There are two types of SLAA meetings I attend. On the weekends I go to one or two in-person meetings. During the week, the in-person meetings are harder for me to catch. They either happen while I’m at work or later in the evening while I am in yoga class (or lately, while I am home watching tv and drinking a glass of wine, too lazy to leave my apartment). So, during the week, I call in to some phone meetings.

While, ultimately, I think the in-person meetings are where I am going to find the most recovery; the phone meetings have really helped me. I’ve made a lot of connections and friendships with women all over the country. I even met my sponsor on a phone meeting.

It’s been harder for me to make connections at in-person meetings. I have made some, but not as many or as deep as the ones I’ve made on the phone. I think the difference is that on the phone meetings, I can’t see anyone and so I’m forced to actually get to know someone based on the content of their character, and not their appearance. I went to a meeting yesterday and I noticed that I am still judging people by their outsides, and not their insides.

For example, there is a man who I see at most of the meetings I go to. Honestly, we have a lot in common — similar profession, similar stories, similar acting out patterns — but I never do more than say hi to him; because, quite frankly, I’m not attracted to him. There is an older lady that says a lot of things that I can relate to and had a relationship with her qualifier that seems pretty similar to the relationship I had with mine. I never give her more than a polite smile though, because she always has lipstick on her teeth and she seems a little bit loopy. It’s not like I’m rude to these people. If they initiate conversation with me, I always reciprocate, but I’m not seeking them out after the meeting to tell them I liked their shares.

The men and women I initiate conversations with are people I find attractive or cool in someway. How fucked up is that?  I’m in this recovery program for sex and love addiction, and I’m essentially only talking to people I want to date/fuck or to people who I think could probably help me meet people I’d like to date/fuck. Obviously I’m not doing this consciously. I’m not currently looking to date/fuck anyone, and when I am ready to look, I’m not going to be looking in the SLAA rooms.

I really need to get out of this habit of judging people by anything less than the content of their character. I’m sure I am missing out on a lot of great friendships and recovery partnerships. Also, it’s not like I’m this flawless, put-together picture-of-perfection myself; far fucking from it. If everyone was as judgmental and as shallow as me, probably no one would ever talk to me.

Tonight, I am going to another meeting and I am going to talk to whoever sits down next to me, regardless of what they look like.


4 comments on “Connections

  1. I love the idea of phone meetings ! I haven’t heard of anything like that in Australia. I think everyone is naturally attracted to people similar to themself… similarly dressed, similar professional, socio economic group etc. However often the best support comes from those who you may have nothing in common with but who through their stories you connect and form a bond.

    I’d love to hear how you went chatting to the “stranger”.

    Cheers, Michelle

  2. Imperfect says:

    The phone meetings are great. The meetings I go to are set up with different access numbers for different countries so anyone can call in. I’ve heard a few Australians on the calls, but the majority of the callers are from the US and Canada.

  3. lexiconlover says:

    “The men and women I initiate conversations with are people I find attractive or cool in someway. How fucked up is that?”

    To answer your rhetoric…. it’s not fucked up at all. You do what is familiar to you. You don’t do it out of judgment, but rather out out what is reflexive and comfortable.

    I do the same thing too. I have gone to various 12 step meetings, and scanned the room looking for attractive men in particular, someone I might want to date/fuck, even though I haven’t ever and have no intention of ever making ANY 13th step. It also extends to the women, (not the fucking part per se) I want to hang out or befriend with the “cool kids” but it’s based upon appearance, how shallow is that? especially when that’s the very quality I despise. Whether they had recovery or not was almost secondary. It meant more to me to fit in; to be accepted. Reminds me of a Pink Floyd song,

    “We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year, running over the same old ground, what have we found? the same old fears….”

    You are confronting those fears.

    I find it so moving, that you use phone meetings to try to be “blind” if you will, and see people’s insides rather than their outsides. That shows your depth and sensitivity. The healthy part of you wanting to grow and seek out connection.

    It shows insight that you recognize where your deficits lay, and tremendous courage to try to push yourself to attend face to face meetings and come out of your comfort zone in an effort to grow.
    From this writer, I cannot thank you enough for your time, patience, and service. I thank you for not judging me. I am cheering you on from the sidelines. xo :- -)

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