The pandemic is a difficult time for everyone and that is in no small part due to the isolation that a lot of people are feeling because of the social distancing that everyone has to follow and the limited interactions that people can have due to the ban on large gatherings. For people going through trying to overcome their reliance on alcohol, the isolation and stress brought about by having to live through a pandemic can definitely cause one to turn back to the drink.
Thankfully, AA meetings have also adapted and have gone online in order to keep with the times. It offers an opportunity for people to connect in new ways and stay safe from the virus. Afterall, if people need to change then being able to change must also come naturally to the meetings that have helped so many people throughout the years. Though the meetings might be in a different avenue since it’s now an online location, the same support and philosophies like the 12 steps of AA, still stand and it even comes with some added benefits.
You can attend AA Meetings from the comfort of your own home
One of the most dangerous things during the time of the pandemic is the possibility that you could catch the virus or that you could become a carrier and also pass it on to other people. The Coronavirus is especially dangerous for the elderly. This means that any of the older members in any particular AA group could easily succumb to the virus if anyone else in the group were infected.
With online AA meetings, you no longer have to worry about catching the virus or passing it on to others. AA meetings aren’t supposed to be stressful, they’re supposed to be calming and it should allow people to be able to relax and have a moment’s reprieve. This is especially important for people that have to go through the everyday stress of withdrawal symptoms or not turning back to alcoholism. With the added stress of going out due to the pandemic, being able to sit back, relax, and just enter a Zoom meeting filled with the friendly faces of your AA group can really turn a bad day into a good one.
Online AA meetings are convenient
Since online meetings only require you to log in to an app and join the meeting through a link, there is no need for much travel or prep time. You can be in the middle of doing anything and suddenly be in the meeting. This makes things really convenient for people and being able to join at any time as long as you have an internet connection, frees things up for people and allows them to spend their time on a lot of other things as well.
This sort of convenience of joining AA meetings with a few presses of a button also gives the added benefit of making joining AA meetings that much more easier for beginners. Oftentimes, joining meetings are either as easy as just having an access to the Zoom meeting link or signing up with your information and receiving the link through an email or some other form of contact. Without the need to travel to different places, beginners don’t have to worry about the lengthy travel times only to find themselves in an AA group that they aren’t exactly comfortable with. They can easily jump between AA groups until they find one that they are the most comfortable with.
AA Meetings being held online means there is online anonymity
When you attend meetings in person, short of wearing a full body suit with a mask, you can’t really cover yourself up to fully conceal your identity. While one of the core tenets of these meetings, that is also detailed in the 12 traditions of AA, is that everything stays inside the AA group, some people might not be able to be completely comfortable with revealing their identity just yet. There is also the possibility of meeting other people you might know inside the meeting or outside the meeting. These whole host of complications could arise when going to meetings in person.
Attending online AA meetings offers the added benefit of complete anonymity. Some meetings don’t require their members to turn on their cameras or their microphones. When using Zoom, you can also set whether or not you would like to have a display photo or profile picture or if you would like your full name or a nickname to be displayed. All these degrees of control offer a different level of anonymity that just simply can’t be had when attending online. Save for just a nickname and your voice, you could possibly hide your whole identity when attending online.
Changing lives during the pandemic
With AA meetings still going strong with the transition of going online during the pandemic, it’s no wonder that they are still changing the lives of people during this difficult time. The quality of help provided by AA meetings definitely hasn’t changed and people can still maintain their progress by going to the AA groups that they call home, albeit in a different, more virtual setting. So if you’re currently looking for an AA meeting near you, then they have now gotten much closer than you think.