Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Afternoon

I have returned from a weekend in the mountains with a bunch of sober alcoholics. I got to see my friend celebrate 40 years of continuous sobriety. I got to stay in a cabin with my daughter, my sponsor and her husband, and two young men who I have known since they have gotten sober. It was nice. I got to see a bunch of folks I haven't seen for a while, including an old friend I seldom see anymore. I got to go to lots and lots of AA meetings.

On Friday night there was a huge meeting at the lodge where we were staying - I was absolutely shocked at the chicanery taking place in the meeting. The chair person decided he could simply recite the preamble instead of reading it like everyone else. Of course, that backfired on him and he forgot most of it. (pride cometh before a fall?) And then during the reading of the 5th chapter it was like a circus with people reciting parts and parodying parts and asking questions "What's the point?" etc. It was horrifying to me. At one point I said, forgive the obscenity, but I simply said "what the fuck?" and people looked at me as if I had lost my mind... except for the older people.

How are we allowing this to happen? What is this? No wonder people have such a low opinion of us. We have GOT to knock this crap off. It might be fun in a limited way to a few people who "know the words" and think they are in on a big inside joke, but it is SO NOT A JOKE. It is ridiculous and makes us look childish and cult-like.

But aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

It was great. It was nice to watch my daughter experience this kind of fellowship for the first time. But I am over-tired and over-stimulated and need some serious down-time. It was interesting to see that by this afternoon my daughter and the young man who had ridden with us were also a bit tired and irritable too. I thought it was just my age, but I guess not.

Sorry for my general grumpiness.

Grateful, grateful, grateful to be home....

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

welcome home

Madison said...

Loved reading the post. Just want to mention that in my world people don't have a low opinion of AA. Otherwise, I agree with everything you wrote for what that's worth. Especially that AA is so not a joke.

dAAve said...

Glad yall made it home safely and the weather didn't spoil things.

Thanks again for your generous hospitality while I was there (and before and after, for that matter).

Patty said...

I have encountered that at meetings before. I refer to it as underground AA, not real AA. The "whats the point" thing is from the treatment centers. Lots of chanting goes on there. They need to be told that it is not acceptable because they do not know any better and no one has ever told them, or cared enough about AA to tell them that it is not acceptable. A product of lack of sponsorship, so we need to invade those meetings and carry "The" message of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Ed G. said...

Glad you had a good time. God is good...

We have a lot of work to do...

Blessings and aloha...

Sobr1 said...

All of our sobriety should be treated with the respect it deserves. It is the most important thing in my life, because it MEANS life.

I would have been taken aback at that meeting too. Glad you have a handle on the right stuff.

Mary LA said...

I once found myself at a meeting where two people dressed up as BillW and Lois and acted just like 1920s flappers while reciting bits of the BB. Very unfunny.

Pam said...

In the early 90's we called those rah rah meetings, now they are called chanting. My beef with them is that it robs the new comer of the "ah ha" moments when they can hear themselves in or literature.
Anything that robs the newcomer from being able to identify pisses me off.
Other than that...yahoo you're back. I'm so glad you got a get away.

Scott W said...

How It Works are like sacred words for me. I close my eyes and try to focus on every word. So many people have heard what they needed in those few minutes. No one should be robbed of that experience.

God leads the meeting. ~Don K

♥Shann♥ said...

fun/stupidity fine line? I know my home group has fun opening the meeting, and we have a few they get out of hand sometimes... hmmm food for thought. I agree not a joke at all, but at the same time we are not a glum lot... fine line

anyway nice to read you!

diane d said...

Glad you're home!

garden-variety drunk said...

yeah, i've seen some pretty bizarre takes on something as simple as reading Ch 5. over here, they like to distribute the part up to the steps to 1 person, then have 4 people reading 3 steps each but interlaced with each other and then a 5th person read the rest of the passage.

whew- that was complicated jsut writing it. i can't imagine how a newcomer could take in anything presented like that, but they do seem to stay and get sober.

Syd said...

I don't like the "What's the point?" and other stuff that is said during the reading of How It Works. It interrupts any meditation of the words. I have heard that it comes from the treatment centers.

Glad that you enjoyed the comraderie. I have come to accept powerlessness over people, places and things including chants. Not much I can do unless the traditions are violated.

Gin said...

Glad you made it home safely and enjoyed yourself - for the most part. :-) Relax & recoupe!!!

Jayne Dough said...

When I was young (got clean at 20.5) I really enjoyed it when people at conventions did that sort of banter.

I was always super serious about the program, the Steps, the Traditions and life; I was the person who'd work the refreshment counter during a dance (rather than having the sense of safety to actually, you know, DANCE) ... and so with all the love and respect in my heart for our conference approved literature, that banter filled me with a sense of belonging & joy. I felt a part of in that way I never had, ever, before.

Of course, it is distracting.

It seems to me there are times in our life when we're serious, and others when we're bantering, and others when we're relaxed & easygoing.

Here in Portland OR the Young People's AA meetings tend to have lots & lots of that kind of banter. One can just see it gives them a sense of joy & community, also. We have various types of subgroups of meetings (bookthumping, gay, womens, young, etc) but we have lots & lots of genericly respectful meetings, too.

I like the variety of options. I grew up in 12 Step and at different times in my life different types appealed to me. AA is big enough for them all. AS LONG AS we have generic meetings with good recovery, sub-group meetings (women, gay, young, etc) only add to the whole, INHO.

I welcome any one else's opinion to differ.