Meeting with people who speak your language:
When you are in a support group setting, it’s common to share your experience and talk about what you’ve been through and what you’ve done — things that relate to why you are there and seeking support. It’s helpful to know that you are speaking to a group of people who understand the lingo. You don’t have to explain acronyms or procedure; everyone in the group gets it because they live it every day, too.
Learning from people who have been where you are:
You will meet people in your peer support group who started out where you are and have seen what you have seen — and moved forward to a place of recovery. This provides you with a regular reminder that healing and hope are real.
Support that is available at all hours:
First responders work 24 hours a day. Chances are someone from your peer group is on shift or available when you need to talk to someone.
Assistance with communication:
Learning how to communicate what you’ve experienced and what you need requires practice; you can find a safe place to do that in a peer support group.
Increased family support:
Families of people struggling with addiction and mental health disorders benefit from supporting each other — as do families of law enforcement and other first responders. Often, you can find resources for your family through your peer support group.
No matter what you’ve been through, what you say or how you say it, your peers have likely been through it, seen it before, or heard it from someone else. There is no need to fear the judgment of the group when you are doing nothing more than sharing your experience on the job.