Sharing is an important part of recovery. Sharing helps you feel better. It lightens your heart. It helps you get guidance and creates a sense of bonding with other people present in the meeting. But how much can you share about your life? What should you share and what not?
Here are a few tips on how and what to share in a AA meeting in North Carolina.
1. Be a little discreet
Although Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are supposed to be confidential, they are not legally obliged to be so. When you share something in a meeting assume that you are sharing it with the public. You do not know the people present in the meeting and not everybody is nice in the world. People are gathered here simply due to their alcoholism.
So, if there is something you did that was illegal or horrible or maybe too personal, avoid sharing it. Meetings give you a choice on what you want to share. Never share too much to let skeletons out of your closet.
2. Talk only about the alcohol-related topic
The world has so many things and happenings that may provoke you, disturb you or shock you. However, in a meeting, you must stick only to speaking about how alcohol addiction affected you as a person, your relationships, jobs, and other aspects of life.
Talk about what made you decide to quit drinking, how you feel being sober, how it was in the initial days of recovery, and others. You may also give advice based on your recovery experience. You can share what you learned in your sobriety journey and how you found local AA meetings in your area.
3. Focus on yourself only
Please do not talk about anybody else. Talk only about yourselves. Avoid blaming anybody. Do not criticize or judge any meeting member. In case you wish to involve other members, do so in a productive and constructive manner.
If somebody hurt you, you might talk about the incident, keeping the person anonymous. One of the 12 steps talks about making amends. If it is possible, do so. If not, leave the past behind. Try to forgive and forget. You are into the making of a new life. Do not let grudges and resentments chain you back to your old life.
4. Keep your story short
There are other members waiting for their turn to share their stories. Avoid going on and on, until you may see stifled yawns or subtle frowns on faces around you. Respect other members’ right to talk. AA meetings have time limits.
Points to remember:
- Share something valuable to the group. Don’t just ramble.
- If your instincts tell you not to share a particular thing, don’t.
- Be humble, polite, and calm while sharing. Avoid being too emotional. It’s okay to show some emotions, but the meeting is not the place to cry like a baby.
- Sharing is not compulsory in a meeting. Don’t share anything at all, if you don’t want.
- Listen to what others have to say, especially when you are a newcomer.
Don’t forget to reap the benefits of tools like Sobriety Calculator. You can also get a sponsor in a meeting.