Wherever we are in our recovery journey, meetings are incredibly important. This still holds true, even in strange times like these. Live and in-person meetings may not be available in our area, or we may not be comfortable attending the ones that are ongoing for a number of reasons. As alcoholics and addicts in recovery, we know that we need to attend meetings. We likely even want to hit a few meetings. But what if we can’t for one reason or another? If we find ourselves missing live meetings or unable to make as many meetings as we’d like to, there are several things we can do now and keep in mind for the future.
Meetings Mean a Lot
Meetings are part of the “triangle of recovery”: Unity, Service, Recovery. The unity includes meetings and fellowship. We simply need one another on this journey — none of us recover alone. Meetings not only provide us an opportunity to be together in fellowship, but meetings are integral for welcoming newcomers who may need our help. Meetings give us this literally life-saving opportunity to be of service, so we can maintain and grow our own recovery. Meetings are also where we find sponsors and where we get the best chance of becoming a sponsor ourselves. Sure, there is laughter, community, and fun at meetings. But there is also the very serious business of being honest about our recovery and listening to others’ experiences in recovery. It’s no wonder why we’re missing live meetings so much! Let’s look at some actions we can take to scratch the meeting itch.
Not everyone is a fan of online or virtual meetings. Truth be told, there have been meetings conducted virtually online for decades. Some alcoholics and addicts like to attend international online meetings as a regular part of their meeting routine. So the digital age of 12-Step meetings may seem new, but it isn’t! Before we turn our noses up at online meetings, let’s recall what the recovery literature says about acceptance. These are circumstances that we’re all in together. We owe it to ourselves, our loved ones, and those who need our help to adapt, accept, and find the best ways to help grow and improve our recovery, no matter what the conditions are.
Virtual meetings may be difficult to get used to at first, but they really are the next best thing to being live and in person. If we have concerns about our identity or security, there are plenty of easy precautions that we can learn about with just a little Google searching. Perhaps our favorite meetings haven’t gone digital and we just miss them. If this is the case, we should try to be open-minded. It may take some trial-and-error or some meeting-hopping, but eventually we will find online meetings that we enjoy attending. We really can’t afford to avoid meetings just because we have to start searching for ones we like again. We should try to make the best of the circumstances in order to more fully participate in our lives in recovery. Remember, we’re all making the adjustment together.
If we’re still not feeling at home in any online or virtual meetings, we shouldn’t count ourselves out yet! There are still plenty of options available to us. We just need to be proactive. It may help to start by reaching outside of our comfort zone or immediate location. That’s part of the magic of online recovery — we can now attend meetings at any time, anywhere in the world! If we can’t find virtual meetings we like, we’re probably not trying hard enough. If we’ve looked for meetings in different countries, states, or time zones and still don’t feel at home, it may be time to take some big action. We can rally our recovery community and start a new meeting or even several meetings online. Who knows? We may find other people looking for the exact kind of meetings that we want to start.
Go Old School
Maybe we just can’t get everything we need out of online meetings, no matter how hard we try. It’s still a good idea to attend meetings no matter what, even if it’s strictly online for the time being and we have to kind of force ourselves to show up. A meeting is a meeting, and alcoholics and addicts in recovery need meetings.
There are still some other things that we can do to fill the void until we’re back to live and in-person meetings. Grab your copy of Alcoholics Anonymous and flip to the Personal Stories section. These stories are like meetings in a book — we get to read about the experience, strength, and hope of an alcoholic or addict who got sober and found recovery. If we’re in a pinch, perhaps we can read one of these stories and feel a little bit like we just hit a meeting. It’s no substitute for the real thing, but better than nothing. If that’s still not enough, it surely wouldn’t hurt to pick up the phone and call a friend in recovery to talk, just like we would at a meeting together.
Jaywalker Lodge firmly believes that meetings are a beautiful and important part of our recovery. Not only do they allow us to all be together discussing the wonderful gifts of recovery, but they give us a forum to be of service to each other, to seek help in times of trouble, to find a sponsor, or to become one. In meetings, we can be ourselves. We can share, cry, laugh, and learn together. We can give the best of ourselves and be there for others. Meetings are a very big deal, especially since none of us recover alone. At Jaywalker Lodge, meetings are a part of our everyday lives — not just at the Lodge, but in our own lives as well. In fact, the recovery community around Jaywalker Lodge is so close that alumni join us weekly for recovery meetings! If you’re ready to become part of Jaywalker Lodge and this special recovery community, call us now at (866) 529-9255.