Wednesday, May 22, 2024


 Most of my weekly meetings are online - as I've written, I love being able to regularly see friends who live in other places without buying a plane ticket. I do attend one in-person meeting and have made that my Wednesday noon habit, even buying a yearly parking pass to further cement my commitment. This week, I didn't want to go. It was a beautiful day with the garden calling, I was tired from not enough sleep the night before, blah blah blah. But I went anyway, knowing that if I didn't go this week, it would be easier to skip next week too, and maybe the next. 

I'm not afraid I'd drink if I skipped a meeting, or that I'd have an Alanon relapse (so much harder to measure!) but for me it's more about consistency, mindful that if sobriety loses its priority (slip) I could be headed down a potentially dangerous road. It's not that I walk around in fear. I genuinely like meetings - I like "us" and I appreciate the reminders and nuggets I hear in your shares. And I am a creature of habit. Years ago, in talking with my therapist about the tug of war between my early morning run and a series of late nights that necessitated a nap (I love my naps), she suggested I might skip my run sometimes. Oh no, I replied. Of course, there are times when I stay in bed, or skip the meeting, or eat the burger, but flexibility is not my strong suit. Sometimes it's about going through the motions and being pleasantly surprised, whether it's a walk on a rainy morning when the sun comes out, or going to a meeting I might've skipped and hearing just what I needed to hear (or being able to share my experience with someone I wouldn't have otherwise). And sometimes it is simply going through the motions without a prize at the end!

I do know that many of my peers in long term recovery don't attend meetings, while many do. Where I might've had rigid ideas about that in the past (you'll drink!!), I've come to truly understand that we each do this thing called a sober life in our own way. Take what you like and leave the rest. The not drinking part is non-negotiable for this alcoholic, but the rest of it is up for grabs, shifting and changing over the years.

I was honored to be invited to a "Now What?" workbook group, comprised (mostly) of women I've known in the rooms for years. It was wonderful to hear the workbook in action, as well as to receive some feedback. I sometimes suffer from lack of motivation, or more realistically, differently-directed motivation, but I am considering a "Now What? Part 2" that would consist of past blog posts with expanded processing questions. It's hard to believe that I started this blog in 2017, with the idea morphing into the workbook. I admitted to the group that I haven't actually answered the workbook questions myself! On the To-Do list...  

What I mostly appreciated in the meeting was sitting with solid, long-term women I've known for years, taking the emotional risk to go deep. I miss that. A small group of friends and I attempted a spiritual circle, with the idea of meeting and talking about a quote or a reading (crosstalk encouraged), but it didn't quite take. The pandemic changed so much related to gathering, as well as intention, but my longing for community is still there. I do get that in my online groups, but there is something to be said for sitting across a table, coffee mug in hand.

And so here I am - appreciating my online connections, wanting and not wanting to go to an in-person meeting, riding the up and down moods of long term sobriety, knowing that "this, too, shall pass," whether that is the highs or the lows.

Does consistency figure in to your program/your life? What about flexibility? Where do you experience community? If your current level of connection isn't working for you, what is an action you might take to change that? 

I've had some questions about how to purchase the NOW WHAT workbook. You need to go to the WEB VERSION of this blog page for the link on ordering. Please contact me at  or with questions. 

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