M is for Meetings

Happy hopping and welcome! My theme for the Challenge is addiction because both my hubby and I are recovering addicts. No worries though. I like to keep things fairly light even when dealing with a heavy topic like this one. Want a glimpse into my world of cocaine addiction? Listen to Metallica’s, Master of Puppets. If that’s too heavy, you can try Staind, It's Been Awhile instead. Much more mellow.


 

 

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I remember when the only meetings I attended were those required by my employers. Ugh. Although one company I worked for had a breakfast meeting and each division was assigned to cook breakfast on a rotating basis. That was pretty awesome. Unless it was my week to cook. I digress. This post is about meetings, not breakfast. Although you guys know how much I love my Entenmann’s.

Let me share an excerpt from my book, Steps Along My Shore, so you can get the feel on how much I dreaded the whole attending meetings idea. This is in the Detaching With Love section:

“We found his CSAT. His doctor wasted no time when he said, “Elsie, you need to remove yourself from his recovery and detach with love. Let him take care of his own recovery while you take care of yours. You’re two separate people. He’s a grown man. He doesn’t need you to take care of him.” 

 I’d love to write how enlightened I was during that session, but I wasn’t. I sat with my arms crossed, full of attitude. I explained my side of the story to the doctor. As if mine was one he’d hadn’t heard dozens of times before. Like I was so damn special. I told him I’d been hurt and damaged because of my husband’s actions. I explained what I expected to see as a part of his recovery, then rattled off a long list of what I wanted Devin and the doctor to do in order to make things better for me. I went on to brag about how informed I was in the world of sex and pornography addiction. Because, you know, the counselor had no clue.

 The doctor wasn’t impressed. He asked what I was doing about my recovery. I paused for a few seconds, and then explained my failed attempt with the support group. The doctor recommended I try again or find another support group. I quickly told him I had a network of support online. He explained weekly meetings in person or on the phone was much healthier. That it helped to vocalize those feelings with others in real time…and in real life. He explained too much time was wasted waiting on a response online and that gave an opportunity for emotional damage to happen, rather than hearing words from people who’d been there before. I nodded my head, but as I said earlier, it took a few months before I heeded his advice.”

Why did I wait so long to attend a meeting? I was petrified. It meant facing those demons from my past. It meant digging up the emotions I was scared to face. It meant a lot of things.

It was also great advice. It was why he was paid the big bucks. Not me. So I eventually managed to drag my stubborn, bull-headed self to some meetings.

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There are so many meetings to choose from, how do people know what’s right for them? I can safely say, I don’t know. I can only share what worked for me. Total chaos. No, not really. It was like when I was choosing my counselor. I had to find one that was a good fit and even then I had to remember what I was told at my first anon meeting.

That wise and wonderful woman suggested that I try attending at least six meetings before I said, “Nah, not so much.” Of course, she meant the program, but I felt it could be applied to the meetings and groups in general because each meeting location and group has their own vibe.

Some locations could have members that are more seasoned than others. That meant you were more likely to hear an “old-timer’s” school of thought. Another location may have a member that tended to say the same thing over and over and over again. Still, another may have a Debbie Downer vibe but then next week it’s all love and laughter.

Why? Because we’re human. That’s how we work. Emotions can run high at meetings and they aren’t going to be sunshine and rainbows every time you walk through the doors. You will find though, that despite things being tough for people, we still find time for laughter and love. There is a bond that grows between everyone there. Because really, who else can understand what those people in the rooms have gone through except those people in the rooms?

Whether it’s Alcoholics Anonymous, S-Anon, COSA, Sexaholics Anonymous, or the other dozens upon dozens of anon meetings that are out there, those meetings provide a safe place for people to share openly and honestly about what’s going on in their lives without fear of judgment and shame. Most for the first time in their lives. For me, that was monumental in my healing. It helped me shed that feeling of isolation.

If you’re not into the whole twelve-step scene, there are other options out there. I meet with a weekly group through an online program and these are some of the most amazing, powerful, and courageous people I’ve been blessed to heal alongside. We lift each other up, support and encourage one another, and never bash the addict. Quite frankly, we rock.

Do you hate office meetings? Do get to eat at your meetings?

Laugh of the Day:

 from Google - the Office rocks too

from Google - the Office rocks too


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I also made a decision today. Well, I guess it was yesterday since I proofread the day before (and yet my posts are still riddled with dropped words and misspellings - go me!) Anyway, my decision was that I'm done with the A to Z Challenge. Kinda. I'm still going to do a post for each letter because the majority of the posts are written.

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However, I found that I was "feeling some type of way" about the Challenge. When that happens, it's time for me to step back, pause, reflect and look into why. After I did, I found my answers. Soon, you'll see a banner on my blog that the Challenge will be weekly rather than daily bringing me well into...I don't know what month, because, yeah, math. Also, it's me and how often do I do things the "normal" way? Exactly. Have a great weekend. I will because I'll be at the beach. Yeah, buddy!!