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Old 05-12-2013, 03:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Did you stay after & talk at meetings?

Did you stay after & talk at meetings when you first started going?
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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At first, I went and left as quickly as possible. Now that I am familiar with the people around me, and more comfortable just talking to them on an everyday basis, I usually stay at least 20-30 minutes after the meeting has ended.

The people at meetings have become my good friends. And the conversation after the meeting isn't usually anything too deep or meaningful, unless one of us needs it to be. But, generally, I do stay without even realizing it now.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Did you stay after & talk at meetings when you first started going?
nah I ran out the door as fast as I could but I kept coming back. But I live in Florida so it's pretty nice out everyday and people do hang out and I couldn't get away with running for that for long. Coming around enough it just kinda naturally happens, someone just stops you cuz they see you on a regular basis at meetings and say hey and next thing someone else walks up and now ur hangin out, then each week gets a little easier. That's how it got easier for me and I was hangin out when I didn't even plan to but was glad I did.


It all just kinda unfolds one day at a time, but I just had to keep comin back. Nothing happened overnight.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I didn't stay and talk at first but now that I've been going for awhile and have gotten to know people a little better I don't run off like I used to. It just depends what going on. If someone wants to chat I try to stay and give them some time and get to know them better. Its something that progresses with comfort.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes always did from day one, came in early and left late. I like meeting new people and socializing when I am sober. My active alcoholic self is the one who is a complete hermit.

Edited to add that it might be sometime awkward and intimidating in some meetings which are more "cliquish" still the time before and after meetings is really important to make connections which one day when you are close to picking up might be there.
If you feel shy, I'd suggest going early rather than staying late when people tend to yack with their friends and the good hearted "twelve steppers" seeing a newbie might not resist the urge to pounce at you with their big book LOL.
If you come in early, chances are that there will be only one or two people and you might ask them if you could help them set up for the meeting as an ice breaker. so now you will know two people by name and instead of being just another newbie coming through the revolving door, to them you will be Ellie who is willing to help out.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had to force myself to do that, in the end i just stood there after the meeting and after a minute or so someone came up and introduced themselves. Getting a sponsor with good sobriety will really help you in this matter and in many other ways too.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was one of those guys who got there early, hoping someone would talk to me (wow, expectations = resentment...ha ha. But too shy to make the approach) and then take off as soon as the meeting was done. It's different now. I will get there early to say hi and then stick around and chat with some people I know or newcomers. I tend to stick to recovery talk - I am not much for the small talk...but if a newcomer needs that, then I am glad to oblige

Took me time though to get to that point.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am not much for the small talk.

.

Lovely weather we are having isn't it Paul? lol

So what do you do? Do you come here often? lol
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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At first, I would show up at the meeting literally a few minutes before it started. I specifically made sure of that so that I wouldn't have to talk to anyone. (I would wait out in my car or at the local Starbucks.) Then once the meeting was over I would hurry out of the room. I did this for a while but then I finally got involved in a home group and had service commitments that involved setting-up before the meeting or cleaning-up afterwards. These things forced me to start talking to people more before and after meetings even though I didn't want to. I still don't want to a lot of the time but I'm slowly getting better with it. I'm the opposite of what some people are when they are sober. When I actively drink, I'm much more sociable and exciting. When I'm sober, I'm pretty much a shy hermit and wish I could grow of that one day.

Get some service commitments and then you'll have to talk to some other members either way. It will help get you outside of yourself after a bad day at work or whatever the case. We are constantly in our own heads and any time we can take to focus on something other than ourselves is always helpful. Service commitments are one way to do that.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, go early, stay late.

Whether I was uncomfortable or not.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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me too,go early,stay late
I didn`t want to miss the meeting before the meeting or the meeting after the meeting!
We also used to go eat a bunch of ice cream on weekends after the meeting
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Always--that's how you develop your roots & loyalty among the fellowship. Critical to your growth in the program.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I find a lot more honesty and openness in the before/after meetings than during the actual meeting. I can't tell you how many times someone who talks at the meeting about how wonderful everything is, how great sobriety is, and how they're working this step or that one comes to tell a completely different story afterwards/outside when they're talking honestly and not trying to impress the whole group.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Bryan...I am talking about when you first started going to meetings. You really understood the meaning of fellowship when u first started going?
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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No i didn't.....that would mean a face to face conversation and i wasn't doing that... self obsessed and full of fear as i was.

Within a few short weeks...sure i did, fellowship is always there before and after the meetings i attended ...great friendships where forged,..ideas and concepts exchanged ... because of that i now have close friends that think like i do...in fact sometimes know me better that i do !...

As a drinking alcoholic my default setting was reclusive...these days i am an advocate of inclusive.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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people shared of the meeting
before the meeting
the meeting
and after the meeting
so
i did a lot of set ups
and
arrived early to set up the meeting
stayed for the meeting
and
packed up after the meeting
so i spent a lot of time there
and
it's curious
when others know you are there early
they came early too
so i gained a great foundation doing that
it works

fraankie
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Not at first. I hauled ass out of there!!! But now I go early and stay after and yack with everyone because they are my friends and I like to meet new people.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Not at first. I hauled ass out of there!!! But now I go early and stay after and yack with everyone because they are my friends and I like to meet new people.
This is me too. I don't think I hauled ass...lol but I did leave because I did not know anyone and it seem as they were in their own conversations. Now I am in the conversations and if I do see a new person I try to reach out and talk cause I know how it feels.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:31 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Ellie--I didn't realize it when I first started going to meetings years ago, and at that time I did not take AA seriously. And because of that I did go back out & drink again. This time around, I listened to what I was told by old timers...and noticed that these people got their early & stayed late most of the time...the sooner you start doing this, I'm sure you will establish some friendships and at the same time learn new things..
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I stayed around at first, I learned to haul ass. To be honest the aftermeetings always seemed like bullying and I did not want to be on the giving or receiving end of it.

As a wise sponsor said, you are there to get better, not to make friends.
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