Nice to have you posting again Magellan. I'm going to second G on the group conscience. Though I haven't seen it used much, it's a very effective tool. My best meetings have been those that not only cover the Steps, but dip into the Traditions as well.

As I was told early on by my sponsor and as I've passed on to my sponsees, too, there are enough meetings around major cities that you should be able to find those in which you're comfortable.

For Al-Anon, the only requirement for membership is that someone in your life is affected by alcoholism. Period. I'll also add - you've likely heard it - some of us are sicker than others! ;-)


Gawd, I've never gotten quite this programmy on MS, but I'll share one more story about principles over personalities. Once, just before a meeting started, a couple girls were examining the local list of meetings and one commented to the other, "Oh, that one's the fag meeting." Those of you who know me can imagine my reaction inside.

When the meeting started, the chair asked if there were any concerns before they tackled the topic. So, without identifying the girls (or even that they were girls), I shared my story and how it upset me, made me feel I wasn't welcomed, etc. Nor did I feel I could otherwise participate that evening.

The two girls' tears pretty much nailed themselves and, yeah, I felt some satisfaction. Nor did I feel comfortable returning to the meeting (honestly, because I didn't want to face them or have to accept an apology - man, there's a 4th step issue - if any was forthcoming). But, it was one helluva lesson I doubt they forgot.

What I'm suggesting is that you might go back to that meeting and, without identifying the person, share your story and how it made you feel. You might even preface it by citing principles over personalities. In the same vein, you might not even want to specify that it was someone in that particular meeting. It takes courage to spill the beans. But, if you do, it will be off your shoulders. I can almost guarantee you'll find support you never expected. And sticking to "principles over personalities" or anonymity will keep the focus on your program, instead of gossip. ("Who was it?" "It doesn't matter.")

If Mr. Perfect Program happens to be there, he'll then have to listen to whatever comments are made by other members. But you've taken the high road by keeping personality out of the discussion.

Oh, and if it doesn't work out - you and I have been to meetings that are Really Bad; this might be one of 'em - you can always find other meetings. You're not responsible for "fixing" that meeting.


Hilarious vid, btw, Still.