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Meeting Lapses

5 May 2021

“Meeting Makers Make It,” is one of the most common phrases you’ll hear in AA. It’s said all the time because it’s true. Regular meeting attendance and sobriety maintenance go hand in hand. We tell newcomers to go to 90 meetings in 90 days, more if they need to. People who makes excuses about why they can’t attend? They don’t usually stay sober long. I don’t know if it’s the meetings, or if it’s being the kind of person who makes excuses. But finding yourself “too busy” or “too inconvenienced” to go to meetings regularly when in early sobriety is a bright shining hallmark of people who tend not to stay sober. There are exceptions, of course.

I haven’t been to more than about 4 meetings the entire pandemic. That’s not good, of course, but Zoom meetings just don’t work for me (he says, making excuses). I don’t feel any connection the way I do when I’m in person. I’m hopeful for a return to in-person meetings soon. Truth be told, my meeting attendance had been slipping before. I had settled into a twice a week schedule, then once a week. Then every other or so.

Moving, and losing the core group that you’re in sobriety with is hard. I don’t make friends easily, not even in a room full of people just like me. I’d been feeling uncomfortable and disoriented in meetings my entire time in Seattle. It took me 2-3 years before finding a group of sober friends in Philadelphia. Now I’ve lost that again. I have a few important sober people in my life I am in constant contact with, which I see almost like “little meetings”. Connections with people who know me, understand sobriety, and I can connect with.

I do not feel that my sobriety is in any danger. Missing meetings isn’t ideal, but I nothing about the plague year has been ideal. I’ve been sick with anxiety multiple times, had minor running injuries, been unable to go to they gym, had long hours of frustrating work. It’s been a massively challenging time for everyone – and I’ve been extremely fortunate to be healthy, employed, and sober for the entire thing. There’s been alcohol in the house that BB drinks sometimes, and I don’t even notice it. Right now I know there’s wine in the fridge – but I couldn’t tell you how much or what kind. Or if there’s beer or not. Neither answer would surprise me. I just don’t see it.

But I wish I could recapture the feeling I had in St. Louis among the men of my Wednesday night men’s group. I miss it.

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