Serve to lead.
This is a blog for Hope, Help & Health. Peer to peer cancer survivors, leaders and caregivers. No boundaries. This is not a blog for charity, but we engage in charity work. We try to provide palliative care to the best of our capabilities.
I am glad that I chanced upon a very good website explaining the values of joining a support group.
I extract their full text below :
Have you been circling the idea of joining a support group but haven’t made your mind up yet? Why would someone like you choose to join a support group? In other words, what’s in it for you?
Often referred to as Group, a Support Group is a circle of people who conduct meetings and talks cantered on specific issues. If you have one particular issue in life which you need to heal or recover from, then you have every reason to be part of a Group.
Specifically, here are ten good reasons why someone like you would choose to join a support group:
Join a group to avoid feeling alone and isolated.
In the face of a personal life challenge, it is feelings of isolation which can be your greatest enemy. In this case, it can be very reassuring to know that you are not alone. Your struggle is neither as different nor as unique as you first thought it to be. Difficult as it is to deal with life’s issues all on your own, you don’t have to. You can find relief in the presence of other people who share the same struggles. And the more you share your experience, the more you realize that your struggles have become lighter and bearable.
Be part of a group that reaches out to others.
In sharing your experiences, you likewise reach out with your thoughts and feelings. You choose to open up an area of your life – not to a typical bunch of ordinary strangers, but to those who similarly have special needs or are under extraordinary circumstances. These are the people who can relate to how it feels like to be in your shoes. Thus, you feel connected with these people and once again reconnected with the outside world.
Join a group to have a shoulder to lean on.
Although everybody needs answers and solutions to their problem, there are times when all you need is an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on. After all: Who else to unburden and verbalize these to but someone who understands the problem first-hand? By leaning on one another for affirmation, you lend strong emotional support. The support is mutual of course because, one day, it might be your turn to be that crying shoulder and to be the stronger one.
Joining a group allows you to hear and be heard.
Just remember: When you are around a group, you are rubbing elbows with people who are prepared to listen. Much like you, they too are hungry for more information. They too may be nervous about sharing personal details. And yet all of you will benefit from hearing and being heard. So, as a first-timer or a newbie, you can’t go wrong with listening and tuning-in first. Once you get more attuned to the flow of the talk, you will know when to voice out your opinion as well as when to pause and listen.
Joining a group enables you to understand and be understood.
In a group which is open to talking about thoughts and feelings by turns, everybody gets the chance to contribute. In effect, you have a higher chance of understanding and being understood. When you are part of the right group, it is highly likely that other people understand exactly what you are going through. No longer are you unique and one-of-a-kind; rather, you are one with the group and you all have something in common. The only difference is that some may already have attained their goal ahead of you, while the rest of you are still striving to achieve it. Nonetheless, you can count on your fellow members to back up your progress.
Join a group because it helps you stay informed.
One of the most enriching aspects of a support group is that it empowers you with knowledge and information. It is either your group has the answer you need and can equip you with solutions, or it can lead you to the answer and give you directions. Your life will be a whole lot easier, simply because there are people willing to share their own coping skills and survival techniques.
Being part of a group makes you more accountable.
Participation in support groups makes you more accountable for your choices and actions. If you are on a program, for example, your progress will be monitored. Especially when the group is small in size and close in ties, do expect your absence to be noticed. Your peers will express concern when you don’t show up for a weekly meeting. They may even go out of their way to find out what other problem could be hampering your healing and recovery.
Join a group to keep you right on track.
With the goal of simplifying your life rather than complicating it, your group will surely try to keep you within the program. On one hand, sticking to the course set for you and your peers will help you manage the problem and maintain control. On the other hand, if you go it alone, the tendency would be for you to lose focus and be off-track.
Be part of a group and build more relationships.
Other than helping you rebuild your life, joining a group will help you build new and meaningful relationships. Setting aside the possibility of dating and matchmaking within this circle, in the meantime, the primary purpose is for you to associate with people who truly care, mean well, and look out for you. With closer ties and lasting friendships as an added bonus, this experience can be very rewarding!
Join a group because it is the right one for you.
Lastly, join a group because you genuinely believe that is it the right one for you! Being in the company of the right group will spell a big difference in your life. With its fair share of accomplishments and losses, along with joys and sorrows, a group that you can relate to will help you heal and recover faster. It will also improve your outlook and change your life for the better.