Our meetings are fairly relaxed and informal. We're a relatively small group, so we don't (yet) have need for rules regarding who gets to speak when, for how long, or how often. Generally, here's what you can expect when you walk into our meeting for the first time:
- We usually choose one person at the meeting to be the facilitator, who reads some opening remarks and makes any general announcements.
- Next, if there is someone new at the meeting, we go around the table and introduce ourselves, briefly describing who we are and why we are here.
- We may or may not read a secular "thought for the day."
- We then open the meeting up for whatever sobriety priority-related topic/purpose we care to. Some weeks, someone brings up a specific topic for discussion and feedback. Other weeks, we read and respond to a selection from Jim Christopher's book, SOS Sobriety: The Proven Alternative to 12-Step Programs.
Here is what NOT to expect:
- No giant posters listing the twelve this and twelve that.
- No cliches or slogans. Well, maybe one: WHATEVER IT TAKES.
- No timers or requirements that you raise your hand or that people with less than a certain amount of clean time "participate by listening."
- Do not expect to be told that you can drink or use "normally" or in moderation. We do not subscribe to the controlled drinking methodology. The Sobriety Priority is one of abstinence.
- Do not expect a lot of religion-bashing or 12-step-bashing. We respect everyone's right to share their experiences in and out of 12-step programs, churches, and treatment centers, but our focus is on our Sobriety Priority: making a daily commitment to take whatever steps are necessary to stay clean and sober.