LifeRing eGroups are open 24/7/365. Drop in and share!
If you’re more comfortable writing rather than speaking and reading rather than listening, LifeRing offers recovery venues that you may find very helpful.
When I finally faced up to needing help with my drinking, I lived in a small city that didn’t offer a support group that meshed well with my beliefs. And I had a strong aversion to entering a roomful of strangers to whom I would be expected to open up about my drinking.
Even in far more pleasant circumstances, I’m very reticent in any group situation. So I searched on the internet, looking for alternatives to 12-step, and eventually ran across LifeRing Secular Recovery. I loved what I found: No religion! No powerlessness! No steps! Just support for abstinence. Imagine that – a support group that supports you in your own quest for sobriety.
LifeRing had no meetings near me, but they offered an email group, LSRmail. I joined with no idea of what to expect. I figured I could quit as easily as join, without the awkwardness of leaving a meeting part way through. But as soon as the emails started arriving in my inbox I knew I’d found exactly what I had been looking for.
Email groups, in case you don’t know, work very simply. Anything you write and send to the group’s address goes to everyone in the group. I immediately found that I didn’t feel that shyness that always gripped me in group situations. What you write will be responded to by anyone wanting to share their thoughts on what you wrote. Because this is LifeRing, the feedback you receive will be uncritical and positive, a sharing of insights that others have gained through their recovery. From the beginning, you’ll see messages that intrigue you and to which you want to reply.
I was greeted very warmly by several members and encouraged to tell a bit about myself. That’s usually an uncomfortable request for me, but I found that, because I was writing instead of speaking, I could comfortably compose my thoughts, write them down, do a little editing and feel much more confident than I would speaking to a group of strangers. So I wrote something and people wrote some responses and asked a question or two which I answered. This happened over a period of time while emails unrelated to me, dealing with other group members, came to my inbox. I quickly saw the kindness with which people’s confessions of slips or questions about what was normal in early recovery were dealt with.
An email group is like a 24/7/365 support meeting that you can enter and leave on your own schedule. And when you come back, you won’t have missed anything.
The LifeRing Recovery Forum is structured differently than an email group, but it has the same advantages over a “regular” meeting and the same ability to communicate with other members. There, things are organized by topics created by the members. So you can visit and contribute to areas that appeal to you, or create your own topic that others can visit and post to.
LifeRing offers two general email support groups, plus one – LifeRing Secular Dual Recovery (LifeRingSDR for short) aimed at “dual diagnosis” members – those dealing with mental health issues as well as addiction. Those three groups and the LifeRing Forum are open to all and focus much of their attention on those in early recovery. There is also one group, LifeRing Sober Living aimed at those with at least a year of sobriety.
LSRsafe is very active, with 50 or more emails being posted each day, on average. The other groups average maybe 10 a day at most. Quite a few people are members of more than one of the groups.
LSR Women Empowered (WE) is designed for women and/or women-identifying individuals seeking support for recovery from any type of substance addiction. This is a space where WE can open up about anything in our lives that challenges or contributes to our sober lives. WE seek to share empowerment with each other to build trust and strengthen sobriety. Come join us for some open, honest, and lively discussion!
LifeRing’s Email Pal program can help you as you weigh your options. It connects you with one of our volunteer members for one-to-one support and information. It’s not a substitute for the sort of help offered by a group, but it’s a step towards finding the help that best suits your needs.