There are tons of benefits to group therapy. Studies show that group therapy can also help treat other problems aside from substance use, such as shame and isolation. It can also strengthen interpersonal relationships. Although, your drive to attend meetings might decrease. You might wonder, “Have I become lazy with my meetings?”
False Sense of Security
Sustaining recovery is about expanding upon what you learn during treatment. A big part of learning and growing requires staying involved in group meetings. You might think, "Why should I waste my time?" You might begin to prioritize other things over meetings, or if you find the meetings repetitive, tell yourself that you do not need the meetings.
Subscribing to such beliefs might create a false sense of security, and therefore you might get a little too comfortable missing meetings. Before long, you can become complacent, and becoming complacent contributes to becoming lazy.
Lack of Motivation
Complacency will inevitably develop into a lack of motivation to return to meetings, even if you think you should attend. After weeks of creating reasons not to go, you can unravel even the healthiest habits. Therefore, you might continue down this path because you do not have the drive.
What Can Be Done?
Losing interest and motivation for group meetings does not mean it is the beginning of the end. You may have lost interest in meetings because the meetings became less interesting to you. If you feel this way, that is okay, it just means that perhaps you can take this as a sign that maybe you need a new approach. If you think you need to retool your plan, then take the right steps.
Throw Away Your First Idea
If you stopped going to meetings because you have developed a habit of contributing the bare minimum to the conversation just to get through it, you might need to reevaluate. For example, you may think, "If the topic is about 'guilt,' I'll say this and tell this story." Throwing away your first idea is forcing yourself to approach topics with a new perspective.
If you find that you already have something planned to say, abandon this plan and think of another experience. Not only will you challenge yourself, but doing so will help you get the most out of the meeting. Who knows where the conversation might lead?
Being a Better Listener or Talker
When you have been going to meetings consistently, you may fall into a rhythm of how you engage in a meeting. Maybe you are a person who does not like to say much, or maybe you like to engage. The idea here is that how you normally approach a meeting, try doing the opposite. If you normally talk a lot, try to focus more on listening. If you do not speak a lot, try engaging more.
The purpose of this is to put you slightly outside of your comfort zone. This can benefit you because being outside your normal element allows you to engage in ways that you normally would not. Doing so can take your experience in a whole new direction.
This suggestion is much easier said than done. You may find that there are things you do not want to talk about. This could be because you feel like you may be judged, or you feel shame. Whatever the reason is, try to express these feelings in your group meetings. More often, the thought of sharing your fears is far worse than what the actual response will be.
Find a New Group
There is nothing wrong with trying out other meetings. Being introduced to new people with different perspectives and experiences can help you see your recovery in a new light. It can even help you strengthen your network of support.
Finding a new group could mean going to a meeting at a different time than you normally do. It could also mean going to another program's meeting. If you are in a SMART recovery program, try dropping into a 12-Step meeting like Alcoholics Anonymous. You may find something from other programs that you can include in your recovery journey. There are many different kinds of group meetings to explore.
It has been found that group therapy can lower your depression. But after a while, it can be easy for that routine to be less beneficial and more of an inconvenience. Therefore, it is important to identify when you have become lazy at meetings and take this as a sign to start reanalyzing your recovery plan. It can be as small as going to a meeting at a different time or as big as finding a new group.
Recovery is a life-long process, and finding ways to stay focused and motivated can be challenging. At NorthStar Transitions, we will develop a treatment plan to suit your needs. Our integrated approach offers programs to prepare you to face challenges in the real world. With us, you'll restore the relationship with yourself, develop lasting friendships, and set goals to put into action once on the road to recovery. We understand that this road is long, and at some points, you may need to reset, refresh and refocus; therefore, commitment to care does not stop with treatment, we'll remain a pillar of support throughout your recovery. If you are currently struggling to manage your recovery, call us today. Our admissions staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn more about our programs, reach out to us today and call (303) 558-6400.