SOS Behind Bars Guide to Starting an Meeting
This is in only a guide to starting your
It is meant to inform Inmates, Volunteers and staff about SOS. There is a great deal
written about SOS and this is only a narrow view of the group and the ways to hold a meeting. My purpose in setting this down in a one page format is to provide a overview. Hopefully you will walk away with a better understanding of what we are about.
Our Selves offers an Alternative-
Self-Empowering approach to sobriety.
In SOS Behind Bars Meetings
Members build a safe environment
where there is no criticism
of each others choices of recovery.
I learn to say
- I - Me - My -
& refrain from using - You - We - You
Must - We Must - You Should - We Should - You Need
In Jails & Prisons that have the benefit of
Group Meetings, many of you are used to giving input after some one shares. In SOS we do this
some what differently.
I provide a safe place to share.
How do I go about providing this safe place? I probably should start with my self.
I realize that I am unique. I am one of a kind. No one has the same
experiences or feelings that I do. If I share what I have done or would do if I were in
that persons shoes and offer it in a sharing manner. Then I probably am
doing it the SOS way. If I stay focused on the reason I'm here.
For Me. My recovery. Remembering If I try to fix someone else then I'm distracted from my
recovery. I do care about others in the group and because I
care, I will offer my support. Not my criticism. I know that
each of us the way to sobriety is different. I will learn to accept that
another persons recovery is going to be different than mine. Part of my
learning to fit into this new world of sobriety is to help make this meeting as safe as possible.
This will make me a stronger person & add power to my recovery.
Every person in the group should have a chance to
share. This should be done first. The first priority. A signal should be
decided in advance. To enable every one to talk. After the signal is given the person
speaking knows the reason for the signal is to give them a chance to wind
up, condense and if there is time they can continue latter. It is of
great importance that each person has a voice. After every one speaks that wants to speak. Then the floor can be opened, again using a signal to shorten each persons time in speaking.
At your meeting you are free to use what works.
We have found that three people holding a meeting,
works best. If for some reason one person can't make a meeting there are two to take
their place. When one of those holding the meeting is freed to the
world to practice their new life in sobriety. There are two to take their
place. As each person takes their place in making the group work. They are empowered. The group is empowered.
We learn that this
Group belongs to each of us.
& Non Religious Freedom.
I know that in a recovery group
there will be people with differing views on
religion. There will be people with different views on politics. To keep our
focus on recovery and keep
our religious and political views intact, free from criticism or to have
members trying to convert us to their religion or politics. It is in the best
interest of the group and each of us, that our religious or non religious beliefs be expressed with like minded people out side of meetings.
There will be no promotion of drug use.
Except for medical reasons. Not for getting high reasons. If you are in recovery for alcohol and had
no problem with pot don't start using pot. This is a abstinence group.
I will repeat SOS is a abstinence group.
Some members don't refer to them selves as a alcoholic
or a drug addict. Each of us have the right to paint a picture of our self as we choose. The
purpose of the group is to live life clean and sober.
The purpose is not to chant in unison, as we are each unique.
SOS has no central apparatus, hierarchical structures
or authoritarian leaderships. Each individual is a leader in his
or her own sobriety. Our philosophy is that each individual is unique and should therefore
find and fashion there own road to sober living and a full life. We have
no interest in members private beliefs or lifestyles. All groups are
independent and work together as a voluntary association of free- thought groups.
There is no hidden agenda. I am free to use other support groups.
There is no one way. My using other support groups will not in any way affect my standing in SOS.
I Will Become the Captain of My
Ship & Sail into a
religious or non religious beliefs are never challenged in the group
because they are a private part of
my recovery. With my mind clear, free of Alcohol/Drugs I will be better equipped to follow my belief system. I can expand and strengthen my belief system with
like minded people outside of meetings. Christians
have many branches - Catholics & Baptist may want to worship in
different Churches - Hindu - Hari Krishna - Buddhist - Moslem - Agnostic - Atheist - may want to practice their beliefs with
like minded people outside of meetings. So here in SOS Members build a
safe place where Religious & Non
Religious Freedom is Practiced. Here everyone is encouraged to follow their own belief
No One Preaches To - Tries to Convert - or - Subvert Another's Belief
we are each Unique. We Uniqueness. From this celebration of just how different we are Strength & Power Grows.
and sober I learn to use the Power I have with in my self to
change my life forever.
We are each Unique as are our Group
There is no one way, there is only the way that works for you our your group. If it isn't
working then it is up to each of us to find the way that works for us or our group.
Please share what is working so we can
I will Accept the
Challenge of Living Life Alcohol/Drug Free.
Duaine Metevia from Dallas
If you are in Jail or Prison or want to post about you experience
Behind Bars and your experience with Recovery Meetings I will try to post for
SOS Behind Bars
Thank you at SOS Behind Bars for this web page. To see
all of this web site go to