The Medium is the Message –

May 28, 2020 – Those attacks, in turn, have caused meetings to require still more passwords and a host deciding who to let join. That, in turn, means newcomers and people without the secret word and known to the host can’t get in.

“And the meetings are an essential part of AA recovery. If, as it’s been said, addiction is a disease of isolation, the meetings offer an end to that isolation; a place to crawl out of the hole of despair and loneliness and spend time with fellow sufferers, people who “understand” precisely because they’ve been in the same exact condition. “There’s an energy in the rooms because of that, and lots of laughter, the laughter of survivors. Only those who have themselves been the subject of horrible, embarrassing public humiliation can laugh when someone describes his own. Even those of us who haven’t personally endured the “blue light experience” of being stopped for DUI can identify with that sinking, fearful feeling; ruined lives and careers, estranged children, engaging in thoughtless cruelty to others. All are fodder for humor, because it’s the laughter of survivors. Non-alcoholics would be appalled at what we laugh at, but we can laugh only because we’ve gone through it all and come out on the other side. And we can laugh at a confused, bewildered newcomer because we’re laughing in identification — we’ve all been there.

“Online meetings bleach out that humor, and I miss it. Even more important is the loss of the opportunity to lend the support that was always available to struggling people, newcomers, or those with long term sobriety (life’s difficulties don’t go away when the bottle is put down — ask any non-drinker). An arm around the shoulder, an invitation to have coffee after the meeting, a walk together on the Eastern Promenade, all that’s impossible now. A tenet of AA is that to keep the gift of sobriety you have to “give it away” — it’s by helping others that we break out of our isolated, selfish and self-centered lives that kept us miserable for so long, and, for now, the opportunity to reach out has been curtailed.



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