Do you share anything personal at 12 step meetings?

After spending time in rehab to establish recovery from your addiction, it’s incumbent on you to do whatever is necessary to stay sober. Of course, there are resources out there to help protect your recovery. In case you are not aware of it, 12 Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are excellent options for protecting your sobriety. AA was first introduced in 1935 by a gentleman named Bill Wilson. Mr. Wilson had a significant drinking problem and went looking for other people with similar issues to come together. He thought if they could come together, maybe they could collectively help each other.

The AA program started slow but eventually started making a difference. About 20 years later, NA came into being with the same charter of allowing one drug addict to help another. Membership into AA and NA is absolutely free. The only thing members have to do is show up and try their very best to stay sober. These programs are supported by meeting donations that help pay for the meeting rooms and literature. At the core of the 12 Steps program’s charter is the 12 Steps of Recovery. These are the 12 steps every member is expected to work at some point during their membership. For the benefit of new members, experienced members with sobriety (sponsors) are available to help go through the steps one by one in order.

There are four basic concepts built into the 12 Steps. They include:

  • The addiction sufferer showing a willingness to admit they are powerless over drugs/alcohol
  • The addiction sufferer taking responsibility for the harm they did to others as an addict
  • The addiction sufferer showing a willingness to make amends to whomever whenever possible
  • The addiction sufferer showing the willingness to help other people who are suffering from the disease of addiction

If any AA or NA member can do these things and adopt a higher power of their own understanding, the presumption is full recovery is possible. By the way, AA and NA are not religious programs. However, they are spiritual programs where a person’s higher power is nothing more than someone or something the individual feels they can rely upon for guidance.

Do you share anything personal at 12 step meetings?

If you were to attend AA or NA meetings before or after rehab, you should do so with the desire to participate as fully as possible. Remember, each meeting room is filled with people who are or have been right where you are today. They all have stories of despair and many of them can share stories of great success in recovery. As for sharing your own personal experiences, that would be entirely up to you. However, there are two good reasons for you to share as much as possible anytime the opportunity to do so arises. Let us look at these two reasons.

The Therapeutic Value of Sharing

Much of what addiction sufferers do is done in silence and secrecy. Most addicts know their behaviors are wrong and do not want family members and friends to know what is going on in their lives. In 12 Step meetings, sharing is often referred to as therapy. They call it therapy because there is therapeutic value in letting go of the past by talking about it. When sharing in 12 Step meeting, you would be sharing among people who do not want to judge you lest you judge them. Everyone in the meeting has a story to tell and no one has anything of which to be ashamed.

Creating Standing Within the Group

As you share your experiences as an addiction sufferer, you would be effectively securing your position as a valuable member of each group. Over time, new members would be looking to you as the person with X number of days of sobriety. They want to hear your story, so they know they are in the right place. They want to know about your journey to recovery so they to can have hope. By choosing to share personal information, you could save lives.

Whether you get treatment or not, AA and NA are groups you should be seeking out if you want recovery. In fact, we see a lot of clients who come our way via referrals from 12 Step meetings. All we really want is a chance to help you with your addiction problem. For more information about our treatment facility and services, please give us a call immediately at 833-285-1315.