Written By: Fiona Stockard
Articles are the sole work of the individual author and do not express the opinion of Sobriety for Women.
Meeting Makers Make It
Meeting makers make it is my least favorite phrase in AA. There I said it! If you’re anything like me, you’ve been thinking the same thing for a long time.
Is there any saying more cliché and ultimately untrue? I can’t think of any! But my opinions are just that, opinions. You know what they say – opinions are like…well you know.
So, for the sake of journalistic integrity, I’m going to hold back from going on an intense rant.
Attending twelve-step meetings is important. Attending twelve-step meetings is KEY to achieving and maintaining sobriety! It’s at meetings that we hear a message of hope. It’s at meetings that we get a sponsor and then, in the future, get sponsees. It’s at meetings that we’re able to spread the message of recovery.
All of that is vital to long-term sobriety. Notice anything missing from the above list, though? That’s right, there wasn’t anything about working the steps.
Meeting Makers Make Meetings
Meetings don’t keep us sober. Working the twelve-steps (in order and with a sponsor!) keeps us sober. Entering into a relationship with God as we understand God keeps us sober. Taking other women through the steps keeps us sober.
So, what about meeting makers? Well, they make meetings. Meeting makers experience the fellowship aspect of twelve-step recovery. Once again, this is a vital part of sobriety. Still, it doesn’t allow us to recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.
To put it another way, only going to meetings never kept a needle out of my arm.
The Benefit of Going to Meetings
It’s at twelve-step meetings that the process of recovery begins. The first time I heard someone at a meeting share what was going on in my head, my jaw dropped. I was so taken aback that someone else actually knew what I was thinking and feeling! I immediately knew I was in the right place. I immediately knew these people could help me.
That’s the identification part of recovery. It’s important. After all, if I didn’t believe the steps could help me, I wouldn’t have done them. Duh! There’s more that’s needed for REAL sobriety, though.
First, I reached out to women I met in meetings. I listened to what people said. I talked to people who said things that made sense to me. I got numbers and called those numbers. Finally, I found a woman who had everything I wanted in life.
She smiled, laughed, and seemed happy. She could look other people in the eye. She had friends. I had nothing and couldn’t look anyone in the eye. I didn’t smile or laugh. I definitely wasn’t happy.
I asked this woman to sponsor me. I was sweating and shaking like I was dope sick. I was so scared she’d say no! She said yes and I got her number. I called her exactly zero times.
All of the above stuff is important. It’s needed and vital for sobriety and recovery, but it’s not enough.
I had a bunch of meetings I hit regularly. I had sober supports. I even had a sponsor. Guess what happened? I relapsed.
See, I still had the mental obsession and spiritual malady. I hadn’t done any work on myself. I was still sick and suffering. Some people call it “stark raving sober.”
So, I relapsed. I got high for around a year. During that year, I was in and out of the rooms. I was making meetings, but I wasn’t making “it.” I was a slave to the obsession to use drugs and alcohol.
Finally, I was beat up enough. I called my sponsor and said, “I’m done. I’ll do anything you tell me to.” I meant what I said. I was so sick of living the way I was. My sponsor got me right into the steps.
Recovery in Every Sense of the Word
I started working steps and I got better. I got better FAST. Within six months, I had a spiritual experience. The obsession to drug and drink was removed. God replaced my spiritual malady. I started to sponsor other girls. For the first time in my life, I felt okay.
Would that have happened if I only went to meetings? Nope. Twelve-step literature tells us so. It doesn’t matter if you go to AA, NA, CA, GA, or any other A. They all tell us the same thing. They tell us that the real alcoholic or addict is unable to get better without a spiritual experience.
Once I started to do some work (aka the twelve-steps), I had a spiritual experience. I found a God of my own understanding. I found peace.
What about those meeting makers? Well, they’re still making meetings. I’m out in the world, living my life.