June 30, 2021
“Newcomers are more likely to return if they see and hear recovery in action and if someone in the group gives them personal attention and encouragement.”
OA Handbook for Members, Groups & Service Bodies p11
Had you heard of Zoom before the spring of 2020? I hadn’t. Those first virtual meetings felt so awkward. I had attended phone meetings before, but always just listened. The idea of talking on a video call was overwhelming to me. I had to learn the technology and figure out how to work the camera, mute, unmute. It was just too much. At first, I just did some facetime calls with close OA friends. I was scared to get onto Zoom meetings. But after a few weeks, I knew I had to make a change. I started attending Zoom meetings regularly. For my anniversary last year, I showed up at a Zoom meeting in the city where I got abstinent. There were two people there from the first meetings I had attended. I realized that virtual meetings gave me the ability to go to meetings anywhere, and I was hooked.
Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time helping other people feel safe with the virtual meeting format. I’ve worked with sponsees whom I met on Zoom calls and only interact with by phone, facetime, or zoom. It’s a whole new world, and my recovery has to be able to keep up. The newcomers who show up to our Zoom meetings, and there are many, need us all to keep the love, attention, and encouragement going. They need us to share our experience, strength, and hope. I want to be there for them, no matter what platform I’m on.
I have some friends who tell me they haven’t wanted to volunteer for service because they’re afraid of the technology, afraid they’ll mess up and do something wrong. I remind them that a meeting is a meeting, regardless of whether it’s on the phone, in person, or on a computer screen. Just read the script and share from your heart. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just like with the steps, we all had to start at the beginning.
Journal Prompt: Is the virtual meeting format keeping me from growing in recovery? If I am adept at the technology, do I reach out to help others who might not be? Do I welcome newcomers on Zoom meetings as I would during a face to face meeting? Do I make myself available for others to contact?
Please send your blog submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you
and to sharing your story of experience, strength and hope with others on this amazing journey of OA recovery from compulsive eating through the Twelve Steps.