This week, my sponsor and I were talking about our respective Thanksgivings. It turns out that my sponsor’s family had a bit of a mix up and as a result dinner was served later than planned so after the salad, my sponsor excused himself to go to the meeting. That would be my home group’s meeting. I haven’t been there in over a month.
One of the things that every 12-stepper knows is that meetings are important. A few years ago I was sitting in an open AA meeting and heard a guy speak about how he got sober in AA but now only came to meetings a few times a year. I thought he was a jerk. And a liar. Because I was pretty sure there’s no way that you can stay sober and not go to meetings. After all, I tried all those rational ways of recovering and none of them worked. I was pretty fanatic about how necessary it was to go to meetings.
But now, I’m staying sober and not going to meetings.
I feel bad about that and it’s not because my sexual sobriety is in danger. The only reason my home group was there when I needed them is because sober sex addicts kept coming back. I have an obligation to pay it forward. But here’s the thing. I have some HUGE fundamental disagreements with the basic tenets of fellowship I belong to.
How do I balance my need to be a part of a group with my need to be true to what I believe is right?
The problem is that we all listen to what appeals to us, so we become more and more insulated, more and more entrenched in our viewpoint.
This is what’s beautiful about science. You have an idea, and get busy gathering evidence that confirms its validity. Then you publish. Then your peers get busy finding ways that your idea is invalid. Then they publish. Everyone learns! This is not how recovery works. There are no double-blind studies. Instead, there are calls to return to Akron and the old days. There are no double-blind studies that investigate the effectiveness of a 12-step fellowship.
My suspicion is that people who get to where I am drift away from meetings and just live their lives.
I wonder if I’m going to do that.