A Truly Excellent Meeting
I am guessing (I write with a martyred sigh) that I will be writing my Monday Meeting Wrap-Up posts on Tuesdays during the summer months. I just can’t seem to get my act together before then, but, better late than never!
Yesterday’s meeting was wonderful in a way it hasn’t been in quite some time. It’s not that any one big thing happened, I guess a collection of smaller events, but the totality of the experience had me in an upbeat mood for the rest of the day. Add to it that I was able to meet with my sponsee later that same afternoon, and she is getting close to celebrating 6 months of continuous sobriety, and I had a recovery day unlike any in recent memory.
So what makes a good meeting? There were a few components that made it special. I think the number of participants helps. Too many, and you can get lost in the crowd, or feel intimidated (not that I have ever had to worry about this particular issue). Too little (an ongoing struggle for my particular meeting), and then people feel forced to share, which can lead to somewhat muddled topics. We had 10 at yesterday’s meeting, which, as Goldilocks would say, was just right.
Next ingredient that made the meeting magic was the celebration of anniversaries. We got to celebrate two: one gentleman had 27 years of sobriety, another had 60 days, and the juxtapositioning of these milestones was inspirational! The importance of their sober time was so evident to each of the men, that it gave me the chills.
I guess the final piece of the puzzle was the subject matter. Now on this portion I am obviously biased, since as chairperson, I select the readings. I picked Chapter 6 from the book Living Sober, entitled Getting Active. The title jumped out at me, due to my recent commitment to physical fitness, but there was so much more in that chapter than exercise. In relating to the chapter with the group, it allowed me to relive my life and daily routine in early sobriety, and compare it to the present day, not something about which I sit and ruminate by myself. After I spoke, every person had something relevant and insightful to share… again, it was a cool thing to hear the perspective of someone 60 days sober, versus someone with 27 years (actually, we had 2 different people with 27 years!).
I will end with this small story, just to give an update on the posts about mystery woman who was “helping” me in June. When I first arrived, a friend was there before me, a gentleman who normally does not make it to my meeting because he likes to sleep in. I expressed my surprise and gratitude, and into the parking lot roars my mystery chairperson. I must have had a look on my face, because John said, “oh, you know Crazy B?” John is one of the people who have 27 years, so he probably knows most of the AA members in the area. I explained what had happened in June, and then she walked in. He immediately took over. He starting talking with her, and within 2 minutes of the conversation managed to fit in, “You know Josie, right?” She is the chair of this meeting. You’re not the chairperson, correct?”
As I’m typing this story out, it sounds condescending, but I promise you it was not. It was direct, and assertive, but not as obnoxious as it may seem in my storytelling. She said, “No, I just decided to chair in June.” John said, “Well, from now on, Josie can let you know if she needs a replacement, you would be willing to help her, right?” She says, “Sure.”
And in 30 seconds the situation resolved itself. By the end of the meeting, the woman approached me, and said she is thinking of starting her own meeting!
So, my recovery friends, I’d love to hear from you… what makes a good meeting for you?
I have been doing a walk/run mile on the treadmill, and was able to shave off an entire minute… Hooray!
Posted on July 9, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged Addiction, Alcoholic Anonymous, Chairman, June, Living Sober, Meeting, Recovery, Sobriety, Substance Abuse, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.