Going to meetings is a core part of A.A. At the hour-long meetings, a fairly standard program is followed, with readings of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, celebration of sobriety milestones, discussions on particular or general topics, and one or more speakers who share their stories of addiction and recovery.
At some point in every A.A. meeting I’ve been to, people say:
“Keep coming back, it works if you work it.”
This phrase might also be said by your sponsor, or by A.A. friends talking about the challenges they are having in their sobriety, in their program, or in their life. It reminds everyone to go to another A.A. meeting, to keep working on their sobriety.
Many people who are new to A.A., especially people who have taken a treatment program, are encouraged to go to ninety meetings in their first ninety days of sobriety. I was only able to commit to a weekly meeting because I often travelled during the week for work, and I had a busy volunteer life too. Fortunately for me (and my sobriety!), it was the weekly meeting on Friday nights that was my anchor, that was where I “kept coming back.”
In the early days of my sobriety, that saying really hit home, emphasizing the importance of making it to a meeting no matter how I was feeling, no matter if I did not want to say a thing and could only listen, no matter if I was hanging onto sobriety by a thin thread and really just wanted to crawl into a hole or take another drink. The important thing was to simply go to an A.A. meeting where you would be with other people trying to stay sober, and hear stories from others about how they made progress in their own recovery.
The weekly meeting gave me something solid to look forward to on Friday night. Not a big drunk up where I could get into trouble; instead a safe intentional choice to spend time with people who were working their program.
Many thanks to people in every A.A. meeting I’ve ever attended for encouraging me to “keep coming back,” to keep working the A.A. program, and to stay sober one day at a time. I am so very grateful!