Why “Meeting Makers Make It”


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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 as a chore. They are absolutely not a chore or an extracurricular suggestion. Meetings are a vital part of recovery and a crucial ingredient to a full and happy life for alcoholics and addicts. Let’s explore exactly why meeting makers make it.


What’s the Real Deal With Meetings?

Sure, meetings are the great cliche of recovery. They’re usually the only part of the 12 Step program that shows up in movies or television shows. They’re the only picture of recovery life that most of us ever have in our heads before we experience the 12 Step lifestyle for ourselves. But meetings aren’t all folding chairs in dingy basements with a bunch of angry old men chain-smoking and complaining! Meetings are more like a group of familiar people sitting in a well-lit room talking about how the 12 Step program and the recovery community have changed their lives, helped them find freedom from alcoholism and addiction, and allowed them to help others.

In reality, meetings are important because of the newcomer. Not only do meetings provide the perfect opportunity for uplifting fellowship before, during, and after, but meetings themselves allow newcomers to learn about the 12 Step lifestyle. Even more importantly, meetings allow the new people to hear exactly how the 12 Steps healed us and now keep us sober and in recovery as we work the program. Where else can someone dying of alcoholism or addiction go to hear dozens of people with the same disease talk about their freedom, healing, and happiness?


Why Meetings Are Important

Newcomers need this exposure to the testimony of the effectiveness, success, and incredible transformative power of the 12 Step program. They need to see and hear what the 12 Steps can do for people like us. And they really need to see that the solution really works! Meetings are the place where this happens. Newcomers can hear someone tell their story and then talk about the freedom and recovery they have experienced as a result of the 12 Step program. Not only does this give newcomers hope, but it lets them know there is a solution and where to find the people they need to ask for help. Meetings are the best time and place to find a sponsor or sponsee.

That’s another big reason why meetings are so important: we need to be of service to others for our own recovery. It’s all over the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12th Step says, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” Meetings are far from the only place that we can carry the message, but each and every meeting provides us a golden opportunity to do exactly that. Meetings are the best place to meet alcoholics and addicts who are seeking recovery or struggling to maintain their recovery. These are the people who need the message we are asked to carry the most.

Furthermore, the Big Book says that our lives as recovering alcoholics and addicts depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs. In order to be of service to others, we need to be around others — and meetings certainly guarantee that we will be around others! It’s a tried and true place where we can show up and be of service. Every day of every week, whether in person or online, we can attend a meeting and be of service to others while carrying the 12 Step message. The Big Book tells us that both of these things are essential to our own recovery. Beyond that, we may end up being the ones to provide vital help to someone else in their own recovery journey.


Meeting Makers Make It

Hopefully by now it’s become clear how this slogan got started. Meeting makers make it because meetings provide wonderful opportunities to participate in absolutely vital aspects of our own recovery. Meetings give us the fellowship, feedback, and community that we need to flourish in recovery. We can’t recover alone, and meetings give us all a chance to share, to be of service, and to be there for each other. Meetings are getting together with our beloved recovery community and discussing our shared solutions in the 12 Step program. Meeting makers make it because meetings help us all recover.

At Jaywalker Lodge, we truly believe that meeting makers make it! That’s why we base everything we do on the 12 Step program of recovery. Our goal is to facilitate men becoming involved in the recovery lifestyle, seeing the value in it, and reaping the incredible benefits. We know it works because it worked for us, and we know it can work for you, too! We want to be there to help you get started off on the right foot. We have daily and weekly recovery meetings, where we get busy serving both the recovery community and the community at large. In fact, the Jaywalker fellowship is so strong that our alumni often join us for meetings, service opportunities, and even meals! Meetings give us the chance to get to know each other, help each other, and see proof that the 12 Steps really work. That’s what we’re all about, so we love meetings! If you’re ready for lasting recovery, Jaywalker Lodge is more than ready to help you. Call us at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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