In 12-Step programs there may be some terminology that is new to you. To become part of the group, it is important to learn the lingo to be more knowledgeable with your recovery. One of the terms you will hear in a meeting is a “newcomer”.
The members of a 12-Step program take the attendance of newcomers very seriously as they are considered to be the most important people in the meeting. Old-timers, middle-timers, and anyone who is struggling is just as important as newcomers. The thought process for members is that if you are new to the fellowship, then the members can get to know you better to help you to immediately feel part of the group.
A newcomer can mean a couple of different things.
- Someone who is brand new to the program.
- Someone who is attending their very first meeting.
- Someone who is in their first 30 days of sobriety.
- Someone who is in their first 30 days of sobriety and are new to the group.
- Someone who has relapsed and is their first 30 days of sobriety.
Newcomers are typically scared to participate, annoyed that they have be there, or desperate to stay sober. Some newcomers might come to a meeting wondering if they really are or are not an addict or an alcoholic. Even if they are on a court card or a spousal card, figuring out what honestly led them to the meeting in the first place, can indicate what kind of help that they need.
12-Step programs encourage getting a sponsor and working the Steps. With the “First Things First” motto that the program promotes, not picking up drugs or alcohol and getting to a meeting are successful basic tasks of being a newcomer. The newcomers that will recover will want to seek support from the people that have achieved some sobriety already, get active in their program, and begin reading the Big Book, the Basic Text, or any equivalent for any other anonymous programs other than Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
Being a newcomer may be uncomfortable. The alternatives for a newcomer are being in a desperate state of addiction, being in jail, being in an institution, or death. The substitutes seem to be way worse than being able to sit in a room trying to better yourself with people who are trying to pursue the same exact goal – to not drink or use no matter what.
Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that can help you, or a loved one, with any struggles of addiction. Our well-trained staff can aid you in your recovery. Call us today: 844-720-6847