Hopefully, part of your alcohol or drug rehab experience was used to get you familiarized with meetings.
If not, then 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 inter-group of local meetings and resources. You can contact them to find out 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. Do not 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.
There is a standard rule of thumb for those who have gone through treatment, as well as those who are new to the recovery process. That is to attend 90 meetings in 90 days. This can seem a daunting task, but there are many reasons and rewards for doing this. First, it has to do with the fragile/vulnerable state of the individual. Meeting attendance surrounds them with lines of support to build them up. Secondly, it goes back to the advantages of having that daily routine. You get in the habit of going to meetings and you begin to get more out of them. Third, studies have shown that 90-days of sustained sobriety free from drugs and alcohol can help your brain in recovering and reduces the impact of PAWS symptoms. It can be beneficial to spend those 90-days surrounded by individuals who want to help you with their experience, strength, and hope.
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 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 of 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.