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Do I Have to Attend Meetings Forever in Recovery?

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.
Clinically Reviewed By: Karen Williams, LPC
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.

You’ve been in recovery for a while now. In the beginning, you filled your calendar with sobriety meetings that were an invaluable tool in early recovery. Now you’re starting to wonder if you still need to attend sobriety-related meetings multiple nights a week. Will this be for the rest of your life? At what point does it become safe for you to ease up on the meetings?

You probably have a plethora of programs from peer support to 12-Step groups cluttering your calendar while somehow fitting in time with your sponsor, but which ones could go and which ones are the most important to maintain?

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Contents

Communicate Your Feelings

There might come a time when you feel a little burnt out from all of your sobriety meetings. You might feel like you’re just going through the motions.

There might be some programs where you’ve gotten all you can get from these programs, as far as you’re concerned. 

Around this time, it’s important to assess how you’re feeling and communicate it to the people involved in these programs.

Talk to your therapist one-on-one if you feel like you’ve gotten all that you can get out of it. They might agree if they’ve seen major improvements and breakthroughs.

If you feel things are okay with you and your loved ones, ask them how they feel about family therapy and whether they still benefit from it or if work needs to be done.

If you are in a 12-Step program, talk to your sponsor and tell them if you feel burned out or that you’ve got all you can. 

They’ve probably felt the same way before. No one should pressure you to stick with these programs if you feel you have nothing to gain, but it helps keep people on the same page and gain additional insight on staying motivated.

Weigh Your Obligations

If you are someone’s sponsor or mentor or are attending family therapy, consider whether or not you have obligations to others when deciding which meetings to let go of and which meetings to keep. 

You aren’t obligated to keep a sponsor if it isn’t working with your schedule or life direction. Still, if your obligations concerning meetings are more important than what you’d rather fill your schedule, then it might be better to keep them up.

There’s nothing wrong with prioritizing yourself, but it has to be for the right reasons. Your mental health and physical health are the most important aspects to consider, and making room in your schedule for self-care and avoiding burnout can be beneficial.

What Are You Making Room For?

If you are considering letting go of some meetings, consider why you want to let them go. How would you rather spend that time? If you’re unsure, it might be best to wait before quitting meetings that you could still benefit from. 

If it’s to make more time for yourself, either to fulfill a goal or give yourself time for self-care between other obligations like work or school, then that’s a good reason. 

It may be a good idea if you aren’t leaving that space free to be bored or do nothing. There’s a difference between downtime and time being bored.

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Change Things Up

You might want to consider rearranging your obligations or trying something new. If you go to 12-Step meetings, consider becoming a sponsor if you’ve been sober for a year or more. 

Talk with your therapist one-on-one about tackling something new. Try taking on a leadership position and becoming more engaged in the group.

However, taking on more responsibilities might not be the best option if stress is the issue. If you feel overburdened, then it’s best to consider what aspects of these meetings are the most and least important to you.

Prioritize What You Get The Most From

The truth could be that you just need to let go of some of the meetings that aren’t serving you anymore. Now that you’ve gotten this second chance at life, you are allowed to live your most fulfilling life. You get to decide what your life is composed of.

While there was a time when these meetings may have done wonders in early recovery, not all of them require a lifelong commitment. 

It’s common for therapy patients to no longer benefit from treatment after they’ve built their life back up and learned healthy coping mechanisms and positive thought processes. 

Think about what you are getting from meetings that fill your week. What more could you get in the future? Keep things that serve you and let the others go.

You get to choose how you spend your time in recovery. You know yourself best, especially in this new life that you are leading. If you aren’t sure what’s best, reach out to your support system for guidance. 

Your sponsor, therapist, friends, and family know your progress, where you’ve come from, and where you want to be. If you are feeling burned out or overwhelmed, it might be time to lighten the load and find something else that is fulfilling, if not more. 

Cornerstone Healing Center offers aftercare for all of its clients and treatment alumni. We also provide navigators who can coach you on life choices for the future. 

We are happy to provide you with information and resources about our programs and how they can benefit you in the future. If you’d like to know more about life during recovery and the best track, contact us at (800) 643-2108.

Sources

[1] From Teen Addict To Founder Of Treatment Center

 

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Call to learn about our programs. Even if we can't help you, we will give you life-saving resources.
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Published On: 11/15/2022

Author: Estil Wallace, Founder/CEO of Cornerstone Healing Center

Author: Estil Wallace, Founder/CEO of Cornerstone Healing Center

Estil is the CEO/Founder of Cornerstone and has worked in the addiction recovery field for 12 years. He has served 5A.org as the organization’s’ Executive Director, Board Member and President. Estil has a passion to help people get sober utilizing abstinence-based recovery.

Clinical Reviewer: Karen Williams, LPC

Clinical Reviewer: Karen Williams, LPC

Karen is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 15 years experience. She not only specializes in addiction, but is in recovery as well. Karen is our clinical director.

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