Back to a New Norm?

I’m the Registrar for our AA District. I’m responsible for keeping in touch with General Service Representatives (GSR’s) about the various Alcoholic Anonymous Groups in the area. Since March, all of meetings were closed. However, I’m getting word some now are choosing to open again. This new norm (social distancing, wearing masks, etc.) is going to be interesting and a challenge. But those of in recovery are use to challenges.

Honestly, I can’t wait to reconnect with many of the people with whom shared their lives with me last year. Some of are the old generation who don’t have smartphones or they are “technology challenged”. There are others who have disappeared from FB – that is usually a warning sign. There are a small group of us who keep in contact via text and such. I miss them all because we worked together helping each other to keep sober.

But this pandemic is going change things. For me, it’s going to be more of a challenge than most. Not to seem selfish, so let me explain.

I have a 70%+ loss of hearing in my right ear since before I was a teenager. Over the years I have developed skills to ensure I’m hearing what is said. If there is noise going on in the background on my left side, it’s very hard for me to hear any conversation at all. For instance, if I’m walking down a street with a friend, they have to be on my left side for me to hear them. But if the road is on the left side too and there is traffic, forget it, I can’t hear them at all. So you can imagine the challenges I face with people in masks.

Some of the larger groups have 30+ people on a regular basis. How is this all going to fit in with “social distancing”. I highly doubt anyone is going to say, “Sorry but we’re at capacity”. It’s just not something we do. Anyone is welcome at any time for any reason under any circumstance as long as they remain respectful of others.

It’s my experience and understanding a lot of people went back out drinking during this pandemic. At some point I read a couple articles predicting recovery meetings were going to be “packed with people” trying to recover either newcomers or those who relapsed.

Well that time is here. Some rooms are back open. It’s going to be interesting to see how groups handle some of these challenges. It’s going to interesting to see how I handle my challenges. But in the end . . .

We can do this together!

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