This morning, the wind is blowing, my coffee is delicious, and my arthritis is killing me. We have had two cold nights in a row. Vehicle #1, the handicapped accessible van is sitting in the front with her parts kinda scattered for the moment. Vehicle #2, my little yellow beastie of a caravan is also needing to see the Dr, but Dad is only going to work on one vehicle at a time. Vehicle #3 no longer shifts out of drive. Vehicle #4 needs belts, plugs, tires, wires, an alternator, a battery, plates and insurance.
So, you see my problem. I could take the caravan to town, she does run, but right now she drinks gas like I used to go after bourbon. One gallon is too many and a thousand is never enough. So, what am I going to do? According to my homework work sheets, I must attend 3 meetings per week. I can’t leave the farm today, because we need that gas for tomorrow. UGH!
There is a solution.
Before I tell you this, there are folks in face to face meetings that say, “Those aren’t real meetings” and “It’s not the same.” I say, when you are over a barrel, an online meeting can supplement a recovery. It is not the meat and potatoes of my sobriety, it is a supplement to keep me in line.
An online meeting is one that I can visit from a tablet, a computer, or a smart phone. I used the incredible google machine to find them over the years. Some of them are video meetings, that I can visit from my laptop. Some of them are email meetings, I can access from any device. Some are chat room meetings, I can participate in if I have a keyboard handy. There is such a variety, that I have no excuse for not attending AA.
Disclosure: I do not tell my sponsees about online meetings until they have gone through the steps at least once. I also usually walk them through the traditions before I bring it up. Usually, online meetings are not necessary for most of my sponsees.
The reason I walk a sponsee through the traditions first is simple. Online meetings have double anonymity. In an online meeting, you can get challenged for breaking a tradition right quick. It’s the same in face to face meetings, however in an online meeting, getting challenged in black and white can be a bit harsh.
So, here is the first link I found for online meetings years ago. AA Intergroup is a website which links to many many online meetings. I am a member of a few of the groups. There is also a website similar to Facebook for recovering people which has video chat meetings, it is in the rooms.
Anonymity is a double edged sword here, I cannot walk you through how to join these groups. What I can say is that some of my dearest life-long online friends have been found there. One of my favorite people in the universe, a former sponsor, I found online. We lived a thousand miles apart, but she understood me well. She and I spent hours and hours online together. When she died in 2010, I floundered for a long time. However, that is a topic for another post.
To quote our Big Book, “We commenced to make many fast friends and a fellowship has grown up among us of which it is a wonderful thing to feel a part. The joy of living we really have, even under pressure and difficulty.” … “Most of us feel we need look no further for Utopia. We have it with us right here and now. Each day my friend’s simple talk in our kitchen multiplies itself in a widening circle of peace on earth and good will to men.” P15-16 3rd edition
So, if you can’t get to a face-to-face meeting today, consider an online one. I’ll be heading to one shortly, and look forward to another for dessert. I’ll be back at my face to face home group tomorrow morning.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org