With pandemic-induced lockdowns forcing us to stay indoors, have you wondered how it has affected people battling alcohol addiction? The truth is it has been perhaps the hardest for people already struggling with such conditions as addiction or depression. And in the absence of face-to-face meetings, all AA meetings, for instance, have to be conducted through platforms like Zoom. Are these as effective as offline meets or are they a waste of your time?
Advantages of having AA meetings online:
- Those who have attended a virtual AA meeting will know that it is easy enough to get started. All you need is to download the Zoom app, get your meeting code/password, and join the meeting. It is super-convenient because you do not have to plan for it in advance or drive miles to reach a meeting venue. There is no rush, no dress code to adhere to, and you save enough time to finish pending household chores.
- For people who are extremely introverted and reticent, virtual meetings offer security and comfort. When such individuals physically attend an AA meeting, they often struggle to open up. This often delays their recovery. Being online, they can voice their opinions and share their stories freely without feeling “judged” or “watched”.
- If you find it hard to control your cravings at night, virtual AA meetings may be just what you need to stay on track. Physical AA meetings cannot be held at odd hours but online meetings are very much possible.
- For people battling addiction and on the path to recovery, staying motivated and committed is a challenge. And in the absence of any meeting at all, their determination falters. Having online AA meetings regularly ensures that you stay sober and help those who need your support and advice.
- Virtual AA meetings can be a blessing for people who cannot leave their homes to attend physical meetings. They may have small babies at home or other personal commitments that they cannot ignore. Having Zoom AA meetings meets helps them get the support they need, whenever they need it.
Disadvantages of having AA meetings online:
- In the absence of physical touch or face-to-face contact, online meetings can make you feel isolated. A warm hug or a pat in the back can work wonders for your confidence. It makes you feel loved and cared for. AA meetings foster long-lasting friendships which Zoom meetings sadly cannot.
- Online AA meets may not be as controlled as offline ones where the moderator makes sure arguments are handled. Virtual interactions can get boring as members start to digress from the issue.
- Unlike physical meetings where you feel as if you are part of the community, online meets make you feel alone. The energy exchange that is possible during a face-to-face meeting can never be replicated virtually. Introductions on Zoom are less intimate, more formal, and restrained.
- Although AA meetings have become online these days, not everyone can access it, even if they wish to. You need a smartphone and great connectivity to access such meetings.
All said and done, it is obviously a boon that AA meetings are being done virtually. If it were not so, it would have been much more difficult for people struggling with alcohol addiction to stay sober. Even the smallest interactions with fellow AA members can prove to be helpful.