We hear in 12 Step fellowships that “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel,”- but what about at a group level? How can getting a homegroup and being of service THERE help keep us clean? It’s a suggestion many of us have heard time and time again, but why? I didn’t get it. I knew attending my fellowship meetings was important, but when I finally committed to a homegroup, my recovery and, quite frankly, my life changed. It’s a decision to participate in a group fully- and for me, that was doing something different. I wasn’t in clubs or groups at school. I isolated. I was a loner. A lot of addicts are. I didn’t relate to my peers growing up. I felt less than. Coming into recovery and finding a homegroup, I finally felt I belonged. These were my people. Committing to and attending the same meeting each week, I got to know more people in different stages of their own recovery. It afforded me their experience, strength, and hope and opened the door to friendships I cherish.
Once I decided to get a homegroup, I also added taking a commitment there. This brought more structure to my program. Structure, like regular tasks and chores, is extremely beneficial to all paths in recovery. There was no normalcy while I was out using, only chaos and despair. A regular homegroup gave me something to look forward to, a sense of purpose to show up, fulfill my commitment, network, and maybe help a newcomer. At the very least, I know I will see some of my best friends and grab a bite with them after the meeting. While achieving long-term recovery, life gets busy! But I know once Friday comes, I get to go to my homegroup, my recovery home.
I discovered my homegroup via suggestion by my sponsor. I recommitted to my program after putting a career above all else, including my recovery. When my life became unmanageable while clean, I made a change. I went back to the suggestions offered to me that I hear at almost every meeting. I started attending this particular meeting and felt comfortable there. That’s all it takes! It doesn’t have to check multiple boxes, it can take time to choose, and no rushing is needed! It was suggested to find somewhere not too far from home or work to increase the likelihood of being able to attend weekly.
My homegroup helps hold me accountable. People know me there and count on me to show up and serve in my commitment. My homegroup shares in my triumphs and allows me to carry the challenges I face; I don’t have to do this alone. If I don’t show up at my homegroup, my peers reach out to make sure I’m okay, and it’s a wonderful feeling to be cared for.
It’s such a pleasure to now see others attend a meeting, like what they see, and join our homegroup. We show up. For ourselves, for our friends, for newcomers.
Article written by: Jacqui Pignataro, CPRS