Meeting Makers Make It, or Do They?
In 12 step recovery you often hear the old saying, “Meeting Makers Make It.” Is this true? Well, to some extend it is, but it’s only half the story.
The Rest of the Story
When I was a kid my mother used to listen to Paul Harvey (Letter From God) on the radio on Sunday mornings. He would start out his program with these famous words, “Hello Americans, I’m Paul Harvey. You know what the news is — in a minute, you’re going to hear the rest of the story.” Well, that’s what I’m here to talk about… the rest of the story about the old adage “Meeting Makers Make It.”
We Are The Problem
IT = staying sober.
There is so much more to recovery then just staying sober.
If you were new in recovery and you heard “Meeting Makers Make It” at a meeting you could surmise that if you went to a lot of meetings then you’d stay sober, right? The truth is, if that’s all you do for your recovery, you probably won’t stay sober. If you do happen to stay sober, you won’t be that happy. You would think an alcoholic/addict that is able to stay sober would be ok, but alcohol/drugs aren’t the problem. We are the problem!
There is so much more to recovery then just staying sober. You’ve got to change. If you don’t change you will be the same person you were drinking and drugging but without alcohol or drugs to ease the pain of your existence. There’s another old saying in 12 step recovery, “If you take the alcohol out of an alcoholic, you are still left with the ic (ick).” That one cracks me up because it is so true.
There is a Solution
“Almost none of us liked the self–searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation.” *Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 25
Ewww! No we don’t like doing that stuff, but it’s not really an option. By the way, that quote is basically describing steps 4-9. I remember looking up at the wall at a meeting and seeing, “fearless and moral inventory” and “admitting the exact nature of our wrongs” and “amends.” “No, no, no, no! I won’t do that,” I thought. So I didn’t, and I drank. Then I came back to the meetings to get sober, I didn’t work the 12 steps and I drank again. Then I came back and I didn’t work the steps AGAIN… Do I have to tell you what happened?
Lose The “ICK”
Eventually the pain of relapse and the pain of staying sober was too much for me. I surrendered. I worked the 12 steps… And I didn’t drink again (not for 8 years but that’s another blog). Not only did I not drink but I was happy. Real joy! The funny thing is I made such a big deal out of working the steps and they weren’t that bad. I found parts of the process to be uncomfortable, but it was manageable. After I worked the 12 steps I lost the “ick” and I started giving back in recovery. That’s how I got involved with A2WG. I volunteered to do some service work and I’m still doing it 5 years later. 😀
It’s a Two-Part Deal
Ok, let’s talk about “Meeting Makers Make It” again. Here’s the deal… You can’t just work the 12 steps and you can’t just go to meetings. You have to do both if you want to stay sober and happy. It’s a two-part deal. If you sit around the tables at a 12 step meeting long enough, you will hear someone say. “I stopped going to meetings and I relapsed” or “I didn’t work the steps and I relapsed.” So in actuality the term “Meeting Makers Make It… If They Work the Steps” is what we should be saying at 12 step meetings because I have NEVER heard anyone say at a meeting, “I went to meetings and worked the steps and I relapsed.” Maybe someday I’ll hear it but it hasn’t happened yet.
Paul Harvey used to end his radio programs saying, “And now you know the rest of the story.” Now you know the rest of the story too.
Are we confusing newcomers by saying, “Meeting Makers Make It?” Feel free to share your opinion.
Peace, Love & Sobriety,
*A2WG is not affliated with AA