hey! thumbs up to you for starting a group!
in 1994 when i first went to a local lupus chapter, i was disappointed that he only things that group was open to was talking about prednisone and lawyers. i brought up some emotional topics and it fell like a lead balloon. later i wnt back adn broght up some alternaitv medicine i had discovered and had good success with adn was cut off and accused of being off topic, so i decied not to go back and started my own group.
we stayed solution oriented but also people were free to talk about how things were going with them. we met regularly for 6 months and i got a lot out of it. there wre 4 of us, and we all showed every time, adn those meetings meant a lot to me. maybe 4 wasn't a big turnout but it was exactly what i neede at that time- someone to be "real" with who knew exactly what i was going through.
folks brought in books about yoga, the grief process, i talked about teh alternative medicine i was doing. it was great.
i got to doing so well i didn't need meetings anymore. i think we kind of all got what we needed at that timeadn disbanded.
i had a huge crisis 8 years later and started gogn to the locl lupus chapter in my new area- in west palm beach adn i liked this lupus local chapter much better. they were far moe open minded than the first one i went ot in South Carolina.
in teh west palm group, they ahve shown a movie, had someone lead us througha visualiztion, had a social around christmas. i only went to a few- it was very out fo the way for me, adn then i moved further away fromt eh meeting- but i was encouraged by th open midedness. and this meeting had about a dozen members.
i think it na be a very valuable place.
the one rule in west palm was not to mention doctors by name, whether you were saying good or bad things about them. not inside the meeting anyhow
and the leader often solicited suggetions on what people wanted to have at the future meetings. that was nice. it kept it "our" meetings and not something handed down from an authority figure- very democratic.
sof or me- open exchange of ideas, freedom to be real without sinking into a pity party, and keeping the meetings a good length like 60-90 minutes.