Mandatory Meetings? A barometer of sobriety?
Are AA/ NA meetings mandatory for our kids to find or maintain sobriety? AA’s old timers will shake their heads affirmatively, while others on the journey say “not so much.”
Is meeting attendance a barometer of sobriety?
Our kids may not connect with the crowd (read the Snoop Dog post I wrote earlier this week). Our kids may tune out to the repetitive nature of AA meetings. Guess what? There are tons of folks getting high at meetings. Meetings can offer no guarantees. My son still comes home some evenings and says “meeting sucked” Who knows how he grades meetings. Not me, I don’t try to figure it out, as I’m not the addict.
I know there were times when I was attending parent meetings that the parent stories would begin to blend together. “My baby has ADHD, he is Bipolar, she has a evil boyfriend who caused this, etc etc” My mind would drift to Rob Gronkowski stats. Not his cover of ESPN magazine mind you! Just his football stats. ( Trying to keep this post light folks! )
My son still attends AA meetings. I have a pretty good suspicion he spends a portion outside smoking butts and goofing with his network. That is fine as he tests clean when the courts come a calling, and is sober today. AA Meetings are the feed to his network of sober buddies that are there for him any hour of the night.
Old timers, don’t be judgemental, my son’s parking lot style is not what you guys label “relapse row/ denial aisle”. He is working his steps, and understands the part about being powerless. He grasped that a while back and still embraces the concept.
Example -Someone offered a beer to him a few weeks back . He politely declined. The person pushed harder not understanding his “allergy”. My son looked up and said “Hey you don’t get it. If you have that drink you get up and dance. If I have that beer, I will punch you in the face. Throw the cash register out the window and probably go get high and be in jail within the week.”
Yes, he understands he is powerless…
Old timers will say he learned that in the halls of AA. He will tell you he learned it from consequences, the Big Book, and a good sponsor.
His sponsor attends at best, 1 meeting a week. Does that make him a poor sponsor? Most parents would give their right arm to have their child embrace the sobriety and wisdom this man possesses. Meetings to this sponsor, are drama filled 13th stepping, vulture attended nonsense. He works the steps and has taught my son much.
No where in Bill W’s writings does it mandate how many meetings an “alcoholic” should attend.
As a parent, not alcoholic, I have always questioned the court’s sending a person to a meeting as part of the justice. Does that person get anything out of a meeting if he is forced to be there by the courts? ( or by his mommy or daddy )?
My son attained far more from the meetings when his consequences dragged his tired and beaten ass to the halls.
He was introduced to meetings when he was in his first rehabs.(Consequences) Did he get anything out of those meetings? Probably, but only he knows for sure.
I am not advocating for your child not to attend meetings. However if anyone, no matter how experienced, tells you your child will not remain sober without a meeting I will say ” Baloney to that”.
This mandatory meeting attendance topic is probably not a new one,and if I know the recovery crowd, it is a topic has been debated endlessly.
My son attends…his meetings, his choice, his recovery. The way it should be!
I am curious to what other families have experienced.
Today is a good day.
Peace and strength!
*if you feel this post will help another parent please feel free to link to this blog or share.
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