In January 2020 an old friend told me he was in recovery. I asked so many questions, one thing I was curious of was what meetings were actually like and how often he went. He went on to tell me he was going three to four times a week and I was shocked. From what I’d seen in movies I expected AA to be something you went to maybe once a week. I had no idea that people went several times a week, It all sounded too much.
I havn’t had a drink since that night and I’ve been in recovery for almost ten months now. In that time I’ve learned that meeting attendance is different for everyone.
Personally I’ve worked hard to embrace the programme in early recovery, I did the 90 in 90 and have been keeping to an average of a meeting a day since I started the programme. There have been days where I’ve been busy with life and been happy not going to a meeting and other days where I’ve absolutely needed three meetings in a single day as my head was all over the place.
It’s much easier to keep up this kind of schedule thanks to Zoom and has worked for me in early recovery, It’s not been too overwhelming and I’ll be keeping this up for the foreseeable future as it’s working for me, but that’s not to say this won’t be something I change over time with my recovery. Other newcomers I know with a similar length of sobriety to me do more, others do less. It’s all totally dependent on the person and their recovery journey.
Zoom has definitely meant I’m able to attend more meetings. Before Covid lockdowns I was making it to around four to five meetings a week, one a day would just not have been possible with all the travelling involved with physical meetings.
One thing I would say is that more meetings isn’t necessarily better for your recovery, I’ve gone through phases where I’ve been disengaged because I was doing too many. When this happened my sponsor told me to hang back slightly, attend less meetings but be more present and attentive in the ones I was going to, It was great advice and something to bear in mind if you ever feel the same way.
Everyone is different, from speaking to other fellows people change their meeting frequency around their lives and as their recovery progresses over time. Some people will be happy attending less meetings as they gain longer periods of sobriety, others keep a high frequency as it’s something which works for them. Some find a schedule which works and lean into meetings when life gets difficult and they need the programme more.
If you are new, my personal recommendation is to do the 90 in 90 if you possibly can. It’s much easier to do now thanks to online meetings, I’ve written about the benefits of doing it here. From there you’ll be able to have a better idea of what kind of meeting schedule works best for you and your recovery.