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It Only Takes Two People to Have a Meeting: At Home Recovery Meetings During Quarantine

It Only Takes Two People to Have a Meeting: At Home Recovery Meetings During Quarantine

From the 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, Tradition 3:
“Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.”

The recent shelter in place mandate has presented new challenges to those in recovery, specifically in relation to the access to meeting spaces. The world is quickly adapting and digital resources are becoming readily available at a consistent rate. No matter the hour of day, thanks to the accessibility of the internet, individuals impacted by substance use disorder can find recovery meetings online. For more information on how to access these online meetings, please visit our website at https://www.fellowshiphall.com/alumni-online-resources.

However, there is something intimate and healing about meeting with others and sharing a face-to-face conversation. The shared connection and vulnerability that happens during a meeting is an agreed upon central component to long-term success and sobriety. While some are unfortunately isolated without roommates or family members, others are fortunate enough to be in quarantine with at least one other individual whether it be a spouse, roommate, friend, or family member. A recovery meeting can be held with only two people. These two people can be members of different recovery communities as well (for example, you may be someone that attends AA meetings, while your spouse or roommate attends Nar-Anon meetings.) 

What works from person to person and household to household may vary, but the most important aspects of holding a meeting between two individuals are:

Carve out a comfortable place to meet in your home
Step away from work and high traffic areas for purposes of confidentiality. 

Honor the traditional meeting structure:

  1. Open with the Serenity Prayer
    God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The courage to change the things I can, and
    The wisdom to know the difference.
  2. Do the respective readings for the 12-step group of choice (or both!):
    Alcoholics Anonymous examples:
    -12 Steps of AA
    -12 Traditions of AA
    -Thought for the Day (Daily Reflections)Narcotics Anonymous examples:
    -12 Steps
    -12 Traditions of NA
    -Just for Today (Daily Reflections) 
  3. Choose to read from one of the tools above and discuss, or pick a specific topic to focus on, perhaps from a step or a tradition, or something related to the thought for the day.
  4. Share with one another about the chosen or related topic.
  5. Close with the Serenity Prayer. 

Respect traditional meeting rules:
Respecting the traditional meeting structure and observing formal rules is crucial to holding an effective meeting. The meeting should not feel like a casual conversation with a partner or friend.  One very important rule to observe is “no cross-talk”. As tempting as it may be, it’s important to refrain from directly commenting on another person’s share — instead keep the floor open for them to express how they feel.

Addiction is a disease that thrives in the feelings of loneliness and isolation. Whereas quarantine and social distance rely on varying degrees of isolation to prevent the spread of disease. While the traditional format of AA and NA is the preferred method of meeting, many in recovery may continue to find themselves slowly making adjustments and adapting to new routines to remain successful. Review the tips above and continue to follow our blog and social media accounts for more resources to navigate your recovery during this time.