Online groups can be a great way to find some extra support during your recovery. But they can also be a trigger for some. It is important to approach them carefully and to take them for what they are – extra, impersonal forms of support. Like anything online, there are some good people and there are some harmful people. If you’re smart, cautious, and check your emotions at the door, there are some good Facebook groups for recovery support with very supportive and understanding people.
The key with Facebook support groups is to come in understanding that not everyone there has good intentions or your best interest in mind. The impersonal nature of social media allows for some people to be rude and hurtful. I have found that the best approach is to just not engage those who are looking to stir things up or who are trolling the comments. It is not worth my time and energy arguing with someone on a Facebook group. It is not a place to try to change someone’s mind or convince them that I am right. It is simply a place to find some additional support and people to relate to. Many people are open to sharing their stories, successes, and challenges in recovery. I can take what I need from Facebook groups and leave the rest.
Facebook groups may not be for everyone. I have found that not everyone is able to filter and ignore the negativity. You must decide if it is beneficial for you or not. Do the positives outweigh the negative? Or does it take an emotional toll on you? That is a choice that only you can make. Also, it may take some trial and error to find the right group(s) for you. Not all Facebook support groups are created equal.
If you are concerned with privacy, just make sure that it is a closed group. A closed group means that only people that are members of the group can see your post. And make sure you post directly to the group page and not accidentally to your personal page or another page. Closed groups usually require approval from an admin to join and some may ask you some questions in order to be approved. Always be sure to take a quick read through the group’s rules when you first join to understand what is allowed and what isn’t allowed in the group. Always report any harassment to the group admins or to Facebook itself.
Here are some of the Facebook recovery support groups that I participate in:
Sober Movement is a very popular and active group. It promotes acceptance of all forms of recovery and I have found that to be true for the most part. There are some bad apples but, for the most part, people are very supportive. From my experience, most of the members are using AA, but there is some acceptance and discussion of other methods.
My experience with Planet Sober has been nothing but good. People are very supportive and encouraging. It is a very large group with over 17,000 members, so I am sure there are some bad apples as well but I haven’t experienced any. Planet Sober states that it respects all form of recovery and religious beliefs.
Alcohol Explained is a group created around the popular book by the same name and author William Porter. A lot of the discussion revolves around the book and the information in it but there is a lot of general support too. I have found that Alcohol Explained is probably the most supportive of non-12-step recovery methods.
Friends of SMART Recovery is pretty self-explanatory as well. It is a group for those that are in or interested in SMART Recovery. I haven’t been a member for long but have already had some great conversations and made a couple of friends. I have found that other non-12-step methods and medication-assisted treatment methods are discussed too.
There are many, many more recovery support groups on Facebook and I have not checked out them all but these are the four that I like the best. If you join one or more, be sure to post an introduction and say hello to everyone. If a group upsets you, leave the group. It is not worth upsetting yourself over a silly Facebook group with people you don’t know and probably never will.
What Facebook support groups are you a part of? Which ones do you enjoy the most? Let me know in the comments or send me a message. As always, please be sure to like, comment, and share if you find the post useful or relevant.