If you participate at NSC this first point is going to feel sooo boring, but it is further confirmation that we are onto something when we nag, cajole, and entice our tribe to show up for one another!
It turns out that relationships are a key factor in whether or not a person has the capacity for resilience. Resilient people have relationships (in and outside of the family) that offer love, encouragement, reassurance, acceptance, validation and the occasional dollop of accountability. Being connected to others helps us practice skills necessary for sturdiness in the face of suffering and provide soft places to land when we trip and fall.
This is absolutely an essential thing to add to a life plan for those seeking a better life. Because this is true, I continue my faithful support of the mutual aid societies as a viable element of any treatment plan.
Why? Glad you asked!!
First, notice the language of AA, etc. It’s “WE” this and “WE” that. They even have a saying, “Keep coming back; it works if you work it!” Which is catchy and makes for a nice little chant at the end of a meeting - but here’s the rest of the story.
The mutual aid societies never ask us to get well in order to belong. The only requirement for joining is the DESIRE to get sober. This is a beautiful way for desperate people to find a sense of belonging and connection and even shared purpose (get sober). It turns out all of these elements help build...what? Yes! Resilience! Go team!
Are you taking the 12 steps for granted? Do you long for something newer, shinier, perkier? Maybe rethink that position!