Once the beginning stages of getting clean and sober are done, what is next? Going to meetings is highly suggested to maintain the work that was put in during the initial process of getting sober. What to expect at a 12-step meeting can vary from meeting to meeting. There are many different types of fellowships, and they each carry their own way of running their meetings. But one thing holds true, they all help the struggling addict and alcoholic find a place of solace and peace where they can open up and express themselves without fear or worry surrounding being judged.
The initial program of recovery founded for struggling alcoholics is known as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It was founded as a safe haven for people who struggle to come together and share their experiences, and help one another to stay sober. Since then, many different fellowships have adopted the basic outline of AA. The verbiage and the fellowships are different, but the steps laid out as a guideline for long-term recovery are the same.
Each meeting has its own format, and while they may be similar, each meeting is self-supporting and has its own regulations. This helps the meetings to maintain functionality in the long term. Having a full understanding of what to expect at a 12-step meeting can help someone to make a decision to attend one, and begin a life in recovery that can only help them to grow and prosper.
It is highly suggested that once you complete treatment to attend a meeting as soon as possible. Make a plan for when you get home, and include a meeting within that plan. It is best to go immediately and get plugged into a meeting so you can begin making new connections with people who are clean and sober, trying to do the right thing, just like you are. These people will help support you through the hard stuff and help guide you through the early stages of recovery.
What to expect at a 12-step meeting depends on each meeting’s format. However, there are some general components to any meeting that are usually a part of all 12-step fellowship meetings. These can include things like the following:
There are many myths surrounding 12-step meetings, the biggest of which is that you are joining a cult. The fellowships born from AA are a place to find love and support that can carry you through some of the tough moments that can and will probably arise during the first few months of recovery. That is the beauty of these meetings and the fellowship. What to expect at a 12-step meeting is love from a fellow addict or alcoholic in recovery that helps you maintain your own recovery.
Generally speaking, meetings vary. However, more often than not, meetings usually go on for an hour, from opening prayer to closing prayer. They may run over a little longer sometimes, and this allows for people who need to get something off of their chest to be able to do so and could potentially be saving them from relapse.
What you can expect at a 12-step meeting—once the meeting ends—is the “meeting after the meeting”. This is if you choose to participate. This is where you will get to know the people in the meetings, and build friendships with those people. Whether it be going out for coffee, or going out to lunch or dinner. This will allow you to let down your guard, let people get to know you and you get to know them. This is not a requirement for attending meetings, everyone is welcome, it is just a place to get to know the people in the meetings.
Each fellowship generally has its own website, and those websites are broken down into area websites that make it easy to locate meetings. Google can be your friend here!
The beginning stages of getting clean and sober can have a rocky start. It can be difficult to maintain recovery on your own. The good news is, there is help available when you are trying to give up drugs and alcohol. At Lexington Addiction Center, we provide a safe place to remove the substances from your body, under the care of professionals, while you begin the process of starting a life in recovery. Seeking help is often necessary to achieve your goal of recovery, and we can help. Contact us today and begin your journey to recovery.