Meeting Three

by erics1100paces

Why yes, I did go to the 7:30 PM meeting.  In case you’re keeping score, that’s three in one day.  It’s the first time I’ve done that.  I felt a little silly walking in, actually.  I had thoughts that I might “burn out on AA” if I go to too many meetings.  No.  AA doesn’t work like that.  Only non-magical things work like that.  I never burned out on booze, because it’s magic.  It’s the flip side AA’s magic.

AA and alcohol both accomplish the same thing, really.  They make you feel OK.  Except booze is cheating on your exams, and AA is studying and doing the work.  You’ll end up with an A either way, but eventually the cheating will catch up with you, and all the lies will collapse on your head.

I left that third meeting just completely lit up.  What I heard there tonight was stunning.

I’m going to trod a gray area now.  But before I do, I want to clarify the nature of the gray area and the challenges it sometimes poses.

I make a concerted effort to always err on the side of caution when it comes to: “who you see here, what you hear here, let it stay here.”  That means first initials only, when referencing program folk, of course.  It also means being very careful about quoting folk, or engaging in post meeting “crosstalk” on this blog.  Bottom line, it’s tricky.  I don’t ever want to write here about someone in a way that’s identifiable, even by other program people in Shanghai, regarding something personal that may have been shared in a meeting.

Other things I consider OK.  For example, I posted this morning that I appreciated R’s choice of speaker tapes.  He’s the chair of that meeting, it’s a speaker tape meeting, and he chooses the tapes.  Everyone in Shanghai AA knows that, and knows who R is.  But that seems fine to me.  I expressed that I like his taste in speaker tapes.  It’s true that an Shanghai AA’er would know who R is, but I can’t imagine anyone, including R, objecting to that post.

Having walked through all that, I’ve now decided I’m going to hold off posting here about my experience tonight until I talk to my sponsor.  So you don’t feel teased, I’ll clarify that it’s just something someone shared that really moved me.  It isn’t like:  OMG Bill Clinton came to our meeting tonight!

One last thought.  This is a very strange forum.  It’s public, but it’s really just a personal journal.  I’m writing it for myself, but it would have less personal impact and meaning if it weren’t at least nominally public.  It matters to me what others think and say in comments, yet it’s wholly anonymous.  It’s weird set of contradictions.  Like sobriety itself, I guess.