Sharing with the group is a fundamental part of AA. You might think you can just go to meetings, listen, and work the steps, but if you don’t share, you are missing out. There are several reasons sharing is important at AA.
It makes you part of the group. Sharing lets people know a little about who you are and why you’re there. It lets them know you’re in their boat. They have some idea of what you’re up against. If you don’t share, you risk becoming an outsider. You remain a passive observer even if you work on the steps. A big part of AA is feeling connected to others in the same struggle. That requires give and take and getting involved. The way you give when you first start is by sharing.
You get helpful feedback. You can’t always rely on your own judgement in matters related to addiction. Your brain can justify whatever you feel like doing. It’s also easy to get stuck in your own head when you feel down or stressed. If you let people know what you’re going through, they can offer an outside perspective. They can let you know when your logic has become twisted or your perspective has become skewed. These are hard to see on your own.
It’s better than ruminating. Sometimes, when we feel angry, depressed, frustrated, anxious, or anything else, we often stew. Instead of talking to someone about it or doing anything about it, we sit alone and rehearse all the reasons we’re perfectly entitled to feel rotten. Then we just feel worse and worse. One way to break this cycle is to get it out in the open. People often feel like they have no one to talk to about their problems. This is especially true of addiction problems, which few people understand. The people at meetings do understand because most of them have probably experienced the same thing. Once you express whatever you’re feeling, you can stop rehearsing it. Even if no one has brilliant advice for you, you will feel better. Sometimes just talking through a problem can clarify it.
You add to the conversation. Whether you’re talking about an obstacle in recovery, or a big win, your perspective is valuable. Others who are struggling know you are struggling with them, or they see you take a step forward and know they can too.
Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programmes, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.