Friday, June 4, 2010


It’s been an interesting week for Recovery over here. I’ve started to plug into the massive online community and it’s been both heartwarming and overwhelming to be reminded just how many of us there are out there. I go to a meeting of dozens or more, and it helps me to remember that I’m not alone. Going to these online forums, where there are thousands of us, it’s flat-out amazing.

One topic under discussion was the issue of dealing with those in meetings who are disruptive. To me, this tied in nicely with a Just For Today about gossip. Hey, I’m an addict, it’s how my brain works. We’ve all been at meetings where the discussion was commandeered, or been around people outside the meeting talking in not the greatest light about others. One is a form of self-centeredness, a failure to think of others. The other is using others’ failings as a way to cover up our own lack of self-esteem. These are both real issues that we deal with in Recovery and outside the rooms as well.

What you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.

Not everyone respects this. I’ve heard old-timers talk about how anonymity isn’t the same as it used to be, almost as if we’ve all become therapists and the meetings are our group sessions, and when it’s over we gab about what has gone down. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it at some point, too. If someone is being disruptive, that can lead to denigrating comments, to looking at someone else as less-than, and far too often it’s a newcomer, someone who needs help.

Recovery teaches us how to live sober--the operative words there being ‘how to live’. We learn a better way of dealing with life, of dealing with others, and of dealing with ourselves. Gossip and exclusion, two very human failings, are things we try to avoid as best we can.

If someone is being disruptive, they can be taken aside after the meeting. Groups can hold discussion at their business meetings and come to a group conscience on what is best to ensure the survival of the group. Gossips, also, can be talked to. If word is going around about you personally, find a moment to talk to the person you think is responsible. There’s no need to be angry, to throw a fit or make a scene in front of the group. Remember always, that if someone has a problem with you, it’s their problem.

Remember, too, where we all come from. I can look at someone new to Recovery and think about how that used to be me. Any time I start to think anything along the lines of, “I was NEVER that bad,” then I’m forgetting where I’ve come from and what it was like. I’m thinking of myself as better than someone else and have lost my humility. I’m not better than anyone else, either because I have sponsees, am of service, or have time. There is no difference between myself and someone with 24 hours. The disease affects us both.

No comments:

Post a Comment