At least 3 meetings a week are required of every person I sponsor. I have my sponsees get a sheet signed, simply because it goes towards accountability. I myself keep careful track of the meetings I attend.
Here are a few simple guidelines for attending meetings:
- Shut your cell phone off or put it on silent. Texting or answering calls during a meeting proves to the group that you are not giving your recovery the highest priority. The few times I have answered a call during a meeting, was due to a family member’s delicate health. If you must answer, discretely get up, walk out of the room, and answer your call. Return as quietly as possible, so as to not disturb others. If you need to leave, apologize gently and quietly, and inform your sponsor as soon as you leave.
- Bring your notebook. Write down the topic, and summarize the things that were said that make sense to you. “One liners”, quips and quotes that hit home, can save a life. In study meetings, take notes, write down page numbers that were referenced in the meeting.
- Bring your books and highlighters. Most of the things I have learned in recovery has come from the wisdom of the other members. Take notes.
- Show up early. Arrive at least 10 minutes before the meeting starts. If you arrive even earlier, volunteer to help set up the meeting, make coffee, or talk to other members. You can also use this time to find a good chair, get a cup of coffee, get your books and notes in order, and prepare mentally to give 100% of your attention to the meeting.
- When I am more than 8 minutes late, I have to make up a meeting. Early in meetings, important information, including announcements are missed. If I am going to be more than 15 minutes late, I go to the next available meeting instead. Showing up more than 15 minutes late is a sign of disrespect to the fellowship and to those who are speaking during the meeting.
- Listen to the people sharing. Even when I disagree or do not like a person, I have learned from the members. Give the person speaking respect and 100% attention.
- If I need to leave a meeting early, due to a family member’s medical issue, or one of my own, I always make up the meeting. I ask you to do the same. I also let my sponsor know as soon as possible.
- Stay after the meeting for a few minutes. Clean up the area you sat in. Offer to help clean up the room, and talk to the other members whether outside or inside of the building. If one of the members said something that struck you, Thank them for their insight.
- If you must miss a meeting, let your sponsor know what is going on.
Keep coming back, it works. If you have any questions, feel free to email me with your questions. Justanotheralcoholic@yahoo.com