There is no doubt that AA Meetings have a certain flow, rhythm, personality. There are some meetings I go to BECAUSE of the personality. When I first stopped drinking, I would hear people say, “This is a good meeting, lots of newcomers.” or “This is a good meeting, lots of sobriety.” But no matter what some meetings just end up leaving you feeling flat.
My aunt always used to say that she went to church to “Get Fed.” I wasn’t sure what that meant and since I was a rebellious type and it was church, I wanted no part of it. But that is the way it is at AA Meetings for me. The “Keep Coming Back” is something we all joke about at one point or another. One of us says something in a tone of frustration or grief toward themselves and the only answer is, “Keep Coming Back.” Meaning if I “Keep Coming Back” the answer will be shown to me, only I am the only one that can find it. Our fellows in AA say that to us in support of the craziness we may be feeling in our recovery. They cannot fix it for us but they can love us through it.
There are those that come to meetings with an agenda. Many times that agenda conflicts with the “Single Point Of Purpose” of AA as well as the Tradition to place “Principles over Personalities.” Sometimes depending on how intense the message is, if it attacks someone’s share or is blatantly hurtful I shut down and get angry on the inside. I don’t say anything to the person because I really don’t have that much sobriety under my belt (tomorrow is Purple chip day in fact) to take on someone with a lot of sobriety that just has a hair across their a$$. The other part of me writes them off and doesn’t want them around. (I know add them to my list!)
Laughter is the Best Medicine
This happened a while ago at a meeting I was at and so was my friend (I call him the Medicine Man) was there too. I must have had a look of horror on my face when I was leaving and he stopped me. We briefly talked about what had happened and he whispered in my ear, “Pay no attention dearie, he is an alcoholic!” I started laughing. It broke the ice on the anger I was holding on to. Of course he was right. Alcoholism is a disease and each person is effected differently and each person has so many other issues (which is why we have the steps), just because the alcohol is out of the equation doesn’t mean the person isn’t a SOBER train wreck.
When this happened this morning at our early bird meeting, this man had a lot of things to say to people and about people, what they should do and what they should not do, once again, I found myself retreating inside. I was angry. He lashed out at the group and at people that had asked the group for support.
When I got out of the meeting, I called my sponsor, she and I had heard this guy before and she said, “He’s an alcoholic. Just let it go.” I didn’t really want to let it go and now several hours later I am still hanging on to it or I wouldn’t be writing about it. I am reminded of the first time I heard that from the Medicine Man and it makes me smile all of a sudden.
It Takes a Village
So one guy has messed with my head today while so many others have been such a gift. Medicine Man and my Sponsor keep perspective for me and you all are here to read my thoughts and I appreciate it. I am not going to drink today and tomorrow morning I am going to pick up my 5 month purple chip, because I am an alcoholic.