After years of being immersed in our disease, we can become accustomed to drifting through life. We often shirk responsibility and commitment. At the very least, when we do things, we are likely to choose to do them alone. We get used to feeling unwelcome anywhere, or too ashamed to show up at the places where we are wanted.
Once we are in recovery, it’s important that we break out of as many old patterns as possible. It’s likely that you have heard people tell you to find a home group. But why is it so important, and how you find the right one? Jaywalker Lodge – a Colorado-based treatment center and community of recovering people firmly rooted in the 12-Steps – can provide some guidance and answers.
Finding a Home Group
First, go to as many meetings as possible. Find one for every night of the week, or attend as many meetings as you can that fit into your weekly schedule. Try this until you find your favorites. It’s pretty likely that out of the available meetings every day, one will become your favorite of that day. These ought to become your regular meetings.
How will you know when you are at the “right” meeting? When you enjoy the atmosphere and format, and you like being there – which means you are less likely to miss them. Out of these favorites, you’ll likely find one that you enjoy the most. You’re more comfortable at this meeting, you’re familiar with the people, and you may even start to feel at home. This is probably a good candidate to become your home group. You should never miss this meeting – try to view it as similar to a weekly get-together with family. (Of course, you might be able to skip all this by getting a sponsor who simply tells you what your home group is!)
Commitment is Key
All meetings are good and useful, but different people enjoy different formats and atmospheres. It’s normal to gravitate to what speaks to your heart in recovery. Our regular meetings are important for our recovery, and they’re important to us for personal reasons. Perhaps at some of our regular meetings, we can get away with being a wallflower – or we may just go to look for sponsees or hang out with our friends. What sets a home group apart is our level of commitment to it.
Our home group shouldn’t be a meeting we can hide in – it should be a place where everyone knows our name. We never miss our home group. If we ever do, we should expect ten phone calls five minutes before the meeting starts. That’s a proper home group – a place where we feel at home, where we are committed to showing up, and where we are held accountable.
Commitment is a huge part of any recovery program. It’s a trait that most of us need a lot of learning in when we first get into recovery. Here at Jaywalker Lodge, our clients engage in an authentic journey of healing and self-discovery that includes personal accountability, deep and lasting friendships, and the belief that absolutely anything is possible in recovery – but you must be committed.
In our disease we aren’t used to being committed to much – we do what we have to do to get by and usually not much more. Committing to ourselves, to recovery, and to the people around us can be huge steps forward into a new and more joyful life.
A Sense of Belonging
Committing to a home group can give us a healthy sense of satisfaction in being of service as well as a great sense of belonging – a feeling that we are part of something special. Seeing the same sober faces week after week helps us become part of a community, and we don’t go it alone in recovery. Holding ourselves accountable to our commitment of regularly attending our home group also makes us accountable to the people in that meeting. They come to expect us there and probably look forward to seeing us, too. This makes it harder for us to isolate or skip a meeting when or if the urge may arise.
It is so vital for us to be known in recovery, and for us to know others. We come to be known by the people we see often and by our sponsor as we work the 12-Steps. We learn to know the people we share and grow with, and the people we take through the 12-Steps. All these intimate and valuable relationships help us become more fully ourselves. They fill our lives with joy, learning, and growth. They give us the opportunity to thrive and flourish and give back. Relationships like these can usually be forged best by regularly and openly attending a home group and other meetings.
Of course, what makes the right home group differs from individual to individual. Some may want it to be a “stag” meeting of some kind, a book or step study, a share or a speaker meeting. The format of the meeting is irrelevant – what makes a meeting your home group is that you feel at home there. You can hardly wait for that day of the week when you get to go to your home group!
A home group is a beautiful and important part of recovery. It’s where we can open up without holding back, where people know us, can steer us right when we’re off course, and where we can share with the closest people in our sober circle. Keep your eyes and heart open as you search for the right group. The right place is just waiting for you.
If you’re looking for a home group or a place to call home as you begin the journey of recovery, Jaywalker Lodge has the tools, expertise, and resources to make you feel right at home in sobriety. Meetings, sober community, and safe places to stay are all here. Find where you belong and come meet your people. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.
As Chief Executive Officer Bill provides leadership and manage all day-to-day operations of Jaywalker Lodge, an extended care residential addiction treatment program for adult men.