April 15, 2011

So You Want to Start an EA meeting...

Wow, I think it is way cool that you want to start a meeting!  
I think it really helps to have someone else who is interested in doing it with you. Someone who wants/needs the Emotions Anonymous program like you do, or is at least a supportive friend willing to commit for six months while you generate additional interest.    You can go to the EA website and order an info packet for starting a new meeting.   


You might also want to talk to the person or persons who are the contact people for the  Emotions Anonymous group nearest you. They might be a source of speakers for an occasional meeting.

You could put an ad in the paper and see who might want to join you as founding members.

While you are waiting to hear back, it can also you help to get to know people in other 12-step groups to see how they run their meetings (assuming you've never been to a 12-step meeting).  

I found myself very at home and welcomed in the open Al-anon family groups.  All you need for membership in that is to have a loved one or family member with a drinking problem.  In my case a more distant relative had alcohol issues.

A lot of what happens in a long-running Al-anon group is like a good EA meeting. You might, like I did, find that in private conversation some long term Al-anon members may have already discovered a need for a group focused solely on their own emotions.  One such person joined our meeting a few months back and has stayed for personal emotional recovery. 

Sometimes folks in AA come to our EA meetings, so I know that others are aware of a gnawing need to deal with their emotions once they have sobriety and good recovery.   Folks with Al-anon and AA experience are a boon in developing a well-functioning EA group with good Experience, Strength and Hope. 

In our town, an AA member who'd come through our first EA group and could not make the meetings, found a friend in AA and they decided to start and early morning meditation EA group. They found a supportive psychotherapist who allows them to use their office and kitchen for their meeting. That professional has no part in their meeting. 

Again, it only takes one to want to start a meeting, and two to clinch the deal. That way the meeting happens because one of you is always there to open the doors, if you need to take a vacation and are sick, etc.  

And it also takes a wee bit of patience.

It was at the four and a half year mark that I knew we really had a solid core of members. Before that time we had maybe three or four making it regularly to meetings. And not all of them coming to meeting at the same time. You learn that most people come, check it out, and don't return right away. One of our core members today, came for two or three meetings and took three years to come back. It is all good, and God works in mysterious ways!

Godspeed to you.  And you know, you will find your own path to creating a meeting. Miracles really help, and they do happen once you open the umbrella and step out into the elements. Dance in that rain!

Best, Smitty

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Smitty. I have had my TODAY book for about 4 years now, and not a day goes by without reading it!! I look forward to the inspiration it gives. I have been to traveling AA meetings, but it has been a couple years. My gf and I are going to a Womans Meeting this weekend, looking forward to that! I have been sober for 4 years in June! My fiance is a recovering alcoholic and addict, but doesn't go to meetings anymore, making it difficult for him to deal sometimes. I know and he knows also, he needs to go back to the tables. He is a stubborn man, and I know only HE can decide when it is time. But for me, I know I have to keep myself healthy emotionally. Which is why I found your post in the first place. There isn't an EA meeting in my area. I think it would be wonderful to start something like this around here. Seems kinda scary, since for a while I had lost my emotional way. I don't know if I should wait till I am stronger or just take a leap of faith. Your post was inspirational.
    Thank You
    Patti (pattikakes69@hotmail.com)


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