EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH AND HOPE
Experience, strength and hope means overcoming alcoholism/addiction and living a healthy and normal life. A lot of people share different experiences and what gives them strength and hope in their recovery journey. This has a huge impact on newcomers, and those already in recovery. and to the person sharing their own experience
Although it might not appear so at the moment, going to a meeting for treatment is an act of strength. It takes heart and bravery to look at your demon in the eye, confront your past boldly, and then choose to take control of your life once again by seeking change. The strength to stay sober during difficult or confusing times can be a guiding light for others to follow. Many in recovery go to meetings with the hopes to hear something that will help them stay sober. When you share your story of strength, it may help someone stay sober, even for just one more day.
Alcoholics and those addicted to drugs reach a point where they have absolutely no control. Instead, the drug takes over their entire existence. Sometimes, when people get sober things may not be as happy as they planned. Sharing your story of hope in a meeting and how your hope leads you out of the darkness can be just what a person needs to hear to remain hopeful of a happier future.
Hope can be defined as: A feeling of trust, A feeling of desire and expectation for something to happen, Believing that some good is bound to happen, A thing or person that can help save someone
Hope keeps you going in tough and dark times. Hope gives the kind of strength needed to forge forward even when you feel stuck. Hope gives the assurance that even if you have no control over everything that will happen in the future, things will somehow get better. When you share how hope has kept you sober it may inspire someone else to remain hopeful as well.
Some need to know that others are going through the same things that others are. Experience strength and hope all help do this, but nothing does it more than sharing your personal experience. Talk about a time where you never thought you would find sobriety, how it made you feel and what you did to get sober. Talk about a time where you were sober and really wanted to drink or use. What made you feel this, why? How did you respond? Sharing your experience doesn’t mean only the moments you’ve experienced, but also the feelings and thoughts you have had as well. This makes addiction and recovery very relate-able and helps others know they are not alone with their thoughts and feelings.
Addiction can be described as a disease of isolation and loneliness. The thinking of an addict can be self-sabotaging, telling the addict that they do not have a disease, that they do not need meetings any longer because they’ve got money, family, friends, or success. As an addict, once you are isolated, there is a higher likelihood that your thinking will convince you that you are well, and you can have a little bit more of the drug or worse still, have another drug other than the one you’ve been abusing.
One thing that attending support meetings and sharing experiences in the group will do is offset the self-destructive and delusional thinking.
A SENSE OF BEING CONNECTED
There is a theory that alcohol/drug abuse is mainly caused by not being able to find connections, or losing the feeling of being connected. Connections of weight and depth are made possible through sharing in meetings. The group gives you a chance to know others and to be truly known by them. This is important in creating a sense of connection and in your sobriety journey.
PREVENTING A RELAPSE
People who have relapsed and then gone back to meetings have admitted that before they relapsed, they had stopped going to meetings. Groups become pillars of strength and hope that create a sense of purpose and belonging. You may be able to convince others that you are okay, but your group members know you better. It is in the shared meetings where you will be told of deeper underlying issues that you might not be aware of yourself, or of feelings that you are trying to hide.
It is only in the Groups that you will be able to share and hear experiences. You will learn that you are not alone in the struggle.