Monday, February 20, 2012

Controversy

Roses of Summer  - it is hard to believe you will ever return....
I went to my home group yesterday.  That little room is like an oasis in my life.  I walk in and people greet me so warmly.  Old friends and strangers alike.  There were two men celebrating 10 years of continuous sobriety.  Another was celebrating, but didn't get out of bed in time, so he went to another, later, meeting.  He is the other shadow in my profile photo.

A man came and sat next to me.  He has known me since I got sober.  That means he is sober longer than me.  I am so grateful for those who came before me.  And particularly grateful that many of them are still around.  Our paths have been closer than now over the years.  I was engaged to a man who was a dear friend of his, so we used to take trips together and stay in the same houses.  I know his wife.  I know him.  He understands the deep wound I carry around from that relationship ending.  He told me a few weeks ago that the man I loved so dearly is still asking about me.  He still pines for me.  I know what his pining looks like because he was pining over someone else when we first met.  Oh, if he only could have stayed sober!

In the meeting a young man was called on.  He said he was grateful to be sober, and that he would like to listen because there were so many people there who had so much sober experience he really liked to just sit and listen rather than talk.

Wow.

The rest of yesterday I reflected on what is different about this group and the other one.  The one where so many people are going in and out and in and out and in and out.  

First of all, there is a strong core of sober members.  They are not shy about telling someone when their head is up their ass (sorry for the vulgarity, but I cannot think of another way to say this).  They are not shy about suggesting that people ought to try STAYING sober instead of "keep coming back!!!!"  They are not shy about talking about GOD.  And the STEPS.  They actually WORK with others instead of just coming to meetings and talking about how great their sobriety is.  They actually know each other outside of the rooms.  It is a strong group.

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.  I am grateful as can be that I can drive 30 miles and be at this miraculous little place.

Today I am having dinner with a sponsee.  It will be good to see her.  It has been a couple of months.  She is very dear to me (even though she is skinny and I am not).

And I keep thinking about something that happened on Saturday.  There is only one woman in my running group that I don't particularly care for.  I have tried to like her.  I have been as nice as I can be to her.  There were three of us talking, and the woman I don't really like mentioned that she was "drinking a bottle of wine every night."  And then having a hard time sleeping.  The other woman said that she drank a bit of wine, but found that if she didn't drink it, she slept better - sounds like a normal drinker to me - she can quit if given a good reason to.  The other woman, the one I don't really like said "Well, should I go to AA Mary?"  in a very snotty way.  I thought that was odd because I have never said anything to these people about being a member of AA - they know I don't drink, but I never had a good reason to tell anyone of my alcoholism or recovery.  I said to her "Only you can make that decision."   I thought it was a great answer for thinking on my feet - it did acknowledge that I am, indeed, an AA member.  And that I wasn't taking "D"'s inquiry as lightly as she intended.  Hell, I don't know if she has a problem, but she did sound like she might think she does.  And if she is one of us, that "bottle" of wine, is probably more like two or three.

When I think of all the AA meetings I have sat in, and spoken in, over the years  - I realize that probably all sorts of people recognize me and know all the gory details of my life.  I have had that experience before - in a restaurant some stranger walking up to me and talking about things I only tell my closest friends - or people in an open AA speaker meeting.  Yikes.

It's OK.

I have an appointment in 8 minutes.  I better get away from the computer.

Let's all stay sober today, OK?


7 comments:

Lou said...

I didn't know before, but I know now, not all NA meetings are created equal. The beliefs and actions of the group DOES make a difference.

I've come to grips a certain number of people (locally) know who I am. They can take it or leave it.

dAAve said...

I attend several very strong groups too. So far, so good.

I'll stay sober today if you will.

Annette said...

Yes my anonymity is fair game.....but others is not. What a perfect answer to "that woman."
I have some meetings that I love, that are comfy and cozy, and filled with love and care for the struggling. I have another that I don't go to anymore because I work that night, but I thank God for that excuse....because it is huge and cliquey there and people share about the inconveniences on their trips abroad and how they had to apply the tools of their program to deal with these inconveniences...ugh. Give me a break! Is that judgmental and simply ugly awful? I'm sorry.

SoberMomRocks said...

As you probably know from my blog, I did not have good experiences with AA before finding my current meeting group. These people as such a blessing and I thank God they are here.

I also love the line about - if she's anything like us...it's probably about two or three. So very, very true.

I also love dAAve's comment - I'll stay sober if you will!

Syd said...

I think that anonymity is important. I don't think that people need to divulge anything about others that are at meetings. But I see this moment as reaching out to you, MC. I hope that she will continue to do that. That would be a God thing.

Mary LA said...

I'm glad you have a meeting with a strong core of sober people. Anonymity is not respected enough in AA out here and I have had AA members begin talking about meetings in front of people who are not AA. I usually shut them up as fast as I can.

Furtheron said...

I was at one of my home groups last night. Big meeting - 30 plus which is huge for us, several visitors from surrounding area and our usual core and regulars. The speaker was celebrating 3 years. We have good solid sober members, 20 plus years but those who say "I'm doing this wrong and I'm feeling this and... " etc. I love that meeting.

I had a privilege of sitting next to a newcomer - he was 6 days sober - he said he'd be back - he couldn't have asked for a better first meeting though.