In my early recovery, I spent many hours in meetings. It was a great place to go where you felt safe, surrounded by people like yourself. It's great to listen and learn from people who have been in your shoes. There is a great feeling about being at a meeting. It is hard to put into words, but when you are there, you get a feeling of accomplishment and pride for attending and staying clean. If you look around the room you can quickly see that addiction affects people from all walks of life. It is comforting to know that you are not alone.
I had a person contact me this week to talk about recovery. She was about to head to her first meeting but was fearful of the unknown. I knew exactly what she was feeling because I too was scared before my first meeting. I did have an advantage because I was brought to my first meeting by my dad and my late grandfather They both are in recovery and it was a great feeling to know that they were by my side. The great news I have for you is that there is nothing at all for you to be scared of.
When you first walk into a meeting, you will see people greeting everyone at the door. The greeters have smiles on their faces and will shake your hand. Help yourself to some coffee or whatever other treats they have there that specific night. Then make your way to your seat to listen to everyone share.
There are two types of typical meetings, open and closed. An open meeting is a meeting where the speakers are picked before the meeting begins to share their stories. In open meetings, you can bring your significant other so they can learn along side of you. Open meetings are usually what I recommend first for most people. You will not be sharing at an open meeting so you can relax and relate to the speakers.
In a closed meeting, you have to personally have an issue with substance abuse. In these meetings, everyone gets the floor if they want to share. The structure is more of a round-robin and these meetings can get pretty emotional.
If you have never been to a meeting and are curious about what they will be like or if they will help you in your recovery, attend one. Most of the people I speak with that go to meetings enjoy them. Meetings are not for everyone. Nothing is wrong with not liking meetings, I just think it is necessary to give them a try. You have nothing to lose by attending a meeting and listening to successful people in recovery.