Do I Have to Go to AA When I’m in Recovery?
The world today is a world of choices. We live in a highly customizable world. Personalization is a must in order to really connect to something. Recovery as a practice of abstinence is one more process in life you have a chance to do the way that works best for you. Attending meetings at a support fellowship is highly suggested during recovery for a few reasons.
First, is accountability. People at meeting will get to know you and you will develop a sense of belonging there. By showing up to meetings, you are actively contributing to your recovery. When you stop attending, you’ll have new friends to ask how you’re doing. Second, is fellowship. Walking the road of recovery can feel like a lonely stroll. Being around other people facing similar experiences is encouraging. Third, meetings are a great practice. In meetings, you hear the things you need to hear in recovery. Like practicing a language each day until you are fluent, you are learning the language of recovery.
Alcoholics Anonymous is arguable the largest resource for recovery in the world. Most treatment centers will take patients to various twelve step meetings. Heroin Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Cocaine Anonymous are sister programs of AA. Twelve step meetings are not the only option for fellowship and recovery. Here are a few other options people have great success with:
SMART Recovery is arguably the second largest recovery fellowship next to Alcoholics Anonymous. Standing for Self-Management for Addiction Recovery, SMART recovery is founded in empowering the individual. Tools for recovery are based on scientific research and evidence based practice. Instead of 12 steps, SMART focuses on 4 points:
1: Building and Maintaining Motivation
2: Coping with Urges
3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
4: Living a Balanced Life
Secular and abstinence based, Life Ring Recovery is based in peer support. Meetings are based on encouragement, support and guidance amongst peers. Rather than follow a specific program Life Ring promotes the development and individuation of each person’s journey through abstinence.
Based in Christian faith, Celebrate Recovery uses the bible as a guiding text for recovery. Following a twelve step program similar but different from AA, Celebrate Recovery offers structure, fellowship and support. Celebrate Recovery is open to anyone who has experienced pain or an unbreakable habit which impact their lives in negative ways. There are other religious recovery groups as well, from Jewish-faith recovery groups to Buddhism recovery groups.