In this short essay, I discuss about my attendance to alcoholics anonymous meetings. From my understanding, alcoholics anonymous meetings are attended by groups of alcoholic men and women who sit together and share their experiences and hopes (Kurtz, 1991). At times, there are guest participants who are individuals willing to help and support the alcoholics on their way to recovery or reformed alcoholics with the aim of pumping hopes to the alcoholics. This is done to help people addicted to alcohol overcome alcoholism by breaking their drinking patterns and maintaining a sober way of life.
I attended a community supported Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at Hope Community Hall on the 5th through to 13th of November 2010. The Community hall is in a serene area away from the busy and noisy streets of the city. This gives way to non disrupted discussions.
The first day was silent because a good number of participants were not acquainted with each other and it's common that alcoholics are calm when sober. This was the time they served the ten o'clock tea accompanied by a snack. The sitting started an hour later with all participants sitting inside the hall in a circle facing each other. Majority of the people were in their mid forties although a few college students were in attendance. A good number of the people sat down facing down as if they were shy or bored. The speaker of the meeting introduced himself and welcomed everyone to the gathering.
He then proceeded to inform us the reason for the gathering and the importance of the meeting. The speaker was superbly friendly and due to the tension noted with the participants, he told of some funny jokes and everyone smiled. This was a wonderful start. The speaker then asked us to introduce ourselves by our names, where we are from and our occupations. This went on smoothly and the time for the introductions ended. The speaker thanked us for attending the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and it was his time to lead since none of us knew what was to follow.
The speaker narrated some short scenarios about how people come for rehabilitation and leave the place sober. He then explained the depth of alcoholism and negativity in lifestyles. The talk then deepened to the harmful effects of consuming alcohol and how they become increasingly severe eventually. He then explained how one becomes alcohol dependent which means that one does not work or concentrate when sober. He explained to us that alcoholism has numerous negative effects and some of the symptoms of alcoholism abuse occur when a person continues to consume additional drinks even after they reach a point that causes recurring problems like missing work and drunk driving.
Other behaviors like black-out drinking and constantly becoming violent when drunk are signs of alcoholism. He said that the diagnoses of alcoholism is always tricky, since it depends on the drinker's willingness to frankly respond to a series of questions concerning his or her alcohol consumption attitudes and patterns. The speaker then explained to us the ways in which we can use to defend ourselves from the alcohol dependency syndrome and be able to realize sobriety. He told us that there is no known medicinal cure for alcoholism. The best and effective ways to defend ourselves from the disease are to know and understand the early signs and act early to avoid addiction, staying far from influences that are negative or might lead you to drinking, joining a supportive or helpful group and taking charge of your own life and destiny by not being afraid to saying no to yourself and social groups.
The speaker explained to us some twelve steps that were established by alcoholics anonymous (Jennings, 1993). Among the twelve steps, he talked about step one which was about the alcoholic admitting that he or she was powerless over alcohol and his or her life had become unmanageable because of the disease (Jennings, 1993). The speaker invited everyone to share what they feel comfortable to be discussed and everyone in the group was able to take on the first step.
The Alcoholics Anonymous programs help alcoholics victims overcome the drinking habit and if successful maintain sobriety through group support. The group helps thousands of people to realize that they have a problem and help them take control of their lives by controlling their drinking. The program ensures that all the alcoholics are rehabilitated full and individuals are able to live sober lives.
The program financing, support resources and the whole process is in numerous cases provided by community social funds, well wishers and acquire support from local and main governments after realization of the benefits of rehabilitating alcoholics. The speaker is normally an employed professional and occasionally can be assisted by a volunteer to support the victims.
As a future nursing professional, the program has added a lot of value to my current knowledge about how I can help and support alcoholism cases. From the program I learn a lot about the disease and the feelings of the infected and affected. I understood the problems alcoholics face and thought of how I can continue helping and supporting alcoholics curb the disease in my community.