Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Meeting after the meeting

Prior to going to the Al-Anon meeting last night, I went for a walk on the beach and was thinking about how solitary I was feeling. It wasn't exactly self-pity, but it was getting there. I pulled myself out of that slippery slope by thinking about the sunset and how nice it was to be on a virtually deserted beach, yet not alone at all with the evidence of so much natural life surrounding me.

So I went to the meeting and the topic was expectations. The sharing was good and I got a lot out of the meeting. There was a newcomer sitting next to me who seemed very glad to be at the meeting and shared her thoughts on the topic. A person from one of the other Al-Anon meetings that I attend was also there and seemed glad to see me. And there was a fellow who I can identify with because his wife is an active alcoholic. He shared that he would be going home to a drunk and that he really didn't have much to look forward to. So, after the meeting, I did something that I've wanted to do for a while. I asked several individuals standing around if they wanted to go to a nearby restaurant and have coffee.

Surprisingly, the newcomer, the fellow with the alcoholic wife, and the regular from the other meeting I attend jumped at the chance. Several others said that they thought that it was a great idea and would do it next week. I've always thought that the Al-Anon folks are much less social than the AA gang. After an Al-Anon meeting, things clear out quickly while the AA's stand around, talk, drink coffee, or go out to eat. I've always heard that the Meeting after the Meeting can be a great opportunity to get to know people, share if you want, and just have a good time in a social setting. Everyone seemed to enjoy the get together and the newcomer seemed so pleased to be asked. She said that it made her feel welcomed.

I think that this first step at being sociable worked well. Who knows, maybe we'll have another Meeting after the Meeting next week.


  1. cool. the bit after the meeting is the best bit. I went to one this morning after a early city meeting which I manage to combine with a 5mile run. kill two birds with one stone! i get a double whammy of endorphins and an aa high! i love sitting in coffee places at 8.30 in the morning with alkies. there's another early morning one across town that's supposed to be really upbeat which I can combine with a 10mile run which I'd like to get to later. ! we shall see if i ever manage that distance!
    It really is 'the pub with no beer.' i have always needed to do the meeting after the meeting to get to know people. it very difficult to get to know them just from seeing them in meetings. i always prefer ones where they go out after. but good for you for taking the initiative and a risk. its always a bit scary asking does anyone want to go, but its worth it.

  2. went from feeling solitary to making a difference in someone(S) else's life in a matter of hours.....maybe you still felt solitary, but you put the feelings "to work" . I'm thinking I like you.......

  3. OOOH I sooo love the meeting after the meeting. I remember in early recovery how important the fellowship and going to coffee afterward was... right on Syd... lucky you to be by a beach... I wanna be by one... :)

  4. The meeting after the meeting is definitely where it's at (pardon the grammar).

    I used to attend an Al-Anon meeting in the room next to an AA meeting, and I would feel so sad when I would hear the raucous laughter from the AA room and wonder what I was missing.


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