An active, supportive homegroup is an important part of a healthy program of recovery. The purpose of a homegroup is to provide a community of sober supports who hold you accountable to your progress in recovery, as well as your participation in the homegroup’s weekly meetings. Due to the significant impact a quality homegroup has on your recovery, you should ensure your choice meets certain criteria in order to guarantee its beneficial nature. What should you look for in a homegroup in order to maximize the benefits to your recovery program?
First and foremost, you should look for a homegroup whose members are active in their own recovery programs and who have a zest for life in sobriety. Most quality homegroups get together outside of the context of AA or NA meetings for fun activities, like dinners out after a meeting or weekend trips to sober events in the area. This demonstrates an enthusiasm for their lives in sobriety as well as strong community ties, two important characteristics you want to have in a homegroup as they will encourage your continued sobriety. Just as the AA literature says “we are not a glum lot!” and your homegroup should reflect this exuberance in its members’ activities.
Another important aspect to consider when choosing a homegroup is the quality of the meetings run by the group. Open discussion meetings are a great way to allow everyone to voice what is on their minds, but big book and step study meetings are also crucial components in a well rounded homegroup. These more structured meetings provide a context in which members can examine and discuss the real heart of a program of recovery, helping each other better understand the meaning of each step as well as the literature itself. A viable candidate for your choice in homegroup should offer these study meetings a few times a month along with the more free form open discussion variety. This will ensure you stay focused on the core of your recovery program and will motivate you to diligently work the steps with your sponsor.
A quality homegroup can go a long way towards helping you achieve lasting sobriety, as the group members encourage your diligent work on your recovery program and the meetings themselves keep you focused on the real core work required. In choosing a homegroup you are making a commitment to participate actively and regularly in that groups meetings and activities, so you should explore your options thoroughly before making a decision. Bear in mind that everything in our lives is subject to change - you may find what was once a fulfilling and satisfying homegroup devolves into one which does not contribute to your recovery. When these situations arise, we must do what is best for our sobriety, so you should either step into a leadership role and transform the group or seek a new one. No matter what, your recovery must come first, so long as you keep that in mind you will find a homegroup that complements your program of recovery and helps you achieve lasting sobriety!