Drunks At Meetings (Myself Included)

About 2 years ago I started going to AA as part of my food addiction recovery.  A few months in, an obviously drunk man showed-up at one of my regular meetings.  I was appalled.  I mean, I could see if the person just smelled like booze and sat there quietly, but this guy was loud-mouthed, slurring his speech, and babbling.  The whole nine yards.  All the while this person was sharing, I was thinking about how horrible it was that no one was escorting him out, or at least stopping him from rambling on and on.  After all, he was ruining it for those of us who were actually serious about recovery!  I was getting especially upset with the old-timers in the room who seemed to be completely oblivious to what was going on.  Apparently, I was the only one smart enough to recognize that he was making a mockery out of our meeting.  When I left that night, I was utterly disgusted.

The following week, I was relieved to see that that person was not at the meeting.  But when it got to be time for sharing, many people spoke about him and the positive impact he’d had on them.

I was floored.

Almost everyone who shared that week said that seeing that man in the throws of his disease strengthened their gratitude for the gift of sobriety that they had been given.  Some of the old-timers even went so far as to say that God was using that man to speak to all of us about how horrible addiction is and that they were praying for him every night, hoping that he would come back so they could help him the way that he had already helped them.


I felt like such a jerk after that meeting.  As I drove home, I took a hard look at the way I had completely taken that situation and made it all about me – – that guy was disrupting MY meeting.  He was making ME uncomfortable.  He was taking all the time away from the people I wanted to hear.  But since when are the 12 Steps about SELF?!  Then I started thinking about this whole thing in relation to food, and I realized something very…disturbing.

I went to OA meetings “drunk” all the time!

This last time coming back to program, if I hadn’t been “allowed” to show-up at meetings feeling bloated and sick from the binge I just had in my car on the way there, I would probably be dead right now.  How DARE I be so judgemental of a fellow suffering addict who, even in his drunken state, knows that AA is the only place on earth that will welcome him with open arms!

This was a hard lesson for me to learn, but it is one that I will never forget.

April 28, 2012 This post was written by Categories: My Battle With Character Defects Tagged with:

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