In early recovery, learning how to listen is key to absorbing the information you need. Those who are new to the program have a lot to get off their chest; the weight of addiction is massive, and everyone desires to feel unburdened. There are ample opportunities to share your experience with the group in the countless meetings to follow. However, it’s beneficial to prioritize hearing what others have to say early on.
The people in your support group have been where you are, and they know how you are feeling exactly. Your newfound peers understand the anxiety and fear that accompanies early recovery. They also grasp the desire to run when something isn’t going the way you’d hope.
The temptation to use is paralyzing at times, urges to return to drugs and alcohol can crop up without a moment’s notice. Persistent cravings are one of the reasons one must attend as many meetings as possible in the first 90 days of recovery. The more meetings you attend, the more tips and tools you will absorb.
Your support group is nothing short of a life raft floating in a turbulent sea; if you do not follow the direction of those with more experience, then you risk falling overboard.
At this point, you may have heard an oldtimer make a statement like, ‘take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth.’ Curmudgeonly, to be sure, but not without some merit; the point they are trying to make is that if you are going to make it in the program, then there is a lot you have to learn.
If you are talking too much, then you can put yourself at risk of not hearing something you need to understand.
Listening in Recovery
People with more time in the program stay sober by helping others achieve similar feats. Once a person’s program is strong enough, he or she is in a position to impart wisdom to men and women with less time. Each time an oldtimer shares, it is an opportunity to glean valuable suggestions that can help you stay clean and sober.
Surround yourself with people who are carrying the message and listen up. Whether you are in a meeting or having coffee with your sponsor, remember that what is shared with you can help you stay on the path down the road. You will not always be around your recovery peers, so it’s prudent to have a firm set of coping mechanisms to manage cravings.
There will also be times when you find yourself in risky situations that can derail your recovery. If you have been listening to your sponsor and support peers, then it’s probable that you know how to comport yourself and extricate yourself from danger.
The stakes in recovery are high, and long-term sobriety is never a foregone conclusion; there will always be dangers and pitfalls to skirt. Do everything you can early on to position yourself for success so that one day, you can help others find what you’ve found.
This post is not about admonishing newcomers against sharing. It’s meant to explain the importance of listening more than talking in recovery’s infancy. If you have a burning desire to share, then by all means share. You may be struggling, and people can’t help you if they do not know you are having challenges. Just try to be cognizant and be sure that you are soaking up as much or more than you are putting out.
Those who invest all their energy into learning the way of recovery early on will set themselves up for realizing long-term recovery. They will develop the skills for leading a fulfilling and productive life.
California Addiction Treatment and Medical Detox
At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we help men and women caught in the cycle of addiction to be free. Our addiction hospital assists patients in all aspects of their care, from detoxification to aftercare. Please contact us today to learn more about the HVRC difference.