Starting an SOS Meeting
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SOS / Save Our Selves offers an alternative, self-empowering approach to sobriety.

In SOS meetings, members build a safe environment where there is no criticism of each  other’s choices of recovery.

I learn to say “I – Me – My” and refrain from using “Your – We – You Must – You Should – We Should – You Need to.” 

I provide a safe place to share.  How do I go about providing this safe place?  I should start with myself.  I realize that I am unique, one of a kind.  No one has the same experiences or feelings that I do.  If I share what I have done or might do if I were in that person’s shoes, and I offer it in a sharing manner, then I probably am doing it the SOS way.

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

I stay focused on the reason I’m here.  I’m here for Me, for my recovery.  When I try to fix someone else then I’m distracted from my own 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 person’s recovery is going to be different from 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 and add power to my recovery.

Every person in the group needs to have a chance to share.  This is intended to be the first priority.  A signal decided in advance can enable everyone to talk.  When the signal is given, the person speaking can wind up and conclude.  It is of great importance that each person has a voice.  Anyone who wants to can continue latter if time allows.  When everyone has had a chance to speak, then the floor can be opened, again using a signal to shorten each person’s time in speaking.  At your meeting you are free to use what works.

No one chairs a meeting indefinitely.  Each member of the group knows he or she has a chance to become part of running a meeting.  This happens by helping the meeting run smoothly.  If for some reason the chairperson can’t make a meeting, there are members to take his or her place who then become empowered.  The group is also empowered; I learn that this group belongs to each of us.  The group evolves.  The group experiments, members make suggestions on “our” recovery meeting.  What works we can pass on to other SOS members.

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 an abstinence support group.  I will repeat; SOS is an abstinence support group.

Alcoholic/Drug-Addict.  Some members don’t refer to themselves as alcoholics or drug-addicts.  We each have the right to paint a picture of ourselves as we choose.  The purpose of the group is to experience a clean and sober life.  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 his or her 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 freethought groups. 

There is no hidden agenda.  I am free to use other support groups.  There is no single path to sobriety.   Using other support groups will not in any way affect my standing in SOS.

Religious and Nonreligious Freedom.  I know that in every 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, political and social views intact, free from criticism, members will not try to convert us to their religion or politics.  It is in the best interest of the group and of each of us that our religious or nonreligious beliefs be expressed with like-minded people outside of the meeting.  

Here in SOS we build a safe place where religious and nonreligious freedom is practiced.  Here everyone is encouraged to follow his or her own belief system.

My religious or nonreligious 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 own belief system.  I can expand and strengthen my own belief system with like-minded people outside of SOS meetings.  Catholics, Baptists, Hindus, Hare Krishnas, Buddhists, Moslems, Agnostics, Atheists and Pagans are free to practice their beliefs with like minded people outside of SOS meetings.

Here in SOS we build a safe place where Religious and Nonreligious freedom is practiced.  Here everyone is encouraged to follow his or her own belief system.   

No one preaches or tries to convert or subvert another’s belief system.

Here we are each unique.  We celebrate and support this uniqueness.  From this celebration of just how different we are strength and power grow.

Clean and sober, I learn to use the power I have within myself to change my life forever.

I will accept the challenge of living life alcohol/drug-free. 

I will become the captain of my ship and sail into a new life.

I am the captain of my ship; I am sailing in my new life.

Duaine Metevia