I Miss Live Meetings. What Can I Do?

live meetings

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…

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Why “Meeting Makers Make It”

meetings

Those of us who are new to recovery have surely heard a lot about the importance of 12 Step meetings. The recovery community talks about them all the time. Some of us go to a meeting every single day — maybe even more than one! Some will only hit a meeting whenever they feel like they “need a meeting.” Everyone has a different opinion on meetings, but one thing is clear: meetings are a big part of the 12 Step program of recovery. In fact, the three sides of the triangle symbol of recovery are Unity, Service, and Fellowship. Fellowship is another word for meetings. Meetings are important, no matter what anyone says. The book Alcoholics Anonymous makes that clear. So important, in fact, that “meeting makers make it” has become a familiar recovery saying. But meetings aren’t the most popular part of the 12 Step program. Many people view them…

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Yesterday’s Home Runs Don’t Count in Today’s Game

resting on your laurels

Anybody who has spent time in recovery or read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous enough has heard the phrase “resting on our laurels.” This is an old saying based on Greek and Roman culture, where winners of competitions were granted crowns of laurel leaves (laurels). Resting on our laurels is when we are too easy on ourselves, counting on our past successes to carry us through the present and the future. A modern version of this saying is “Yesterday’s home runs don’t count in today’s game.” The meaning is the same — our past successes are wonderful, but they aren’t enough to live fully in the present or keep fear of the future at bay. In recovery, sayings like this take on a slightly new meaning. What they come to mean in the rooms of recovery would be something like “The work you did for your recovery yesterday won’t…

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How Can I Change Everything?

change

When we are new in recovery, we often hear the silly slogan “The only thing you have to change is everything.” It’s said in jest, but it’s also true to a large degree. For those of us who are new to recovery, this can seem like a tall order. Never mind the fact that we’re new in recovery and so much is already changing, but we have to change everything? There’s a lot of helpful information that we can learn about this phrase and what the intense goal of changing “everything” really means.The Goal: Everything First, we need to examine this goal closely. Changing everything is a lot! Is this something we genuinely want for ourselves, something we feel pressure to do, or was it something somebody told us? We need to look at the source of this goal and do some serious contemplating. The reason that the recovery community tells…

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Closeness in This Time of Distance

community

It’s far too easy to feel totally isolated and disconnected these days. Many of us have spent a long time separated from our loved ones, families, friends, and recovery community. We’ve been apart for a long time — and whether we’re in recovery or not, human beings are not meant to live in isolation. We are social creatures. We need closeness and togetherness. The society of our fellow man is a vital, necessary, and beautiful part of life. The list of benefits gleaned from spending time with other people and the incredible gifts that come from endeavoring to help those people is simply immense. It’s practically the key to a full and happy life, especially for those of us in recovery. There have been some significant obstacles to experiencing closeness and community lately. Let’s take a look at some ways that we can still be close to our people and…

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Will I Always Inventory About the Same Things?

personal inventory

Hopefully, if you’ve been in recovery for even a little bit of time, you’ve gotten busy with the 12 Steps. If this is the case, you’ve likely encountered the 4th Step and the 10th Step. These are commonly referred to as the personal “inventory” steps. Even if we’re new to the 12-Step program, we’ve probably heard a lot about the inventory steps — including a lot of mixed reviews. Some people dread inventory, while others swear by it. We can only assume that if it’s part of the 12 Steps, it isn’t optional if we want to recover and live a happy life. Nor could it possibly be something to fear or dread, or even remotely harmful, because the 12 Steps are designed to help us find freedom and recovery. What seems to be the biggest reason that personal inventory gets a bad rap is that sometimes things can get…

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Outside Issues: Diet and Nutrition

diet and nutrition

We take on a lot in early recovery. Pretty much everything about our lifestyle changes. We have new things to do like attending meetings and working the 12 Steps. We have a whole new community of friends in the recovery fellowship. We find fun new ways to spend our time sober and reinforce the joy of our life in recovery. But there is one area of our lives that isn’t mentioned frequently in the recovery literature: our physical health. While everything changes for the better in early recovery, we don’t pay much attention to our physical health. Just by being abstinent from substances, our health has already improved greatly! So of course, we don’t think too much about it. But perhaps there are some things we should consider about this often overlooked area of our lives in recovery.Recovery and Health The 12-Steps and the recovery literature don’t say much about…

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Men’s Issues: Healthy Sex Conduct

man-in-bed-sexual-health

If we’re an adult male of any stripe, the odds are good that sex is a pretty big part of our life. Especially if we’re a man in recovery for alcoholism or addiction, there’s a whole section of inventory just for sexual conduct. It’s clearly pretty important. It’s also a minefield for a whole mess of reasons. Heartbreak. Emotional attachment. Love. Sex. Relationships. Children. Marriage. And many, many more. What makes it all the more confusing is that each of us has our own personal idea of what’s right and wrong, what’s ideal, and what’s a dealbreaker. Generally, most people don’t want to be alone, but some people aren’t ready to settle down. What if we like someone who doesn’t like us back? What if we like too many people at the same time? What if we’re lonely? The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has this to say: “We do…

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What Will Life Be Like in Recovery?

man-hiking-happy

This is one of the most common questions we have as newcomers: what will life be like in recovery? We all want to know what’s going to change. Everything can change in recovery, but what changes is primarily up to us. Are we willing to do things differently? It’s going to be what we make of it, but it’s going to be better by default — as long as we’re willing to do the work and stay the course. So, what will life be like in recovery? It’s still going to be life. Some things aren’t going to change much. We’ll still need to work and have shelter, friends and family, and hobbies. Sometimes things will go well, and sometimes they’ll go differently than we’d like them to. There will be joy, heartache, surprise, chaos, routine, etc. Life will still be life. Recovery offers us a daily chance to be free of our…

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Beyond the Obvious Benefits of the 12-Steps

man standing in rushing water on steps

It’s no secret that the 12-Step program of recovery is by far the most effective, holistic, and successful method of treating alcoholism and addiction for both the short and long term. Simply put, it really works! For alcoholics and addicts seeking freedom and recovery from their deadly disease, there is practically nothing else that works as well, as often, and as beautifully as the 12-Step program of recovery outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. This solution involves a course of spiritual action, frequent recovery meetings with the 12-Step fellowship, and being of service to both the recovery community and humanity as a whole. When it comes to alcoholism and addiction, nothing works like the 12-Steps. However, there are additional disciplines that can helpfully augment the 12-Step program. Therapy, psychology, spirituality, physical health, and medicine all have much to offer those in recovery to increase the benefits and beauty of the 12-Step…

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