Technology gives you the power to instantly connect with recovery resources anytime you need them, like Sober Nation. Lots of people in recovery use the Internet in addition to “real life” meetings like AA and other 12 Step groups. But what about online AA meetings? They exist in abundance, and many addicts find them to be helpful. Some even rely entirely on the online AA community for support, never or seldom stepping outside their homes to attend a meeting or chat with their sponsors. Online AA meetings might not be for everyone, though. Are they for you?
Are You an Introvert or a Little on the Shy Side?
By no means is everyone who attends AA meetings introverted, timid, or withdrawn. However, online AA meetings are a great place for people who are. Those who find it difficult to speak up in meetings may have an easier time participating in an online setting when they don’t feel the pressure of “all eyes on me.”
Do You Find Yourself Wanting Support Late at Night?
Though most fellow AA members don’t mind, some people in recovery don’t feel comfortable making phone calls late at night if they can’t sleep or are having difficulty. Online AA meetings are happening around the clock, worldwide. There is always someone available to chat no matter what time it is, and this can be especially beneficial for night owls or people with nontraditional schedules.
Do You Have Issues with Mobility?
One of the great things about online meetings is that you can access them from the comfort of your home. If you don’t drive and can’t find a ride, or if you have a disability that affects your ability to leave your home, you don’t have to miss out on a meeting.
Do Enjoy Writing or Journaling to Help You Cope?
While there are some face-to-face online meetings, most don’t require a webcam and are text-based. People who find writing or journaling helpful for processing their emotions may particularly enjoy typing their thoughts, questions, and responses in online AA meetings.
Are You Prone to Withdrawing Yourself?
This is a tricky one, and if your answer to this question is “yes,” you should proceed with caution when it comes to online meetings. Online meetings can be a great way to connect with other people in recovery for all the reasons mentioned above, but they can also be less than beneficial for people who are reclusive. In recovery, connections with others are important. Online AA meetings shouldn’t be used as a way to escape real interactions with people. If you rely on online meetings, it’s often easier for you to withdraw and seclude yourself. If you’re prone to this, you might want to continue attending “real life” meetings, and only use online AA meetings to help you get out of a funk, rather than into one.
There are lots of different places to find online AA meetings. Some sites to try are E-AA.org, AA-Intergroup.org, AAOnline.net, and AALiveChat.com. Do you currently or have you ever attended online AA meetings? What are your experiences with them?