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Question about NA meetings

For some reason going to an NA meeting feels very scary to me. A few of you have already assured me that I can just go and sit and listen until I'm comfortable enough to share. I am extremely shy and don't do well in new situations, especially if I'm alone. Will the people there talk to me or will they just leave me alone? I know that may sound like a stupid question, but I am hoping that in these meetings, someone will approach me and welcome me so that I don't feel so afraid. I am not one to appraoch people myself. I know I will be okay if at least one person were to reach out to me- that would do a world of good to help me feel more comfortable. Any feedback from those of you with experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

8 Responses
Avatar universal
Hey Steph, I live in canada so I don't know if it would be different where you are, (probably not)  but many, many years ago I attended a few AA meetings when I was battling with alcohol.  What I found out about these meetings is that they have "open meetings" and they have "closed meetings".  The difference between the two is that the open meetings are quite larger with one Guest speaker speaking to the whole group.  After the guest speaker is done the forum is open to anyone who wants to speak but you dont have to! Anyone can go to an open meeting, whether you drink, or dont drink, or if your there to support someone etc. etc. You can go and you could just sit in the crowd and you don't need to say anything unless you want to.  

The closed meetings are much smaller, 10 -12 people, and they all sit together as a group and they have a group discussion about whatever issues arise.  You are expected to participate at the closed meetings.

I think the best fit for you would be an open meeting, you could just find a seat and disapear into the crowd and just listen, see what its all about.  And DO NOT worry about the people who attend these things, they are just as wonderful, kind, supportive as the people you have been chatting with on this forum.  Find an open meeting and check it out, you can even bring your husband along for support.

Hope this helps, Good Luck and let me know how it goes.

1580085 tn?1400940838
steph i know how you feel, i was shaking with nerves when i went to first meeting, but i neednt have worried, they were friendly and approachable, i did phone them before i went and they put my mind at rest, said would look out for me,so it went ok,(i am in uk) but i should think most groups are the same, it really is a great help to help you stay clean, go for it! best wishes,  sudie
271792 tn?1334979657
I am sorry rockbottom, don't mean to step on toes but your description of meetings is not accurate. I have been to meetings all over this country and out of the country. They are the same. Open meetings are for anyone, closed meetings are for addicts only. There are speaker meeting, discussion meetings, topic meetings, step meetings, etc. The size of the meetings has nothing to do with the type of meeting.

Your best bet is to find a discussion meeting. That way you will be able to identify to the members and the discussion.

All of the meetings I go to, the members are friendly. You may find someone who will walk up to you, and you may not. Maybe for the first time, just sit and listen. If you go back again you may find someone who are comfortable with. You may have to make the effort yourself.

Remember that they are just a bunch of addicts--just like you. they are in all stages of recovery with a common goal to get and stay clean. There is nothing to be afraid of, you are doing this for yourself. I hope you get through this hun.

Avatar universal
Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone for your sharing your personal experiences. It really helps so much to know that I am not alone as I navigate through this new, yet very welcomed chapter of my life. I have a meeting set up tomorrow with an addicition counselor and will discuss my fears with her in more detail. In the meantime, I'm going to check out what meetings are in my area and give it a try.
Avatar universal
I apologize but I was just explaining the meetings that I attended, the open meetings were for anyone who wanted to go and the room they used was a school gymnasium full of chairs to sit in.  The closed meetings that I attended, and your right, they are for addicts only (I forgot to mention that sorry) were taking place in a small cafeteria setting.  The number of people in my group wasn't limited to 10 -12, that was just the amount of people that showed up every week to my meetings. ( I should've explained it better) My apologies.

498385 tn?1362449404
Hello My experience is that I was asked to share so a suggestion is when you get there you could go up to the chairperson and ask that you would like not to be asked to share , at this time and that since you are new you would like to listen. the chariperson is the one the head of the meeting, congrats to you to wwalking in scary water!! this I found what it took for me and today, i go and chari my homegroup and go to detox panel and share to the ppl in there , I too at first just listened and that is okay,,wishing you all the best and if you just want to talk please feel free to message me , also would love to see your post after your meeting blessings j34
Avatar universal
I actually just got home from a na meeting. That was about my 6th? It just couldn't be any more casual. My first meeting they gave me a hug and welcomed me and gave me a keychain. It's as low key as it get's. If they ask you if you want to share you can just say no thanks and they'll move one without putting any pressure on you at all. It might be a place to meet clean and sober people which is a good idea in you new sobriety. Congratulations.
Avatar universal
HI....once you get your first meeting under you they will become ezer to go to I know you say your shy but the first time you open up a tremendous weight will be lifted off you....thay are a safe place to talk about how you feel and what your going threw people will lissen to you and come up after you speek to talk to you that was my experience ans I went to both N/Aand A/A meetings for quite some time....I still go to N/A meetings once a month but use to go twice a week....I have been working with a substance abuse conslor for over 2yr on my methadone addiction and now recovery....aftercare is the key to success to long term recovery
just go for it you wont regret it good luck and God bless.....Gnarly  
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