Recovery Meetings & Finding a Sponsor
- 5. Transition and Maintenance
5.4 Meeting and Sponsorship Instructions
Hopefully, part of your alcohol or drug rehab experience was used to get you familiarized with meetings. If not, than attending 12-step or recovery meetings can be very nerve racking your first time. You should be complimented. It takes tremendous courage to walk into a meeting like A.A. or N.A. and share with folks that you have a problem.
Most major metropolitan areas have a central office or intergroup of local meetings and resources. You can contact them to find where and when meetings are in your area. They even have sites with meeting listings on the web. You can find these links and phone numbers in the Local Drug Rehab section of cirquelodge.com. All you need to do is click on your state. These folks are looking to help and provide service to the still struggling alcoholic/addict, call them for help. Don't settle on meetings, unless you really like it. Those new to meetings should try out different meetings (if available) and times each day until you find the group you really can connect with.
Sponsor: When you start going to meetings the next step in the process is to get a sponsor. Alcoholics Anonymous has an extensive Sponsorship Pamphlet with guidelines on how to go about getting a sponsor. A sponsor provides you with a close and personal support for those initial fragile stages of the recovery process. They are someone you can call that will be there when you need them. They help you with the steps. You should select someone you feel comfortable with being your sponsor. But how do you do this when you are new to meetings? Pay attention, first of all. As folks in your community share their experiences, their words may connect with you somehow and ring true in your life. By talking to folks after meetings you can also get a sense for whether they would make a good sponsor for you. And with most aspects of the recovery process, always be comfortable with asking for help. Members in your 12-step group can provide assistance in connecting you with a good sponsor.
5.4 New Friends, Experiences, No Old Habits
Everyone (in recovery or not) has a natural need for friendship. But going back to old friends and hangouts after treatment can be dangerous and even lead to relapse. It can be intimidating to make new friends in recovery, but it really doesn't have to be. You already have two resources of friends and places to have uplifting experiences. First are the individuals that you went through rehab with. The other resource stems from those individuals you meet and work with in a sober living home, recovery group and by attending meetings. You don't always have to be surrounded by friends that promote and focus on being clean and sober, but in the first few weeks and months following drug rehab it can really help and support you.
You will need to take a very close look at who your friends are. Those who bring you down really are not your friends. Your disease of addiction may lead you to think so, but look closer at the situation. Those who wish to be your friends will uplift you, allow you to grow as a person and even support you in sobriety. It can be extremely difficult to let such friends and relationships go, but realize you are doing this for yourself, your health and your wellness.
Old habits die hard. This can be particularly true for those in recovery. By keeping an effective daily routine it can take your mind off of those old habits. These practices can even help you form new better ones. If you find yourself slipping into old habits, quickly recognize that you are and make necessary changes. It won't take you very long before those old habits involve using or drinking once more.
5.4 Saying "No"
Obviously, you must always say "No" to your drug of choice or to alcohol. You will find in recovery that there a many more things that you will have to say "no" to. Alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases of "yes" and you will find that many things need to change as you leave the safety of an addiction treatment program. You will have to say "no" to old habits, friends and situations. You will find that you need to say "no" to the toxic things that bring chaos and drama to your life. Something that can be more difficult is to say "no" to things that can unreasonably demand your time and attention. Even if they are good things, the demands and stress of some situations can overwhelm you. It is ok to say "no". It is okay to ask for help from others when you need it.
5.5 Staying Connected
This section is specifically for alumni and former residents of the Cirque Lodge alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. We want to continue to be an influential part of your recovery process. We do this by offering programs and means to keep you connected to the facility. By staying connected, you are always in touch with not only the facility, but with members of staff, fellow alumni and that special spiritual connection that is forged on the mountain. We encourage you to return and guest with us on occasion. Guesting is free of charge and is an effective way to refocus your recovery effort at the place you got sober. We will continue to provide you, our alumni, with events, dinners, programs and gatherings to keep you connected to the Cirque.
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