M(3), 6/23: The Most Important Person in the Room


It’s the first official day of summer in our house, and so far, so good… some chores were done in my absence, and I’m even getting some quiet time to write this blog before we head off to the pool!

No matter what I assume about the attendance of my meeting, I am incorrect.  I assumed that I would have lower numbers due to the summer season; in fact, I had a record high of 15 attendees!  Exciting stuff, except that I didn’t have enough handouts, but I suppose there are worse inconveniences in life than to share reading materials.

As it is the fourth Monday of the month, we continued with the series from Back to Basics; this week’s selection covered steps 3 and 4.  Quickly I will mention my personal take-away from today’s reading.  Last week, an attendee mentioned the idea of looking at your assets, as well as your liabilities, when you are looking to complete a personal inventory.  He offered some compelling reasons for doing so that really stuck with me.  In the past week,  I came across two separate references to the same concept, and today a solid 4 pages of the reading talked about the same thing.  I am clearly meant to hear the message that I need to consider my strengths, rather than solely focus on my weaknesses!

One of the 15 attendees was new to my meeting, and new to sobriety (she announced that she is 75 days sober).  As such, she seemed to be unaware of the general protocol that is followed, and was a slight bit disruptive.  My initial fear, as the chair, was that I would have to correct her, which always strikes terror in my soul, but as I looked around at all the familiar faces, I saw only one emotion:  compassion.  She was the first to speak, and rather than talk about the reading, she shared about some of the day-to-day struggles in her life.  Every subsequent share after her dealt solely with the issues she faces and how each person dealt with similar issues in their recovery.

Today’s meeting was the best example of why I continue to attend 12-step meetings:  people gathering together with the sole purpose of helping another.  And in helping another, they are helping themselves.  Altruism at its finest, and I’m proud and humbled to be part of such an amazing group of people.

Another woman, newer to recovery though certainly not as new as 75 days, in addition to helping the newcomer, shared an issue she is facing:  her family has decided it’s time for her to “get over it” and be comfortable at alcohol-fueled events.  Again, the group came to her rescue and assured her that her job is putting her sobriety first; it is not her job to convince family and friends why she can’t be around alcohol.

I’m so grateful, and think it not at all a coincidence, that on a day where I had not one, but two women in need of assistance, that I had a record number of attendees, both genders, and with loads of quality sober time to empathize and support them. God moments abounded today.

The woman with 75 days came up to me at the break and asked me to be her temporary sponsor; I agreed.  What’s nice this time around is that I have learned quite a bit about what to do, and, more importantly, what not to do.  I was able to give her some specific directions to follow, and arrange a meeting time that is mutually beneficial.  I’m sure I will have more to post on the subject as events unfold… or not, that is the nature of the beast with sponsor/sponsee relationships.  We will just have to wait and see.

I guess I’ve left these kids to their own devices long enough… time to hit the pool.  Life is good!

Today’s Miracle:

I get spend time with an amazing group this morning, time to sit down and share my experience with an amazing group in the blogosphere, and then spend time relaxing with the kiddies, who have coexisted peacefully all morning.  Miracles are everywhere today!


Posted on June 23, 2014, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. The protocol AA meetings is something that for me eludes me.I have in the past gone but never went back based on not really getting it.I just felt like I was in a room of people speaking a foreign language.I left feeling discouraged and never felt connected .I’m a shy person and would like your input on the protocol as I’m considering going back.


    • In my experience there are many different protocols followed at AA meetings. There is really a great deal of latitude on how meetings are conducted. I suggest that if you did not like the one you attended, consider giving another one a try – you will likely find it to be rather different!


    • Hi K, thanks for the comment. I could not agree with Robert more, not to mention that he had loads more meeting experience than I 🙂 Other advice: introduce yourself to the chair of the meeting, chances are extremely high that if a person is taking on that position, they are open and willing to help the newcomer. Honestly, I would imagine anyone in the room to be willing to help, but generally you are guaranteed the chairperson has been around long enough to show you the ropes.

      If your shyness is such that you don’t want to introduce yourself to anyone, that’s okay too! It is entirely your prerogative, I see it all the time, to take a seat and not speak to anyone…. I did it myself in the beginning! In this scenario, people will most likely come up to you and ask you how you are doing, I always just smiled and answered politely. This suggestion is so that you get comfortable with how the meeting is run, so you are not filled with anxiety if and when you do wish to engage.

      Best of luck with heading back to the Fellowship, I hope you are able to find a meeting that works for you!


  2. Beautiful! Way to go God Way to go AA!!


  3. Congrats on your new sponsee, Josie – that’s amazing. I miss sponsoring. It really helped me along and I could use the help in all categories these days. But that’s fantastic – must be great for your heart to open even more!

    Great meeting share as usual, my friend.


    • Paul, I know you will understand when I say… congrats might be a bit premature. We will wait and see on this one. I’m heading over to your newest post to comment, I read it at the pool yesterday and it blew my mind! I am thinking to contact you off-blog with my many follow-up questions!

      Back to this post… thanks for the comment, and there is not a doubt in my mind that you will be called to this service some time soon. I love your excitement about the prospect of sponsoring. As someone who has had little success in this arena, I am still in the “anti-Stuart-Smiley” mindset… I am not good enough, I am not smart enough, and, dog gone it, people should not ask me 🙂


  4. Very happy for you… You express your thoughts and feelings so elegantly and fluently…. I’d be more than glad to have you read my blog… Just take a look…. I hope you’ll like it… https://pratheekreddy68.wordpress.com


  5. Life is good, isn’t it!
    It’s so funny to read these in reverse.
    xox me


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