March 19, 2023 (this day)

I go to a zoom meeting every morning at 7. One thing I swore I would NOT do when I was no longer working was go to a meeting every day. Two or three a week, sure, but not every day. I didn’t envision them on my computer, though. Or I did, but not like this.

My wife and I met at an online AA meeting in 1996. At those old school meetings we typed what we wanted to say, read what other people said, and used an exclamation point to raise our hand. I had two young children and while I did go to one or two in person meetings a week at that time, I also had many lonely hours after they were in bed, too young to leave alone.

But that format was clunky. I’m sure it still exists but anyway, zoom!

Early on in the pandemic we used my wife’s zoom room to gather friends into a meeting every single night. That fell away as meetings opened and in some ways I know we all miss those times, but not the deadly virus or lack of toilet paper. But of course other meeting persist and there is now an official online AA intergroup. Amazing!

The 7 am serves many purposes for me not least of which is getting me out of bed at a consistent, early time which helps me go to sleep at night immensely. I won’t “join” this group yet because I don’t want to belong to a group that I don’t contribute money to, and I don’t want to contribute money because I don’t want another online entity that has my financial info. Venmo. No. I know I’ll look back and think how silly I was.

It’s a wonderful thing to attend and it’s opened up meetings for so many people who can’t for so many reasons go to in person meetings, or can’t go easily. I used to think that should I end up in an old folk’s home I would miss AA tremendously, but no more. People are there from nursing homes and hospitals and trains and planes and automobiles, on vacation and at work.

But what I really wanted to write about is the bombers. I did volunteer to co-host this meeting on zoom which means I sometimes look for shenanigans and actually throw people out of an AA meeting. In the 6 billion meetings I’ve attended in person I can’t say that anyone (including my drunken self) was thrown out. It’s a rare thing. I hate doing it.

Googling zoom bombers AA brings up tons of articles in the news as well as AA entities doing their best to keep the meetings safe. My meeting has been attacked by pornography and by children with drawn-on mustaches. We’ve put all these measures into effect to thwart the racial, personal, terrible and stupid attacks on the group and on individuals. There is from time to time someone who creepily comments on what people are wearing or what’s on their mantel. At every meeting two or three people don’t really listen to the meeting but rather scan for shenanigans or for outright hate.

At my personal most dramatic I’m afraid they could possibly be sending some vulnerable new comer to their death.


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