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Leaving A Meeting Feeling Negative

Discussion in 'Other Recovery Support Groups' started by Nick W., Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    We are fail sometimes. Even during meetings. Even with the best intentions. Even as sponsors.

    Have you ever left a meeting feeling negative and ready to call it quits? Where their specific situations or requirements that you tried your hardest to meet, but just couldn't due to life getting "in the way"?

    Sometimes single parents struggle with things like 90 meetings in 90 days, and rather than get support, you can leave a meeting feeling pretty bad about yourself?

    Share your stories here, tell us how you cope with the negativity and stress, and maybe some ways that you were able to recover and "work it" even within your own limitations.
  2. frogsandlegos

    frogsandlegos Active Contributor

    Hi there - I'm new to the forum - I'm actually here for advice on helping someone else. I have not personally dealt with addiction, so I do realize that you might take my words with a grain of salt. But that being said, I would like to say~

    1. Have you talked to the group leader about their requirements, and how it just isn't feasible for you? 90 meetings in 90 days to me seems rather, well, impossible. If the group leader doesn't ever get feedback, he/she may not ever try to improve the group.

    2. Not all groups are right for all people. If it is possible, I do not think it is wrong by any means to try to find a new group. I personally would even drive an hour to find a group that had the right people.

    Sorry I don't have any personal experiences, however hopefully someone else will soon.

    Also, I may have NO CLUE what I am talking about, but have you also thought of just starting your own group? The website is an easy way to organize a group. Perhaps you might even find a PHD student who would be willing to lead the group for a very low fee or even at no cost.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2014
    Nick W. likes this.
  3. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    Of course you will leave a meeting feeling negative at least once or twice before you get into the hang of it. It feels depressing sitting in a room with people who are the same as you even though you think you are nothing like them and your story is different, you don't belong there..... Just keep going and also communicate with the group leader, let them know how you feel. You are going to feel much better and it is not instant but you will and after a couple of meetings you will be able to stand up and face the world, the group and feel positive.
    Perhaps you should try another group meeting to see which one is better for you but dont quit the group, try both until you like one best.
    Nick W. likes this.
  4. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    My way of handling negativity is rather unconventional. I try to find a quiet spot (somewhere in a place where I can hear my own echoes) and scream at the top of the lungs. No kidding. I used to do it even with everyone in the household present but now, out of courtesy to them, I try to make it a point no one's around. I also read tons and tons of inspiring quotes from and Pinterest. If I have time, I watch epic and inspirational movies. I do anything just so nothing - not even the source of negativity and stress - can get the better of me. These work for me. I don't know what works for you, though. Just focus on the things that DO make you happy. The negatives will never last. You can bet on that.
    Nick W. likes this.
  5. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I do the screaming thing to xTinx. It's therapeutic in so many ways, and is just a great way to release all of that into the world, but not really interfering with the lives of other people.
  6. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    That is a great idea. It helps to let out your emotions and screaming out your frustration and anger is very therapeutic. Another way to do it is to run as fast as you can on a long stretch as this will release happy hormones that will make you feel good and it will let it all out too. I find yoga helps with balance and it is soothing but it is not for everyone.
    Nick W. likes this.
  7. KC Sunshine

    KC Sunshine Member

    I have a cousin who has been through a year of NA. He reports that he hated it the first two months. He was angry during and after every meeting. He looked around the room and saw people who had nothing to do with him. And he hated dragging himself in. But his life had become unmanageable. Meetings provided structure and familiarity and fellowship. His method, he tells me, was to remind himself about the alternative. He didn't come into the room by accident, as much as he hated the process he was forcing himself through, it had an end game that was far superior to the end game he was on without the program. He put on his big boy pants and pressed on, learning to take life on its own terms rather than run from it and hide behind the destructive use of drugs. Yes, sometimes this stuff feels awful. But ask yourself: would I be better off continuing on the path that got you there? Hang in and keep going back.
  8. Denise

