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A solid program of recovery includes consistent fellowship with others in recovery. Shared messages of experience, strength and hope makes both the speaker and the listener stronger. It bolsters commitment to a recovered way of life.

But sometimes, you just can’t get to a meeting. Or you’ve called your sponsors* and no one is available. What then?

Turn to literature.

I have often heard it said that reading, using the tool of literature, is like having a meeting with ourselves, but in my experience, it’s more like having a meeting with the person who wrote the book, and with the Spirit that moved them to write.

If we read straight through it’s like having a speaker meeting. Someone else does all the sharing, and we do all the listening.

But if we get out a pencil and underline passages, that’s the beginning of a conversation. It’s like saying, “Yes! I’ve felt that way too!”

If we write, either short comments in the margin of the book or longer thoughts in a notebook or journal, we are then sharing back.

This exchange of reading and writing is literally like having a meeting.

And my goodness! Look who I can have a meeting with! I can sit down and exchange thoughts with Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob, and a hundred other recovered addicts in the AA Big Book. I can have a meeting with anyone who has ever written a book—Nephi, Alma, Joseph Smith…anyone.

And the most amazing part of it is, if I take these thoughts and writings to the Lord, if I share it with Him and record the thoughts and inspirations He sends back to me, then I’m having a meeting with God!

What a fellowship! It doesn’t get any more amazing than that!

~Colleen H.

*In this busy world we live in, it’s wise to have multiple sponsors.

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