I often hear in Twelve-Step meetings in my area the phrase “meeting makers make it.” The idea is to remind newcomers the importance of consistent participation in AA meetings. Meetings are obviously a crucial part of a newcomer’s sobriety. Without meetings, we would not find the place of comfort we do, nor meet the people and be introduced to the program. However, my experience has shown me that going to meetings is not near enough to keep me sober.
I do not in any way intend to downplay the importance of meetings in one’s sobriety. I personally attend a MINIMUM of ten meetings a week. I love meetings, and without Twelve-Step meetings I would never have been introduced to the wonderful program I am now involved in. There are numerous reasons why meetings are a crucial part of recovery.
One of the most basic reasons that meetings are a great way to stay sober is the fellowship they provide. Without meetings, I would have never met many of the wonderful people that have influenced my life so heavily. I would not have met the other men getting sober and going through similar experiences. Meetings provide a place where I was able to feel at home, and feel the love of other alcoholics. To this day, I meet people and hear speakers that open my eyes to the world around me.
The second thing that meetings provide me is a place to go when I am in trouble with myself. When I am stuck in my head, anxious, or down, I always know I can go to a Twelve-Step meeting. If I feel like drinking or using, I know an A.A. meeting is the right place to go. Meetings are always safe places for me.
Finally, meetings allow me a great opportunity to be of service. When I am in my head, I know I always can go to a meeting and try to be of service. I personally find that meetings are better for me if I try to see what I can bring to them, rather than what I can take away. When a newcomer or visitor raises their hand, I make sure to introduce myself. I thank the speaker and congratulate birthdays when I can. Meetings are a collection of alcoholics who need help, myself included. I am grateful to have a place where I can go with an open heart and help others.