Should You Join a Fellowship Group?

If you have been struggling with addiction for any length of time but have now made the decision to get help, you may be wondering how to access treatment. The good news is that there is plenty of help available to those with addiction issues.

If you have been abusing alcohol or drugs, you may be advised to first attend a programme of detoxification to eliminate the toxins from your body. Once this process has been completed, you will be ready to begin rehabilitation. This may be in a residential clinic or through an outpatient programme. Either way, you can expect a variety of treatments to help you overcome your addictive behaviour and to teach you how to learn to live without alcohol or drugs. Treatments usually consist of cognitive behavioural therapy, individual or group counselling, motivational interviewing, family therapy, and 12-step work.

What is 12-Step Work?

Most rehabilitation centres use some elements of 12-step work in their programmes. If you have heard of organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, you may be familiar with the 12-steps.

These organisations are known as fellowship support groups, and they use the 12-steps as a guide for recovery. Most fellowship members will work the 12-steps; the steps are designed to help members take accountability for their actions and to learn how to get sober and stay sober.

Joining a Fellowship Programme

You will undoubtedly be encouraged by your recovery team to participate in a fellowship group once you leave rehab, but many recovering addicts question whether they should heed this advice or not. They could be of the opinion that now they have completed their rehab programme, they are ready to face the world and feel strong enough to do this without having to rely on the support of strangers.

The reality is that fellowship groups are an integral part of recovery for many individuals. No matter how strong you feel upon leaving rehab, you are bound to need support, especially in the early days. The recovery process is long and slow, and there will be many obstacles and hurdles for you to face along the way.

Remember, as you begin to get back to ‘normal’, you are going to face certain temptations and triggers, and without adequate support, you could find yourself in danger.

Support Programmes Work

Although you might feel uncomfortable with the idea of joining a group with strangers, take comfort in the knowledge that these types of support groups do work. Millions of people from all over the world have changed their lives with the help of fellowship groups such as AA and NA.

In addition, after the first few meetings, you will get to know the other members, whom you can then count on for support throughout your recovery journey. The people in your group will all have been through a similar situation to yours and will share many experiences. You will soon find that you can relate to a lot of what other members are saying, which will further strengthen the idea that you are not alone in this journey.

Having a fellowship group to attend will give you some purpose in life. This group of people will replace your old circle of drinking or drug-taking friends, and you may begin to enjoy sober activities with these individuals. You will make a whole new group of friends; friends that you can share your story with without being judged.

Fear is Normal

It is natural to experience feelings of apprehension or fear when attending a fellowship group for the first time. However, these people were all in your position at one time and will ensure that you soon feel at ease. Take your time and just get used to the meeting; before you know it, you will want to share your story with the group.

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