Goldilocks in Recovery

picjumbo.com_HNCK2236In recovery from substance abuse, there are many options, though many people who have had success, or heard of others having success, with a particular route will encourage you to follow that path. The correct answer for you is personal and it may mean you have to try out several options.

If you use Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous (AA/NA), you’ll learn that there are many meetings going on all the time. Most people go to the meeting closest to their home or work, for convenience. But those meetings (based on the people in attendance, the age range present, the site itself, the speaker, or that particular day) may not be a fit for you. There many other meetings that may be a better fit for you. It is up to the individual to try out different places, and to notice if boredom begins to set in and make additional changes.

If you use the SMART Recovery method, there are less meeting options, because the program has not been available for as long, but there are likely several meetings within driving range or at different times or with different facilitators. You have to try them to find a good fit.

It is often a good idea, in recovery, or even in business or any goal you are working on, to have an Accountability Partner. In recovery, they call this a Sponsor. You may be familiar with the term, or even have had a sponsor yourself. But did you know that the experience of a Sponsor is as individual as the person themselves? For instance, I had a client who was ex-military and his sponsor was “like a drill sergeant” and would phone him at 5am to get up and get going, and that was a good fit for him. Another client’s sponsor met her on the beach each weekday evening for a walk and talk, which was a good fit for her. You may need to talk to (interview) several people to ask what their style is, even if their personality seems like a good fit. You might think of what you’d like to get from a sponsor relationship and ask them how they accomplish that, or if they do. And you might have to have a few sponsors that you try out before you find a good fit for you. You have to be Goldilocks until you find the porridge that’s just right.

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