Zoom 4U

How I make Zoom Meetings of My Home Group More Meaningful

When I first started going to Zoom meetings, I enjoyed the novelty. But I quickly discovered I was allowing myself to get away with behaviours I wouldn’t when attending face-to-face (f2f) meetings. I didn’t go to so far as to break “The Golden Rule of Zoom” – the rule that is as important in AA meetings as it is in business meetings – to leave your camera on. But I began to log on closer and closer to the meeting start. Eventually I began to multi-task quite regularly: doing a bit of work on my laptop or sending / receiving emails and messages during some meetings.

“Best” of all, I didn’t feel there was anyone to hold me to account – my sponsor couldn’t see me walk in late or act disrespectfully on Zoom so easily. Not that he spent all his timing doing that in f2f meetings. But the knowledge that he could hold me to account, kept me on my toes at f2f meetings – gave me more of a conscience.

As time went on, I felt something missing. Meetings of my virtual home group alone won’t keep me sober – but they are a key part of the package. I didn’t have the advantage of being in Plymouth and being able to go to the occasional physical meetings of the group. I realised COVID19 wasn’t going away anytime soon but I wanted to feel better NOW.

So I started a few experiments. I began dressing up again for my Friday meeting. I tried logging on at 6:30pm. I weened myself off the compulsive multi-tasking: I redoubled my efforts to not work, email, read and text during the meeting. If I took a swig of coffee or had to go to the bathroom, I’d switch off my camera (temporarily) so as not to disturb the meeting – but leave it on at all other times during. I continued to stay late in the breakout rooms after the meeting as well as arriving early.

As we say in RtR, I “got into good habits early” many years ago with f2f meetings – thus I instinctively knew how to start to enjoy Zoom meetings of my home group again. In fact it wasn’t so much the enjoyment that was important: it was keeping the meetings meaningful – keeping them part of my sufficient substitute for alcohol and going to the pub. My experiment worked – I am definitely getting more out of Zoom meetings again.

Alexis K, Road to Recovery Group, 
November 2020