I recently visited an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting, and I must say that it was the best experience that I have ever had. The meeting was located in Baltimore, Maryland at the Jackson Road. The building where the meeting took place was known as the Blue House. As I walked in majestically, everyone stared at me although they were welcoming and nice. As I took my seat inside the blue House, all eyes were still at me. I had a feeling that they thought that I was a recovering alcoholic. However, I explained to them that I was attending the meeting to listen and observe for a school project, particularly for my drug and addition class. The room was tremendously cozy from inside and had several chairs arranged for everyone who had attended to sit down.
Additionally, the coffee was also ready for all the attendees. While sitting, a young man approached me and handed a coin written, "245 hours recovery". In my view, the young man thought that I had attended the meeting as an individual who wanted to recover from alcoholism. However, I had to explain to him that I was there to observe for a school project. I realized that whenever one goes to an AA meeting, then he must be awarded a 24-hour recovery coin to make them feel good and know that they are doing something crucial that will assist them in recovering from the addiction of alcohol.
In the meeting, I ensured that I had a better understanding that the meeting began and ended at a designated time. The meeting started with a moment of silence, followed by members reciting a serenity prayer. The chairperson recognized all the members. Additionally, those who were visiting the locality were also recognized. The members who were willing to contribute to the meeting were later given five minutes each to take the gathering through their journey with alcoholism. At some point, some of the regular members contributed money aimed at sustaining the group while the new members were encouraged to learn more from the group. Each of the testimony from the alcoholics was tremendously touching and appeared to give hope to keep pushing on despite the problems they faced. It is at this point that I felt highly challenged about my life as well as those of my close friends and relatives. I must say that many of my ideas changed despite being a non-alcoholic young person.
Initially, I used to view the alcoholic people as problematic and immoral people who just refused to become good people within society. However, I realized that many people engage in alcoholism for different reasons. In the same way, the majority of them are those who are willing to change their ways. After this meeting, it came to my discovery that a lot of the alcoholics passed through severe agony and tried to quit the addiction. Majority of them lacked the appropriate moral support that is needed in the journey. For instance, a new member known as Daniel narrated his ordeals as an alcoholic before he met a group that later assisted him. He had lived with regrets throughout his life whenever he became sober and wanted to make a change in his life. I have known that alcoholism is accompanied by a severe mental disorder that needs both psychological therapy. In the given occasion, it needs proper treatment for a full recovery and resumption with the healthy life.
I learned a lot from the meeting. One of the biggest lesson learned was the power of consistency in doing things. I used to underestimate the power of consistency in whatever I do. However, this perception tremendously changed after attending this particular AA meeting. The former alcoholics were highly resilient with their objectives to stop drinking. Surprisingly, even their friends could not prevent those how had managed to quit the alcohol. According to Daniel, some of her former colleagues who used to buy her drinks would call him requesting to join them in parties. He had to fight the temptations hard and finally succeeded.
The importance of service and support to others was much instilled in me. This is based on the fact that all members believed that the best way to quit alcohol is through helping others. This entails sharing with the victims about the best ways of coping up with their experiences and also advising them on the most appropriate procedures they can adopt to quit the drugs. This would further enable the alcoholics to share their personal experiences without fear of being judged by others. I was so much intrigued by the fact that the meeting began with the serenity prayer, and this was a clear indication that individuals who might be viewed as non-believers venerated God. Undeniably, the AA meeting highly achieved numerous things, such as helping the alcohol addicts (White, Kelly & Roth, 2012). Studies have it that nearly 3 million people around the world are members of such groups. It is the best way of solving problems through the involvement of members directly (Atkins & Hawdon, 2007). The addition meetings are majorly about learning to accept who you are, in addition to coming to understand that sometimes one is simply powerless over something, whether that stuff is heroin or bhang. It is all about reminding ourselves that it is purely human to have weaknesses, and that does not show that the world has ended (Atkins & Hawdon, 2007). I was particularly impressed with how Daniel stayed sober for four years without drinking after recovery.
Living a comfortable lifestyle was one of the primary lessons that I learned. It involves leading stress-life and avoiding things that induce stress in life. I realized that everyone laughed at everything that was nearly funny to make the room feel warm and accommodative. The alcoholics were taught about the "First Steps." Here, people attending the alcoholic meeting must embrace the first step approach and admit that they are powerless over the alcohol. Thus, the completion of this program is followed by an additional 12 step program where the alcoholics will be taught about how to quit the alcohol in 3 months. Overall, I feel that the experience was tremendously good and that I learned about numerous strategies through which individuals would adapt to quit alcohol drinking. Being respectful to the programs during the recovery period is an essential aspect that individuals must take into consideration for a successful recovery process. Through mutual support from individuals who have recovered and from the experts, it is possible for even a serial alcoholic to change and become important people who can help to achieve various objectives associated with the development.
Atkins Jr, R. G., & Hawdon, J. E. (2007). Religiosity and participation in mutual-aid support groups for addiction. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 33(3), 321-331. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2095128/Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2008). An introduction to mutual support groups for alcohol and drug abuse. Substance Abuse in Brief Fact Sheet, 5(1), 1-6.
White, W. L., Kelly, J. F., & Roth, J. D. (2012). New addiction-recovery support institutions: Mobilizing support beyond professional addiction treatment and recovery mutual aid. Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery, 7(2-4), 297-317. http://t.www.williamwhitepapers.com/pr/2012%20New%20Addiction%20Recovery%20Support%20Institutions.pdf
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