Questions about AA and making progress

I’m not new to AA, joined in March 2022. Been sober for a year and 4 days and have never been happier​:blush::heart: I am a member of AA (not quite an active member) For the whole year of my sobriety I only attended few face to face meetings and maybe 3 full months of online meetings because of the lockdowns in my area. My work schedule wasn’t that flexible so I couldn’t make it to meetings during the week. However after work or whenever free I’d read messages from members online since they’ve kept the online group open for all. So in other words I wasnt attending meetings but I could read and other people’s shares online. So the thing is, I’m grateful I found AA when I did and I can actually see the changes being a member has brought in my life. I mean I do believe in surrendering the addiction to a higher power, and letting go of our ego, resentments and selfishness and let God.

The only thing bothering me is why do we have to attend meetings regularly for us to start ‘making progress’??
Is reading the big book and improving your relationship with a higher power not enough?

My sponsor kinda like abandoned me and was dragging replying me whenever I texted her then she told me it was because I wasn’t attending meetings so she thought I was ‘no longer working the program.’ I do read the big book and would meet with her regularly… I accept I’m an alcoholic with a cunning and baffling disease but I don’t really enjoy meeting with people daily and discussing how alcohol ruined our lives🤦‍♀️
I’m not saying I’ve shut the door of my past because of shame or whatever but I just don’t like telling people all the time that I used to do this and that. Is it impossible for one to work the program whilst not attending meetings but just reading the big book and staying in contact with your sponsor? Does it mean for one to make progress in AA they should make it to meetings? If I don’t like meetings but have one with my sponsor every now and then, then does it mean I cant make any progress? Because lately I’ve just been thinking of finding other ways which don’t criticize attendance but guarantee sobriety


I think there are many ways a person can find recovery, not one way fits all people. I also know that not all sponsoring styles will fit all sponsees.

I also did not do a whole lot of meeting my first 15 months of recovery but I did a whole lot of other things. My meeting attendance picked up once I found my people. I know I can’t do this alone and I take suggestions like “have at least 8 women with solid recovery in your back pocket” to heart. I am very humble to the fact that although I may have been around the sun a few times I am new to living a life without drugs and booze. I will become a parrot if that is what will save my life.

The only way you can have guaranteed sobriety is if you commit to a program that has worked for thousands of others and work it day in and day out for the rest of your life. Even then, nothing is really guaranteed.


Congratulations on your year and 4 days Vee.
You’re doing something right if you got 4 days and a year sobriety under your belt.
I’m a firm believer that meetings help. They do wonders for people. I’ve seen what they’ve done for my children and what they’ve done for friends of mine. I’ve been to meetings but never for myself. I went with my kids or others or at family week rehabs etc…. Oh and I did do a lot of Al-Anon meetings in person when my children were in active addiction. They really saved my life.
I don’t go to meetings now. I never went for my sobriety. I practice the steps in my own way. Especially 1, 2, 3, and 12. I read the literature, I listen to the AA Big book audio. And tons of other AA, or NA, or step work stuff. And I just got my 2 years. Oh and I spend a shit load of time on this app opening up and trying to help myself by helping others. And it’s working for me. And lots of gratitude. Gratitude every morning. Because I’m so grateful to be sober.


Congrats for staying sober for a year!

Covid made it hard for me to get to meetings too. I’m a commercial fisherman so my work schedule makes it hard to go to meetings too.

I go when I can, and they are always nice to me. I haven’t had any negative feedback for not attending enough. If you are getting negative feedback, it’s just someone giving you, their opinion. That falls into the take what you need and leave the rest category.

I participate here daily. It’s been really good for my recovery. It’s easy to access, even from the boat. 24/7. It gives me fellowship, plenty of step 12 opportunities. A place to get solid advice, and support.

I sometimes worry that I use this place too much and not enough AA. It’s been working. I feel stable and focused on my recovery. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

The only thing I don’t get from this place is looking into a newcomer’s yellow eyes and seeing them tremble from their alcoholism. I think that’s good to see. A homegroup is a huge asset to recovery too.

Maybe a new sponsor.

There are no guarantees for sobriety. AA is very helpful but it’s not a guarantee.

Glad your here!


Hey Vee! If you like working the steps with a sponsor, I would say find a new sponsor that’s more inline with your expectations and vice Versace. Obviously what you are doing is working. Your “progress” is your own, no one else’s. Congrats on your 1 year! That’s awesome!


