How Can I Become Comfortable Speaking During My AA Meetings?
It can take time to become comfortable speaking during AA, especially in a close-knit group or an inpatient treatment center. Below are several tips that can help you feel more at ease with the entire process. If you are looking for a rehab program that provides 24-hour care and utilizes the 12-step process, call 800-839-1686 now.
Why Do I Need to Speak in AA?
It isn’t necessary to speak during your first AA meetings or even your second or third. But eventually, you will need to engage in the program to gain its full benefits. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “These groups offer an added layer of community-level social support to help people in recovery with abstinence and other healthy lifestyle goals.”
It is difficult to gain this kind of support, though, if you never speak up about what you are personally experiencing as a recovering addict.
Ask Yourself Why
Why are you uncomfortable with speaking in front of others during AA? If you have never been comfortable talking in front of a large group of people, this is perhaps something you and your therapist can work on together.
It may even be indicative of a co-occurring disorder, which must be treated simultaneously with your addiction (NIDA).
Perhaps you feel ashamed about your past and the things you have done as a result of your substance abuse. But it is important to remember everyone you are talking to has similar feelings, and that the entire purpose of AA is to be able to discuss issues like these without judgment.
Practice What You Want to Say
Either with your therapist or alone in your room, it can help to practice what you want to say in your next AA meeting. You can even write down what you would like to tell others to make sure you know exactly how to phrase it.
Many people also become concerned that what they say will be perceived as stupid, so talk to your counselor about it first, as it is much easier to admit to something with one person than a group of people.
One of the best ways to change your situation and to become comfortable speaking during AA is to opt for honesty.
“Hello. I really want to work on my recovery and I appreciate the ability to listen to everyone else. Unfortunately, I’ve been struggling with speaking in meetings myself, but I am trying to work on this issue.”
Saying this will not only help you work on being more honest in your recovery in general, but it will allow others to understand your situation much better. It may make others who are more confident likely to reach out to you, something that could help you in the long run with gaining the social support you require from your AA meetings.
AA Makes a Difference
You can attend AA during and after your inpatient rehab stay. This program really does make a difference in people’s lives, and it is time for you to find out how. Call 800-839-1686 now to learn more and to find rehab centers that will provide you with beneficial options for your needs.