Because Community is the Cure for Addiction, Facebook Groups Help Join Us Together

“Traumatic events destroy the sustaining bonds between individual and  community. Those who have survived learn that their sense of self, of worth, of humanity, depends upon a feeling of connection with others. The solidarity of a group provides the strongest protection against terror and despair, and the strongest antidote to traumatic experience. Trauma isolates; the group re-creates a sense of belonging. Trauma shames and stigmatizes; the group bears witness and affirms. Trauma degrades the victim; the group exalts her. Trauma dehumanizes the victim; the group restores her humanity.

Repeatedly in the testimony of survivors there comes a moment when a sense of connection is restored by another person’s unaffected display of generosity. Something in herself that the victim believes to be irretrievably destroyed—faith, decency, courage—is reawakened by an example of common altruism. Mirrored in the actions of others, the survivor recognizes and reclaims a lost part of herself. At that moment, the survivor begins to rejoin the human commonality…”    Judith Lewis Herman

Finding my recovery tribe has been hard. Having belonged to several different 12 step recovery groups, I have not found a place where I can talk about my dual diagnosis–alcoholism and depression. Yet 50% of those in the rooms have both–addiction and mental illness. I believe most of what is labeled “relapse” is really untreated mental illness. Sad, but true. Mental illness is a taboo topic at addiction recovery meetings. How can we recover if we can’t be honest?

Recovery is an individual journey. 24,000,000 of us are on this journey. Most of us (90%) are not in a 12 step group. We may use the 12 steps as a guide for our lives but being committed to just one addiction has not been the path many of us has followed. For those of us who are on a dual recovery journey, I believe we need several different support groups at the same time.

Addiction recovery education for the 89% of addicts who don’t receive treatment is easy to provide. By using Facebook groups, anyone can create and maintain online education support peer groups.

I love groups because I believe all mental health to be transitory. So at any given time someone in a group is well. It is like a football we pass around. Sometimes we are “it” and sometimes we’re in a crazy zone.

In the self-discovery model of group healing, everyone in the group is a student. The sharing of power in relationships defines the health of the relationship.

Facebook groups are easy to set up but need to have good organization and maintenance to be effective. I am starting a Facebook Group Center here on this blog to help others set up individual Facebook groups.

I will be posting about topics and ideas for Facebook recovery groups on this page on Fridays. There will also be a Facebook group I created to help those interested in setting up such groups. That page will be announced on 12/14/2017.

Information from Facebook about setting up a Facebook group:

Groups provide a space to communicate about shared interests with certain people. You can create a group for anything — your family reunion, your after-work sports team, your book club — and customize the group’s privacy settings depending on who you want to be able to join and see the group. Learn how to create a group or join a groupyou’re interested in.

Before you begin creating a group, choose your group name very carefully. Keep notes as you go to remember your choices. Ash someone to be a group member before you start group as you will need one member other than you to start the group.

  • To create a group:
  1. Click in the top right of Facebook and select Create Group.
  2. Enter your group name, add group members and then choose the privacy setting for your group.
  3. Click Create.

Once you create your group, you personalize it by uploading a cover photo and adding a description.

  • Group Admin Basics  Group admins are able to edit their group’s name, privacy, description and other settings.

Choose group admins because they help you daily with the order and direction of the group. You may choose to wait awhile for this step so you choose the members who are the most interested in the good, orderly direction of the group. Admins can make or break a group. They should be more interested in helping the group rather than having power over anyone or any ideas. Power is not about love.

The difference between group admins and moderators

You may also choose to choose group moderators. Be sure the duties for each are clear to those chosen.

Good overview: Facebook Groups 101: Everything You need to Know

“Imagine being able to have complete control over your social media audience and the people interacting with your brand or product. With Facebook Groups, you have this. You can build a group and keep it closed, meaning that members will need to request to join. You are also able to remove people from the group if needed. With a closed group, you can build your brand’s perfect community, and cater to the needs of this audience.

As the admin of the group, you can also approve posts. If you have a particularly outspoken brand ambassador, for example, you can approve or reject posts that they are attempting to share. To do this, Facebook provides the following instructions:

  1. Click “…” in the top-right corner of your group and select Edit Group Settings
  2. Click to check the box next to Post Approval
  3. Click Save at the bottom

You’ll get notified when there are pending posts for you to approve. Once there’s a pending post for you to approve:

  1. Click the check mark to approve the post
  2. Click the ‘x’  to delete the post
  3. Click the do-not-enter symbol  to delete the post and block the member

Keep in mind that any group admin can approve a post.”

Slogan from Pinterest.

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