The First Meeting
The First Meeting

I have two sobriety dates that are meaningful to me, the date that I attended my first 12 Step meeting, and the date that I finally committed to living a life of abstinence. It’s a date so important to me that I had it tattooed on the back of my arm.

Early on in my recovery, the second date was the most important to me, as it marked my continuous sobriety. But something funny has happened as my sobriety has become longer and longer. I now realize the importance of my first sobriety date.

That first 12 Step meeting was the most memorable meeting of my entire life. I’ve gone to thousands of meetings over the years, and I don’t remember any of them with the clarity with which I can still see my first. The decision to go to that meeting was made over years. I tried everything to control my drinking: I went to see psychiatrists and psychologists, I tried to stop on my own, I tried to moderate. Finally, I had to face the fact that I couldn’t control my drinking. The game was over. I needed help.

My recovery began at my first 12 Step meeting. I remember exactly where I was. I sat at the back of the room next to a guy who I didn’t know at the time but who, to this day, I’m still friends with. The meeting was just down the street from my apartment. I even knew some of the people in the room already. After a long time suffering alone, it was amazing to finally connect with others who understand and shared my problem. More than that, they were actually addressing the problem. Certainly I was confused by some of the language used in the meeting, the mentions of God and powerlessness. But I listened to what was being said nevertheless. I knew that I didn’t have any other options. I had exhausted all of them over the years.

Over the next two years, I attended many meetings, strung together several months of continuous sobriety, and relapsed often. Two years after that first meeting, I had enough. I knew that I couldn’t continue to drink. I’d been hanging around 12 Step meetings for years, at that point, and I finally jumped in whole-heartedly.

As I understand it today, it was that very first meeting that set my recovery in motion. Even though I struggled for another couple of years, that struggle was part of my journey in recovery. Looking back, my first meeting was the most important meeting I’ve ever attended.

About Suntra Modern Recovery and Adam Banks

Adam Banks is a certified interventionist at Suntra Modern Recovery. After receiving an MBA from the University of Chicago, Adam built a company that was later acquired by United Health Care. His discipline and attention to detail comes from his former career as an airline pilot, holding an ATP, the FAA’s highest license.

Today, Adam is dedicated to helping others achieve long term sobriety. His work as an interventionist has guided executives, pilots, and physicians on paths to recovery. Adam brings families together through a loving and inclusive approach.

Adam recently co-authored Navigating Recovery Ground School: 12 Lessons to Help Families Navigate Recovery. In this lesson book Adam and John Roesch walk families through the entire intervention process. Suntra also offers a free video course for families considering hosting an intervention for a family member. 

Suntra Modern Recovery provides medical treatment for alcohol and opiate addictions via video visit with medical doctors. Treatment for alcohol, opiate and heroin addiction, including Suboxone treatment, can start today. Suntra’s alcohol and drug intervention services are available locally in New York, Long Island, the Hamptons as well as nationally and internationally. 

More blog posts

Does 12-Step Work? Why I Still Go to AA Meetings

I am 13 years sober. But when I talk to people starting their recovery journey, they’re often surprised that I still attend 12-step meetings. “See! If you still HAVE to go to meetings, it doesn’t work!” they insist. To which I respond, “I CHOOSE to attend meetings BECAUSE it works.” AA has helped millions of people get...

I hit rock bottom 8 years into my recovery. Find out why.

e external things that defined me had disappeared into thin air. Feeling insignificant, invisible, and disposable, I began to sink into a deep depression. With no friends, no passion, no sense of purpose, I no longer had a reason to get out of bed. No reason to live.