Chanting in meetings

Keep coming back it works if you work it, it sucks if you don’t believe it I do…..

Um, er uh yeah… No.

The above chant is heard in the upper midwestern US at the end of AA meetings after the Lord’s Prayer. It is usually accompanied by the holding and shaking of hands in a large circle. 

For me it is hard to participate in this ritual. Even the holding of hands at the end of the meeting for the Lord’s Prayer is hard. When someone wrenches my hands up and down, total pain shoots up my arm at the speed of lightning.

I have a couple of choices. I usually stand and share with the Lord’s Prayer. I usually am polite during the chanting. However, I find it hard to not scream in pain and slap the snot out of the people who really go for the arm wrenching hand clenching enthusiasm of the chant.

People usually catch on quick. 

For repeat offenders, I usually drop their hands at the words “deliver us from evil.” 

So what’s going on? I’m one of those odd drunks with fibro and arthritis. My fingers have started the long process of curling up into themselves. I will be 45 this fall. The pain is just enough. Most folks do not believe, or listen when I say that my hands hurt too much to do A, B or C anymore.

As for the chanting? I haven’t chanted at the end of a meeting in years. Why start back up again now? 

That’s all I have for now, may God be with you throughout your sober journey.


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