I got to go to two AA meetings while I was away, and I experienced two slightly different formats than anything I had been to before. The first had someone tell her story, then the people at the meeting asked questions of this person. They asked actual, specific questions like, “How are things with your ex now?” The second meeting had on its agenda just one speaker telling her story. Where I live now, that story would probably take about 45 minutes with meeting stuff taking up the rest of the time. At this meeting, the announcements went on for about 20 minutes, even though the secretary promised he’d be brief this time, not like last time. They then had a 10 minute coffee break. Then the speaker told her story, and that was it.
I don’t know what to make of the 10 minute coffee break. It seems excessive to me. What I guess is going on is that since this meeting is in a community center up a few flights, they take such a long break so that people can smoke. It seemed like a huge waste of time to me, and I got 30 minutes of a meeting that took an hour.
But aside from that I’m amazed and grateful as always to find meetings to far from home. I’m truly fortunate that where I live has so many meetings – that everywhere I’ve lived has so many meetings.
I also found out that my uncle who died recently from drinking without knowing about my successful sobriety had the root cellar of this house completely filled with empty beer cans. There was a time when I had a closet floor full of empty wine jugs. At times like this I’m still filled with remorse that I waited too long to reach out to him. It probably would have changed nothing but it might have changed everything.