It seems I chose a bad time to get sober. Or did I, maybe there isn’t a bad time to get sober. But the fact remains, it was August 2020 and Covid 19 restrictions were in force throughout the UK.
Fortunately, I found AA and The Road to Recovery almost immediately. Is it possible a Higher Power was directing me and I didn’t know it at the time?
In August, face to face AA meeting were unavailable. Meetings were restricted to video conferencing via Zoom.
At first the whole concept of Zoom and taking part in a AA meetings was daunting, plus the fact I wasn’t in a very good frame of mind at this time. I attended several zoom meetings and observed.
In the pre-meeting Breakout Rooms, I was made very welcome. I witnessed lots of banter, camaraderie and happiness. Looking back, I didn’t realise this at the time, but I was being observed and nurtured. Great care was being taken not to frighten me off.
In time I was steered to find a Sponsor, a mentor to start me on a road to recovery. I found my sponsor, obtained a copy of the Big Book and started the program of recovery.
As government restrictions started to relax in October, AA groups were categorised as support groups. This meant face to face meetings could now be re-established providing a strict criteria of infection control were observed.
The well-structured RtR Group moved quickly and some ardent members made it possible to hold restricted face to face meetings at all three venues in a very short time.
My sponsor gained my confidence and I was introduced to daily actions. I completed Steps 1-3 in a short time and after I got used to the idea of getting on my knees and praying to this third person, my higher power, I started to feel much better in myself. The craving for alcohol disappeared.
Step 4-7, a searching and moral inventory of myself, this was very challenging and to share my most intimate secrets to my God and a third person was embarrassing, but necessary. I now became aware of my own fears and resentments. I had struck up a spiritual relationship with my new found God and humbly asked him to remove these defects of character—a landmark.
Step 8-9. Making a list of people I had harmed, was relatively straight forward, but making amends during lockdown more difficult—personal meetings have restrictions. This is where I am in the program now.
I hear constantly in the breakout rooms and the telephone conversations I have with other AA members that the magic of an unrestricted meeting is greatly missed. Covid 19 has temporary put the kibosh on such gatherings.
We must realise that our dedication, our team spirit and with the help of a power greater than us, all will prevail.
Ian G, Road to Recovery Group, Plymouth