    Denise Member

    I always leave the meetings feeling very negative and pissed..
  9. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    You will often leave the meetings feeling negative and angry because a lot of the people that are there are very different and have different circumstances to your own. Sometimes you listen to what you dont want to hear and we also do not feel that we are in the same category as the others but at the end of the day, there was a problem, you do need to go in order to keep you on the right path and remind you of what life became at some stage and if you do feel negative after a meeting, uplift yourself by knowing that you have been strong enough to end up in a meeting and not in a gutter! You are a survivor and there will be down days but they do get better and changes in life will make you feel completely different one day at a time!
  10. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    I think it's a bad idea to sit in a meeting and think that you are "not like these people". Yes, everyone has their own story, everyone has their own ups and downs, and everyone is different. However, from the moment that door closes, and you take your seat, everyone is an addict, everyone has taken a step towards recovery, and everyone is on an equal playing field. Yes, I guess there are chips for length of sobriety, but they are not ranks, and I would venture that a good number of people with a wide variety of chips, have passed and failed the test of sobriety at times. You don't have to like the guy next to you. You don't have to relate to the guy next to you. At the end of the day, you are all there for the same reason.
  11. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    One can't feel good and positive all the time. Leaving a meeting, feeling depressed or angry, is part of the process of dealing with the addiction and all the surrounding problems. To expect that you walk away from a meeting feeling all good about yourself is unrealistic. I think these issues should be raised more often during meetings. Talking about pessimistic feelings will definitely help to gain more insights as to why they occur.
    MrsJones and Nick W. like this.
  12. Fern

    Fern Active Contributor

    Feeling good and positive all of the time is, I think, an impossible expectation. Meetings are likely to bring up feelings that make you uncomfortable and unhappy. BUT they should also be about support. If you are feeling more beat up for your failures than supported in your desire to change, I think it's important to evaluate if this particular group is the right one for you. I also think it's important to talk about those feelings because if they are making you consider a different group or stopping the meetings, you might not be the only one feeling that way and there might be something they can do.
  13. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Community Champion

    Stress is already part of our everyday life and all we have to do is to deal with it properly or else the negative emotions brought about by these can really affects our health. To cope with the negativity and stress in my life is as much as possible I try to avoid being angry and just accept the things the way it is as it comes into my life. Thinking positive thoughts is also what I am doing and not to judge other people but instead be an inspiration to them. Through these I am able to overcome the negativity in my life.
  14. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    Someday's are easier than others and you will often leave a meeting feeling down or feeling that you are wasting your time because sometimes there are people that are not coping as well as they should in the meeting and you have to listen to everyone which does make it difficult sometimes. Just remember that you have already managed through the worst of it which was facing the fact that you have a problem and understanding that you needed help, the days after rehab will often be difficult and some days will be better than others but this is a part of your life now and surviving is always going to be what you have to do.
  15. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    That is generally the overall attitude towards meetings, but hopefully they will get better in the future. I hope that you learn to somehow enjoy them.
  16. Lizzy19ph

    Lizzy19ph Member

    Life is not always having a positive day or not always having a negative day. :) If ever you have the urge to think about negative things, brush them off quickly and replace them with happy thoughts. I believe that we should not let ourselves be affected by a situation, by other people, and by our own mistakes. Yes, we fail at times, who doesn't? But what matters most is that you need to learn something from every failure. If the support group is not helping you in any way, then probably it's time to leave and find another one. A support group should bring out the best in you and help you recover not feel burdened and more stressed.
  17. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    I just want everyone to know that AA meetings and group therapy is not for everyone. It's just not. Some people need a one on one experience and some people thrive in group sessions and atmospheres. I think that everyone just needs to find their own fit.
  18. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    Just because you may attend one meeting or two that gives you the wrong feeling does not mean its not worth doing. There are typically plenty of meetings in any given city or town and finging the ones that are to your liking may be important to do. However, as the poster up above stated, not everyone thrives in a group atmosphere, and it may be that despite your best efforts, going to meetings, and working the program is not for you.
  19. Ali16

    Ali16 Senior Contributor

    I've always left meetings feeling like that. It seems like unless you believe in God as your higher power, you are looked down on. Even though they say you don't have to, the pressure is really heavy. I didn't believe in God during the time I was going to meetings and I just always left feeling very depressed and worthless.
  20. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Just wondering if any of you have checked out SMART Recovery meetings. SMART Recovery is a 12-step alternative, and there's no God or higher power involved. I know quite a few people who were frustrated with AA and tried SMART, with great success. Their 4-point program is pretty simple. This is from their website...

    The SMART Recovery 4-Point Program offers tools and techniques for each program point:

    1. Building and Maintaining Motivation
    2. Coping with Urges
    3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
    4. Living a Balanced Life