Meetings are great, but for me they aren’t the program. For me the program is working the steps with a sponsor. I still enjoy going to meetings when I can, but without working, and daily practice, of the 12 steps I probably would not have a great of a life as I do.


The way I learned it, was that meetings are the fellowship, and working the steps with a sponsor is the program. I have just over 500 days, and I’m on my second sponsor (first moved to Hawaii) and second set of steps, first sponsee. It took me a while to find a ladies home group that I am comfortable in and look forward to attending. The group attracts newcomers, so it is a great place to be of service, which is also a huge element of peaceful recovery. The group phone list means that we are mutually available and accountable to one another. I’m a real in-person person, I don’t do social media (except TS) and I absolutely hate to talk on the phone. So I meet with my sponsor, and often we walk while we talk. Other days, we’re studying my step work writings or approved literature. During Covid, when meetings shut down, I moved to the Los Angeles based Pacific Group, one of the biggest old-school A A. outfits in the USA. Here I met people and observed a meeting protocol where every detail was intentional. When I returned to local meetings, I felt like I had been to school! And, projects like their Midnight Mission we’re so inspiring! I’d love to work there, but I’ve lived in L.A. and don’t see myself there again. Anyhow, I’m rambling, but lastly, is that, for me, I didn’t realize my part in things until I had made amends. The first set was hard, and now I endeavor to be self-aware and sweep the street as I go, when necessary. The ninth step promises do come true; to walk through the world at peace with self and others frees up once wasted resources to discern and fulfill one’s purpose in this world. Peace, I’m so glad you reached out! :heart:

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I do have people who’ve been sober for years through AA to talk to whenever I feel like I’m acting on ways which might lead me to pick up a drink. But they too expect me to attend meetings and even if at times I’m to ask for advice they tell me ‘maybe consider coming for a meeting’ :woman_facepalming: I’m not against the program and it’s principles but I don’t feel like making progress should only be limited to talking it out in a group. I still want to work the program but without feeling pressured to always be there at meetings. I honestly don’t want to be there… I don’t mind when I’m with my sponsor and it’s just the two of us. What I can’t handle is a group of people

Congrats on your 2 years❤️ I’m grateful to be a year sober and it’s because I’ve been applying the AA principles to my everyday situations. I’m just glad to know you’ve been working the program in your own way and it’s been giving positive results. I’ve also romanticized working it on my own but somehow thoughts of my dishonesty made that impossible so I looked for a sponsor to guide me throughout the whole steps. But it’s my sponsor who thinks I’m not willing to go all the way coz I’m not attending face to face meetings. I attend online meetings once in a while and I’m not really a participant but every other day I go through people’s shares and stuff. I’m just not into “meeting in person” Don’t know if that’s a good thing or not

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Thanks Jason. I should use this app too and maybe consider going to meetings regularly. I’m just stuck in my stubbornness but I’m sure it won’t be a loss. Might start seeing the importance of that after all

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How often someone should go to meetings isn’t anywhere in the book I know of. At least a couple a week I still find good to keep me grounded. Early on, more was better for lots of reasons. I think I did 4-5/week the first year-ish. There are so many meetings here it wasn’t hard to find one to drop in on.

Working the steps with a sponsor though, that’s important to get the most out of it. That is the program.

Have you kept up on your step work?

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Yeah. As for the why, if curious, I just threw myself into lots of meetings for a while. Didn’t ask, just did it.

I find it does a lot to “pull me out of self” in subtle ways. Helped me understand the steps and service better. And build up a network of amazing new, sober peeps who aren’t just fun, but also inspire me to growth.

When I’m not going, I feel like the “why even bother?” starts to creep in.

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Alcoholics anonymous

Three legacies:

12 steps = recovery
12 traditions = unity
12 concepts = service

For me. Getting to see the whole picture what AA was about, I had to do more than just attend meetings. I had to join a group, take service positions, get a sponsor, work the steps…
Little by little the program and it’s suggestions got smaller and simpler, while the concept of what AA is about is getting larger and larger


I go to meetings so i can help my fellow alkies and give back what was done for me when i first came to meetings . i hear people say i use AA when i need them a bit selfish take what it has to offer then just use it as a back up when your feeling shakey , its a fellowship that means new sober friends a good network of friends who you can call on when needed , and helping others to achieve sobriety as the preamble says , and work the steps into your lifestyle and sponsor new

bies guide them through the steps .