judge others while in recovery groups. Just show up, do your thing, be yourself, and be vulnerable and open to learning all you can about your personal recovery.
We at the Last Resort encourage your journey to take you wherever it may go. We use the 12-steps to encourage your recovery but also provide a safe and secure space in nature to help you process your experiences. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.