How to find the Really Great AA Meetings?
June 17, 2014 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to find AA meetings with consistently good speakers or other helpful aspects?

Asking for a friend who's been sober for about 10 weeks and frequently irritated by rambling speakers at various AA meetings. He hasn't been a fan of meetings that follow alternate patterns such as doing meditations. So far his primary tactic has been to try a bunch of different meetings, and he has found that some he likes better than others. Is there a more efficient way to find meetings that have consistently good initial speakers or other really helpful aspects?

Extra bonus points: If anyone has recommendations for good meetings in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville, those would be enthusiastically received.
posted by ldthomps to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Best answer: I've been sober for over 10 years, and meetings vary from site to site and week to week. There's a saying in AA, "Take what you like and leave the rest." I don't like rambling speakers either, but it is a chance for me to practice patience and pray for the person speaking (or for myself, that "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change"...).

Does he have a sponsor? His sponsor might know more about the meetings in the area. Or, if he goes to one he really likes, he could stay for coffee afterwards (or whatever they do out there on that other coast :)) and ask if there are other meetings like it in the area.
posted by elmay at 8:53 AM on June 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Talking to people is going to be his best bet. But even the same meeting is going to vary from week to week, that's just part of the program.
posted by something something at 9:07 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Go to a few to get a feel for the kinds of folks in a particular meeting. As a noob, a lot of meetings can't hurt you, and you can decide which dynamic you like the best. Our UU Church had one that was full of athiests. Our CUUPS meeting met at the same time in another room, and frankly I was tempted to join the AA meeting because they were having a LOT of fun!

But the truth is, each meeting will be different, each speaker will be different, and a dud of a meeting one week, will be on fire then next.

That's part of the process.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:27 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Some meetings have a timekeeper so people are limited to sharing for, say, two minutes max. I don't know how to specifically find those, other than to go to a bunch of meetings and finding one where they do that.
posted by medeine at 10:22 AM on June 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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