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.