Wednesday, March 07, 2012

meeting makers

At our noon AA meeting on Monday, the usual small cast of characters was seated around the tables and the topic of family/kids/wives/ex-wives was brought up.  The meeting was nearly all men, but for one gal.  Two af the attendees are in different stages off divorce and they are dealing with their children's reaction to the separation.  The onee felow always asks me to share if he shares a problem because "he really likes to hear what I have to say."  And this makes me a little uncomfortable.

I was particularly uncomfortable because once he asked me to chime in on Monday, the discussion had departed from alcoholism and moved into parenting and navigating the pitfalls of the divorce process.  I am the son of divorced parents, but I have never had to go through divorce myself.  His real concern on Monday was how to deal with his ldest daughter, a senior in high school and her detachment from the family, and weight gain as a result of the divorce.  The discussion had begun to resemble a Dr. Phil meets intervention sort of atmosphere.

I kept my comments within my sphere of understanding, getting sober in AA.  I suggested that he stay immersed in meetings, sponsorship and step-work.  All I could suggest about his daughter is that he try to meet her at her level and be ready to listen and love.  It really toubles me when newer AA's will ask longer-time AA's specifically to share because of the "amazing comments and wisdom" that comes forth from the long-timer.  I understand how this happens, because for awhile early on, I was a bit of an "old-timer" worshipper.  And believe me, part of me LOVES when someone REALLY wants my experience, strength and hope because I am so profound.  That's when I know I am in trouble.

Don't get me wrong, I am not unwilling to share where I think I can be of real service.  And I really try to measure what I say when I am sharing in response to something someone shared in a meeting.  I watch my motives for egotism and righteousness.  I question myself before I share as to what I think I am trying to accomplish.  If I catch myself concoction a speech or some sort of profound dissertaion "from on high," I don't share.  I also try to remind myself that other than my personal details, most everything that I have ot share came from someone else's experience.  I simply cannot take all the credit when I help someone in a meeting.  That's my HP working through me.

4 comments:

izzy said...

I can relate to questioning our motives! dangerous turf, advice.

Syd said...

It sounds as if this fellow would benefit from having a sponsor and working the steps. Glad that you stick to the traditions.

Furtheron said...

If I don't know what is right for me then I don't know what is right for you or anyone else - so I'm better off not giving advice...

paraphrased quote but you'll know where I'm coming from...

I hate the comments like "your words of wisdom"... er no - just my experience

Elizabeth said...

It must be tough having to check your motives before speaking. Since you have so much time and sobriety under your belt, you intuitively know what to do and are an enormous resource. I know I have my favorite old timers who share at meetings. I don't know where I'd be without them!