Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I chaired the meeting of my home group last night. My sponsor was back in town from the holidays and another member who had recent surgery was there. I enjoy this meeting because it is small and everyone has ample time to share. We do daily readings and have an opportunity to comment on them. And the topics are generally good.

We had started the meeting and were into the topic of the meeting when another member showed up late due to a punctured tire. She wanted to talk about the tire and what happened about it. That's all okay, but she was getting a bit long-winded about it, so I suggested that we get back to the meeting topic. She jokingly said that she didn't think that I was going to be so strict about the meeting.

For some reason, I felt angry over this. I needed to be at that meeting last night and wanted to get something out of it, yet there was a lot of cross talk and other discussion that didn't relate to either the topic or dealing with alcoholism. It bothered me enough that I wanted to get up, gather my things and walk out the door. I've never felt like actually leaving a meeting before, least of all my home group.

I inventoried why I was angry and found that it related to my self-esteem being lowered by what I perceived as disregard for the topic and for me because I was chairing. It was the old stuff surfacing in which people decide to play by their own rules and not mine. So it pissed me off. It was ironic to be discussing the topic of Just for Today (that I blogged about a few days ago) and yet I was as edgy as a piece of broken glass.

I know why I was bothered and I know that I still feel some resentment but realize that quite often what I hope to get from a meeting is not the same as what someone else hopes to get out of one. And just because someone else has a different agenda, doesn't mean that it has anything to do with me. Damn, this stuff is hard sometimes.


  1. I think that she was disrespectful of you, & the whole group, by carrying on that way. It was also selfish of her. We get people like that in meetings, & you know sometimes I, or someone else really needs a good meeting, I'd like to throw those people out, but of course I can't do that.

  2. What a good example of a not-so-good meeting! Amazing, how it is possible to learn even from negative stuff, like being able to gently and firmly pull the meeting back on focus. If this continues to be an issue within your serenity, here are some suggestions/solutions: (1) wait for an amend/or apology; (2) ask for a group conscience; (3) request a group inventory.

    I understand about wanting to 'run' away from something upsetting; the effects of alcoholism have provoked me to want to run and escape troublesome people, places, and situations.

    I actually did leave a meeting some weeks ago, when the chairman was overruled, and another member began suggesting 'treatment' for a family member as a solution- and it continued for over 20 minutes. I quietly told another member that I needed to leave, just to make sure no one thought I was leaving due to illness or such. I made my point, and things did actually change. But I did not leave to try to 'teach' anyone anything - - - it simply was an unmanageable situation, and I felt my only option at that time was to absent myself.

    Good luck with this one, Syd. All meetings are not always perfect. As you pointed out in your blog, we are all there because of the effects of the disease of alcoholism.

    Love, Anonymous #1

  3. I like the concept that my HP leads/chairs a meeting. I am only sitting up front to facilitate it.
    This removes so much burden from me.

  4. It's cool you took the opportunity to learn something about yourself from the experience. You've got a great attitude.

  5. that's some insight! as i was reading it i thought of why maybe i would be upset and i certainly didn't reach your sensible, correct assessment. still got a way to go i guess...

  6. I believe When we chair a meeting, it is our responsibility to try to keep the group on topic, and to discourage cross talk.
    I believe When we lead a meeting, it is our responsibility to bring a topic and not ask for topics from the group.
    Haveing said that...isn't it funny how people in recovery just can't follow rules sometimes?
    Sometimes a meeting goes where a meeting goes and all the "right way" in the world isn't going to steer it back.
    So, as a chairperson, I think we just do the best we can for that particular meeting, then digest it later...just like you did, and pull out something we can take from it.
    Good job, looking inward, and finding the positive.

  7. you nailed it! It is hard but looking at why we feel this way helps us understand, and I find the resentments usually disapear... good job on doing this, and thank you for sharing it.
    I hope today is smoother! (((HUGS)))

  8. I think I would have felt 'put off' as well. I wonder if its because someone else was taking the focus away...and me wanting to control the situation. There are so many ways to look at it.

  9. good job looking at your part!

    God gets in there even in meetings that don't go my way

  10. great post thanks, reminding me am not running the show, just reading whats in front of me, doing what the group has asked me to do. Thanks


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