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Save Our Selves
Part of the World Wide SOS Family

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SOS Behind Bars Guide to Starting an Meeting

This is in only a guide to starting your meeting.  
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.  

Save 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 To -


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. 

No Sponsors in SOS.  We are each equal.  I have to go outside SOS to have or be a Sponsor.

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 for 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.

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 New Life.     

Religious & 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.

My 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 system.  

No One Preaches To - Tries to Convert -  or  - Subvert Another's Belief   System.  
Here we are each Unique.  We Uniqueness.  From this celebration of just how different we are Strength & Power Grows.  Clean 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 Meetings.  
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 all benefit.
  


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 you.
SOS Behind Bars

Thank you at SOS Behind Bars for this web page.  To see all of this web site go to

webmaster
Duaine Metevia

Save Our Selves (SOS)
4773 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90027
Phone# 323-666-4295
SOS@CFIWest.org

Find a Meeting
If you want to become a part of SOS let James Christopher know you're out there.  If there is no meeting listed in your area, it could mean that there are people in your area who are waiting for more people to come forward and start a meeting.  The way meetings start are people contacting the clearing house and leaving their contact info.  Some cities only have phone contacts, people who will talk to you or meet with you for coffee so please leave your contact info; don't miss out.

Disclaimer
IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS, YOU SHOULD SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE & GUIDANCE. FROM A DOCTOR !
THE IDEAS & INFORMATION HERE ARE NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. 
The content of this web site is for your information only concerning the ideas and methods of self help groups. 
We do not accept any responsibility for their accuracy or use.
You agree to hold harmless the SOS organizations and webmaster from any and all 
liability arising directly or indirectly from your use of information contained in this web site. 
The use of any information is entirely the responsibility of the reader.
The same applies to all sites connected by links from this site. The webmaster does not accept responsibility for 
the content, operation or use of information on linked sites. 
Links to other sites do not mean approval, agreement or affiliation with those sites or their sponsors.