01 Oct How Many Meetings Do You Need to Stay Sober?
When you first get sober, you often hear people suggesting that you go to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. You’re probably encouraged to go to a lot of different meetings in order to see where you feel most comfortable. At meetings you can get to know many different people who are recovering from drug or alcohol abuse. You can share your experience, strength and hope with others in recovery and you can hear about what happened to them and the tools they use to lead a sober and useful life.
Most people who belong to AA or NA believe that going to meetings is the core of the program and an important part of staying sober. By going to meetings, you not only have the opportunity to hear things you need to hear, but you also have a chance to share what you have learned with others so you can help them as well. But how many meetings do you have to go to every week to stay sober and on an even keel?
Meetings in Early Sobriety
Meetings are especially important in early sobriety. When you are newly sober, you probably haven’t yet figured out how you are going to manage to stay away from a drink or a drug for a day. Most likely the first thing that is suggested to you is for you to get involved in support groups with others in recovery.
Many people recommend that newcomers get to 90 meetings in 90 days. If you are able to follow this suggestion, you will probably find that going to a daily meeting for a period of time will help you understand what it is that you need to do to stay sober. You will meet a lot of people who share different perspectives on recovery. Some say that meeting-makers make it. Some say that those who stop going to meetings don’t get to hear what happens to people who stop going to meetings.
You understand that you need to go to meetings, but will you have to attend daily meetings for the rest of your life? For some people, the thought of going to endless meetings is a turnoff.
As you strive to learn to lead a sober life, you will find that you not only have to stay committed to avoiding substances, but you also have to learn how to find balance between recovery and the other things and people that fill your life. Recovery doesn’t have a graduation date. It is an ongoing learning process.
What You Can and Can’t Get From Meetings
Going to meetings is the path to building a support network. You will eventually meet people you can confide in and share your recovery journey with. You will get reminders of where you came from and where you will end up if you should relapse. Getting to extra meetings may help you feel more comfortable when you are struggling.
But going to meetings isn’t all there is to recovery. A lot of the work of inner transformation has to be done on your own as you face your past and resolve to make better choices. If all you do to recover is show up at meetings, you may not be doing the inner work necessary to live a sober and useful life.
A Personal Choice
The number of meetings you attend is a personal choice. There are factors that come into play, such as the hours you work and what family demands or other obligations you have to consider. At times you may encounter people who tell you that you should be going to more meetings. Some may even accuse you of being on your way to relapse if you cut back on your meetings even a little bit.
The best thing to do is get to as many meetings as you realistically can, but no one else can tell you how many that is. In the end, there is only one thing that you absolutely have to do to stay sober, and that is avoid picking up a drink or a drug no matter what.
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