Support Groups – a great volunteer opportunity that can change your life

I had the opportunity to run into a person from my past, from the days of attending support groups and when living from one minute to the next was all I could manage. Even then I was working on my recovery, walking  the walk; although not always compliant, I would let others helping me know what worked and what didn’t and I was not going to do THIS or THAT just because I was told to. I was and still am Feisty. It was a pleasure to see this person and I hope to see more people from my past. They helped me by being there and by allowing me to help them too.

I spoke at the JIMHO Self Help Support Group Conference this year and, as I told them, I wanted to attend since I first knew about them but it didn’t fit into my job description. This year I did it because it fit into my life description. Before I attended I reached out to many from my past who attended these groups as well; they helped me prepare to talk in front of others and to share. Thank you.

Support groups (these were volunteer run) were my life line and I lament the absence of them in our communities. We have many support groups for people with alcohol or substance issues but not ones for mental health issues. Support groups accepted me as I am, supported me, made me feel like I belonged and in the end allowed me to give back both in sharing at the groups and later in facilitating groups. If you are reading this maybe you can relate and you have attended a group in the past too and maybe you could run a support group. Start one up! Something to think about.  Maybe that is part of your recovery too.