Hey all...how's the day going for you all so far.
I've been out of commission, or rather, my computer has--since last spring...finally got the do-ra-me to get the tower replaced. It's good to be back online.
I've been going back thru the thread in regards to this topic. What you all have experienced, I have as well. I find, for me..when I get annoyed at a meeting, it's usually because I'm hungry, or tired (or both), feeling a little irritable to start with. I've been reminded that, yes...it is my meeting, and, it is also that person's meeting--that we both/each have equal rite to share, or get off our chest whatever is eating us up inside. A newcomer doesn't understand, yet...anything...our jargon: 12 steps; 12 traditions; even our slogans...it's all new to them. If they have the will to show up, and they are talking, they are on their way on this road of recovery--it's those who show up, and never say a word, at any time--before/after, or during the meeting...that that guy or girl is in trouble. When a person is new at these meetings, we are there to help them get their "land-legs" back, and they might be just shy of crawling into these rooms--we help them learn this feeling of peace and serenity by passing it forward--from us to them. It's not up to a newcomer to meet my expectations, nor is it anybody else's.
If they're texting (or cell phone) while someone else is talking, one angle can be "well, I guess you're cured, and don't need to hear what is getting said", but, is that not looking into that person's back yard instead of my own? I might get annoyed with the ramblings of a newcomer, but a few days later, I might have had one of those days where I'm rambling at a meeting myself, the difference might be either ramble, or go get a drink. My sobriety is not dependent on whether the person next to me is fidgety (which seriously gets under my skin--I will inconspicuously move, go stand in back of room for example), or if people talking takes the spotlight away from the person who is sharing, I will move closer to the person who is talking--we don't have to remain seated
at these meetings...we can move around (if the room you use warrants that, of course). I've been to meetings, too...where, I got a lot of great stuff out of it--afterwords, stand outside for a smoke, others trickle out, and whispers of complaints begins and carry on over how rude someone else was, and I'm lost as to what happened/what they're talking about--when I'm told, while Jane was talking, Joe and Bob put their heads together and whispered something...didn't I see that? No...I was focused on Jane--what anybody else does while someone is sharing--I don't really care about (unless they're choking on a cheap cookie
...or discount donut holes
), or, maybe I did see them put their heads together, also saw Bob give Joe $1 for the 7th Tradition because Joe forgot his wallet in his truck, and uses a walker to get around, because Joe is 70.
It's what I choose to walk away from a meeting with--anger and resentment? Or, the newcomer that rambled on and on--and really needs a sponsor--go up to that newcomer afterwords and say..."I know what you're going thru--we've all been there"...because...we have. When someone gets under my skin at a meeting, either what someone has shared, or read--out of AA literature...I have learned that it's not about that other person getting under my skin, it's about me--and why is that getting under my skin
? More often than not, it's what was said that struck a nerve, not the other person, and it's about the stones I've yet to unturn in my own program.
Talk about annoyances and the 7th Tradition, I was with a group for a while that would pass the basket during the meeting--while someone was sharing--I personally thought that was rude--person speaking, money and rustling going on...did I say anything? No. When the basket got to me, I'd put it down in front of me. When the meeting was near over, and onto announcements...then I'd keep the basket moving. Eventually, while, not making any deal about it what-so-ever...the basket would get passed at the end of the meeting...why...because it's too much of a distraction while someone is sharing
Remember kids...take 5 minutes...and read the comics
Live and let live,