Attending 12-step meetings is an excellent idea for anyone in recovery. Many people get into a new routine during recovery that may include work, socializing, therapy appointments, and medical visits. Some may wonder if attending 12-step meetings is still important after weeks, months, or years of navigating sobriety.
Even if you’ve been in recovery for some time, you may remember how it felt to attend your first meeting. You may have felt anxious, hopeful, angry, hopeless–or some combination of complicated emotions. Each person has their own experiences with addiction and recovery, and the support of a 12-step meeting can meet people where they’re at, right in that moment.
Attending a 12-step meeting can give you a reliable time and place to process your emotions during every stage of your recovery from addiction. There are several significant benefits of attending 12-step meetings in recovery. Reach out to the New You Sober Living staff to explore our supportive aftercare programs and sober living homes.
What are the Benefits of Attending 12-step Meetings in Recovery?
Recovering isn’t a final destination, it’s a lifelong journey–and it’s not always an easy one. Attending 12-step meetings in recovery can help you overcome some of the common challenges of sobriety.
Here are some of the most significant benefits of attending 12-step meetings.
Addiction can be a lonely, isolating disease. People with addiction often feel a sense of guilt and shame about their substance use. They may internalize society’s messages about substance use and addiction or face the weight of their actions while using drugs and alcohol.
Attending 12-step meetings in recovery allows people to meet others with similar experiences. While no two lives or experiences with addiction are exactly alike, many people in recovery have some shared experiences–or they can identify similarities in their stories.
Hearing other’s stories and seeing their progress can help people feel less alone. Attending 12-step meetings can also give people a safe place to practice recovery skills and improve communication.
Many mental health and addiction specialists believe that a lack of connection can be one reason people turn to drugs and alcohol. Life can feel chaotic, unfair, and fragile sometimes. Losing your connections to a higher power, other people, and your life’s purpose can cause stress and lead you down a path of substance abuse.
Attending 12-step meetings can help you discover new connections to other people and ideas. You will have a regular reminder of why you are seeking lifelong sobriety. You may find a deeper relationship with your Higher Power and feel more grounded as you work toward a healthier, more fulfilling future.
Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction takes patience, support, and a lot of dedication. In the early days of recovery, you may feel energized and excited about your new sober lifestyle. You attend meetings, you go to therapy, you attend all of your appointments…and then, one day, you begin to lose steam. Other things start to take priority in your life. Suddenly, you realize it’s been a week–or a month–since you attended a meeting.
It’s normal to have fluctuations in your energy levels and commitment to recovery. However, you must put guardrails in place to keep you on track. Attending 12-step meetings in recovery can help you stay focused. If you stop attending meetings, people will notice. This extra level of accountability may be the difference between losing sight of your goals and staying focused for the long haul.
The ultimate goal of your recovery journey will be staying sober, even when it’s challenging. People in recovery discover that getting sober doesn’t solve all of your problems. The people, situations, and obstacles that challenged you before will still be there–and you’ll have to face them.
Addiction is complex, and recovery usually isn’t straightforward. Most people in recovery experience setbacks or go through periods where they question the entire process. The more support you can get, the more likely you will be to avoid relapse.
Attending 12-step meetings regularly is an essential part of your new recovery rhythm. You’ll make new connections, learn new skills, and hear stories from people at all stages of their recovery journey.
You can depend on that regular community support and know you’ll always have a safe, non-judgmental place to express and process your complex thoughts and feelings as you work toward lifelong sobriety.
A 12-step meeting is so much more than just a gathering of like-minded people. It is a safe place for people in recovery to be honest without fear of judgment and make real, meaningful connections to their peers, their Higher Power, and themselves.
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If you or someone you love is in recovery from addiction, you are not alone. The support and guidance you need are just a phone call away. Reach out to the New You Sober Living team now to explore our sober living programs.