Last night was a little intense. I have yet to find a Tuesday meeting and I'm really wanting to get more into the "meat" of my program but am feeling a bit like I'm in the program for the first time again going to meetings in the East Bay. I showed up at this meeting near my house (which is awesome), in a small, cozy room of this church with couches (double, triple awesome) and only about 12 people (awesomer). I noticed they all had notebooks. They asked the first timers to the meeting to introduce themselves and then informed us that this was a 2.5 hr long meeting! Oh hell no! I burst out laughing, and said, "That's too bad since I have dinner on the table at 7:30!" because my boyfriend is awesome and well, there's no way I'm staying at this meeting, ANY MEETING, for 2.5 hrs on a Tuesday night. Everyone laughed, sympathizing with my reaction and the other first timer, and the secretary said, "Feel free to leave whenever you need to." That was nice of them. This was a 10th step meeting I presume. Everyone had a notebook and was scribbling furiously, closing their eyes intermittenly (they were meditating I believe). I'm not at the 10th step and they asked me if I wanted share early on. The secretary asked after the first person shared if the first-timers wanted to share because it gets hard to get a word in. Jeez. I shared but just my stats: 20 months sober, 4 months in the program, just moved to Oakland from SF, getting to know meetings etc etc. Ha. Nothing really too deep about me and my alcoholism. And then the meeting was off and running.
I am pretty comfortable about talking about my misery. I definitely like to keep it real. I call myself a realist and have am intimately acquainted with my dark side. Through this program, I have been able to count my blessings more than ever before. I'm not sure sometimes if it's because I feel like I got into the program early before I could do any more damage but hearing people's stories sometimes blows my mind....and also makes me wonder if this program stuff is helping me. For instance, when I first started going to meetings, every meeting I showed up to had a 20 yr pluser telling everybody that it's one day at a time and it's still really hard even though life is better and some that never had the promises come true and some that are still wanting to drink every day. This was not a good way to keep me coming back. Tonight was one of those nights. And there are most things that I can handle or have heard about that don't make me cringe. But I don't know if it's my meds but I can't seem to handle horror movies the way I used to (but still really love them) and talk about "child fuckers" as it was so delicately put last night. Hearing this woman laugh at her misery about her therapist ex-husband who was having sex with her children was a little too much for me to bear. I can't tell you how badly I wanted to run out of the room. I didn't know her. They all knew each other. I was judging her because I thought she was crazy. And everyone was taking deep breaths and seemingly praying for her and I didn't feel like I had the tools to digest this.
I'm still dying to talk to someone in program about this. I feel a little vulnerable and a little freaked out still. I called my sponsor. I have no idea why this affected me so much. I think it was compounded by the intensity of the room and the size, another guy's share about wanting to kill himself, one other guy that was super intense, another's niece just got the shit kicked out of her and she's 17 and the fact because the meeting was 2.5 hrs, they were each alloted like 10 minutes to share. I was there for one hour and 5 people shared and they were all super intense. I wish I had known someone, I wish I could have stayed and just worked through it a little bit.
Before I left a woman gave me a list of other meetings that were like that (which will help me stay away until I'm at the 10th Step I think) in case I want to go again.