Sunday, March 20, 2011

The importance of meetings

Many people with anxiety have tried many different outlets to achieve relief: multiple therapists, different pharmacologic combinations, self-help books. While all of these have their own importance in recovery, Recovery (capital R) offers an essential ingredient to true healing: meetings with peers.

Before Recovery, I had tried many different ways to achieve relief. But what really set me on a path to better mental health was making the effort to attend a group meeting weekly. Although visiting a therapist is important, most of us don't have the luxury of seeing a professional once a week. But in Recovery you can attend a meeting (in person, on the phone, or online) every day if you like. Simply showing up is an act worth endorsing for, as are commenting on examples and giving your own. Being around people who share similar fears, angers, anxieties, and frustrations is a powerful experience and is a continual reminder that we are not exceptional; our symptoms are indeed average; and relief can and will be achieved.

You can read all the self-help books you like, including Dr. Low's, but without having a constant reminder to act on the advice the changes probably won't stick for very long. That's why attending meetings is so important. Dr. Low reminds us that changes to the brain are made "through the muscles," including making the effort to attend a meeting through getting in the car, picking up the phone, and/or logging on to the Internet--even when we don't particularly feel like it, or when we would rather be doing something else, or when we feel that we don't need meetings anymore. It takes effort to improve our lives, and attending Recovery meetings is a relatively simple--but powerful--way to improve our mental health.


Anonymous said...

Your blog is great. I also am a Recovery apprentice :^). Back for 6 months after being away for about 30 yrs. This time I won't leave again because I realize the importance of remaining an apprentice and I've never used a more powerful tool than Recovery to regain and maintain my mental health.
Thanks for sharing your experience with Recovery and endorse!


Doug said...

Hi, Debbie. Thank you! Remember, no one practices perfectly so don't beat yourself up about being away for some time :)

Pallavi said...

Wow cool I liked the post a lot!

Anonymous said...

I would very much like to attend meetings. Having just found the local group and contacted them, I was told they meet only at 1pm on Mondays---in the middle of the work day for most people. Their only solution is "start your own group." I am not in the position to be able to facilitate a group and I do need this group interaction. I really don't understand why the only group available in my entire city meets at a time when most people are at work. I do not have the luxury to take time off work to attend. I am very interested in moving forward with a group and welcome solutions other than the only 2 I have been given. Thanks for your help!