On the Nature of Support Groups

Here’s a quotation from a book entitled “Echoes of the Early Tides” by Tony Moore (Harper Collins, 1994) that I found very impressive and want to share:

“The strengths offered by mutual support groups do not promise certain
recovery; they simply provide for the prospect of gradual change. There are
no simple solutions to the lifelong practices of self-harm.  The experiences
of those who have modified intractable habits into manageable life patterns
include a few basic truths: personal vigilance against self-harming ways
must be lifelong; relapses are always waiting patiently to reassert
destructiveness if anyone takes recovery for granted; the way back from each
relapse becomes progressively more difficult; and there is no protection
available for someone who “doesn’t care” or gives up.

As members of such groups know, the effective approach is . . . interested
only in ending pretense, the pretense that “I always manage” and “I  can
cope”.  It recognizes that the shortest distance between two  emotional
point is the truth, and that gentleness toward oneself and others is not an
expression of weakness. . . . members strive to offer goodwill that is
unconditional and tenderness free of gender plays.  When loners who share
the same specific sense of difference come together, the bond created can
have the pure beauty of a blessing.”