SOS Behind Bars Guide to Starting an
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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