Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting Experience Paper - Essay Example

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I attended the Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting last January 26, 2007 at 3217 Winona Avenue, Burbank, CA. It was a Friday and people started to come in the room at around 7pm. I came at 6:45 to make sure I was on time. I also came on time so that I could get to see how people came in…
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Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting Experience Paper I attended the Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting last January 26, 2007 at 3217 WinonaAvenue, Burbank, CA. It was a Friday and people started to come in the room at around 7pm. I came at 6:45 to make sure I was on time. I also came on time so that I could get to see how people came in. There were about seven attendees. The meeting started ten minutes later than seven. The facilitator Jenny let some people chat a bit about what happened to their week with each other. The meeting was not as long as I had expected. Ms. Jenny first started with reading an article about family relationships and started to ask the group what they thought about the reading. It was on the latter end of the session when Ms Jenny linked the reading to alcoholism. This is where people started to share insights past and present on how family relations based on their own families were affected by alcohol.
I thought the meeting was done in a relaxed atmosphere and the feeling of support was all around the place. I thought it was effective for the people to sit in a circle so that the group saw and heard each other with ease. The article was very effective in evoking insights on alcohol. The facilitator didn't start to pose questions to people, rather, the article led the discussion. It was able to open up discussion on alcoholism without much effort in asking people to share. I believe the meeting being not too short and too long is essential in keeping the people inspired to attend. Most of them were enjoying the sessions and this is important to keep the patients sustaining their commitment to the program.
At first I was excited to get into the exercise but when I arrived early and saw Ms. Jenny and the seats arranged in a circle, I began to be nervous. I felt so incapable of the task because all my expectations came from media and television presentations that visualized the Alcoholics Anonymous as a stressful outpouring of emotions. I wondered what will be asked from me, and what would I tell them However, when the people arrived, they didn't look like alcoholics at all. They looked like average man-on-the-street people who just came from work, the usual stressed out people one could see in the office everyday. But when they started to share their situations and stories, you would be able to see and feel trust in each other. Even with me, a first time stranger attending their personal moments. Somehow, I felt the level of devastation these alcoholics are experiencing and their stories tell of current struggles to fight the addiction to alcohol.
It was a short experience but I have learned much from the immersion. Conceptually, while observing Ms. Jenny facilitate the group showed me what it takes for group interaction to work. A very big amount of respect is important. Ms. Jenny as facilitator, was able to show how knowledgeable she was without breaking her compassion. If a person was already speaking too long and she felt that other persons also wanted to share their points of view, she would be able to make the discussion flow with ease and without asking the person talking to 'make it fast' or 'wrap it up'. This is truly a talent.
Another lesson I learned from the experience is that people inside the Alcoholics Anonymous are blessed that they are aware of their illness and that they are struggling to overcome it. The meeting by itself is part of the healing process where alcoholics can support each other like there was a big battle against a killer disease and everyone needs to join hands to be freed of it. Best of all, the amount of trust given by each member of the group is tremendous. I actually realize that some of the things they go through are also things and situations I go through myself. These people are no different from me or from my friends. What's amazing to understand is that the people in the meeting are fighters and in a sense, they are bigger than most of my other friends who give up at the first sign of trouble or hardships. The people at the meeting are so much stronger than me because they can face the evils that plague them at the same time share it to other people so that they can help each other fight the disease. Read More
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