From the May 2015 magazine.

The Guy Who Ruined My Meeting

He’s new, he comes in late and he disrupts everything. Someone should do something

I find my seat at the front of the room, early as usual. I have long-term sobriety and still regularly attend meetings, most often here at my home group. The speaker starts to share and I’m instantly hooked, connecting and identifying with the speaker’s story. I’m wholly absorbed, listening with rapt attention. And then Keith—new to the group—loudly shuffles in, late again, jostling past me in the crowded room, the oversized bag he’s dragging around hitting me in the head. By now the speaker’s spell is broken, and I’m furious with this inconsiderate guy who has once again ruined “my meeting.”

Keith continues to show up late, meeting after meeting, and I obsessively rehearse in my mind what I’d like to say to him. Being a “good AA,” I know I need to practice love and tolerance, but this is a guy who’s disruptive to the entire room. I mean, isn’t it for the good of the group that he not be such a distraction? I pray for God’s will and remind myself, that it’s OK to think like a jerk, I just can’t act like one.

-- Robin W.

Marina Del Rey, California

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