Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Meeting
I attended Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting I Nairobi Hospital from 2.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. on 15th December 2020. The meeting had five men and four women who share their experiences and strength of recovering from alcoholism. The primary goal of the program was to help people live a sober life (Ashford 2018). The program does not seek individuals but gives them the chance to look for help. During the meeting, the members are not obligated to impose their personal experiences and problems of drinking on other people. However, they share their histories and personal struggles with other members. This helps the other members in the group to connect and grow together from understanding what others had gone through. The AA meeting is a recovery program that allows the alcoholics to be honest no matter what their background with drinking may look like. Also, the AA meeting helps one to learn from other people. The meeting involves men and women of all ages and from different social backgrounds. The diversity of the members helps one to learn something from their stories. AA meeting also creates a better understanding of alcoholism. As you interact with the other members and how they can reach their recovery, your perspective about recovery is changed (Kaewpramkusol 2019). You get to understand some challenging experiences from other people but who still recovered. By learning this from them, you get encouraged to continue working on achieving your recovery.
Before attending the AA meeting, I was nervous because I was entering an unfamiliar environment. However, I expected that I was going to learn how one could control alcoholism. I felt ready to combat my anxiety by understanding what exactly happens in the meeting. It made me more prepared, and I felt less anxious before the meeting began. It took me some energy to compose myself and feel ready to do it. Even if I felt fear, I gave myself no choice but to go and learn about the program.
During the meeting, the members were advised to engage in crosstalk. The controller of the group highlighted those interjecting opinions in the meeting were not encouraged. He noted that the people who have joined the forum had come to share their experiences and wanted to be heard but not to be counseled. The first woman said that she has been sober for three months now. She stated that she had seven years old child in foster care and her efforts are to gain unsupervised full custody of the child. She said that she saw her baby two times per week and that she is entirely determined to achieve sobriety to become a better mother. Also, there was another man that shared how he was struggling with alcoholism. According to him, the act of quitting alcohol does not make your life enjoyable drastically, but it makes it better. Most of the members in the meeting agrees that achieving sobriety was not an easy task. The other members contributed to the discussion on how they have realized the beautiful side of life without relying on the happiness s that comes with taking drugs. The sharing in the group continued where every person gave their experiences and how they have faced difficulties of recovering. Some people said of how they had replaced just after recovering.
I observed how sharing experiences among the member was helpful in the alcohol recovery process. I realized that people with prolonged addiction fail to seek help. It s as easy as just listening to other people’s experiences had never learned how powerful listening to other people s experiences could help one improve on their own.
After the meeting, I felt that my accountability for the recovery process had increased. Knowing that a group of members fighting to be sober, just like aim doing, encouraged me to push harder. It was easier to stay sober because I had a group of members to share my challenges with, which made me accountable for every step I took. Also, the regularity of the tasks and the chores helped achieve sobriety. When dealing with addiction, sometimes it is hard to be regular and normal. After the meeting, I had something to look forward to that kept my mind occupied, creating a sense of normalcy. Last I was able to make new friends in the meeting. The fines that I fellowshipped within the group gave me the motivation to remain sober. Through their help and support, I stopped drinking entirely and was willing to change my life.
Attending the meeting was of value bemuse it gave me the motive to become better and be sober. Sharing and listening to other people’s experiences reduced the stress and the tension that I had. It allowed me to be honest ad open about the struggles I was facing in the recovery process. Also, I gained a new and different perspective by interacting with the members of the program. It was easy to solve some old problem that had plagued me for a long time—hearing their success stories helped me overcome the addiction. It inspires me to try new activities and look for better ways to achieve my success.
Ashford, R. D., Lynch, K., & Curtis, B. (2018). Technology and social media use among patients enrolled in outpatient addiction treatment programs: a cross-sectional survey study—Journal of medical Internet research, 20(3), e84.
Kaewpramkusol, R., Senior, K., Nanthamongkolchai, S., & Chenhall, R. (2019). Brand advertising and brand sharing of alcoholic and non‐alcoholic products, and the effects on young Thai people’s attitudes towards alcohol use: A qualitative focus group study. Drug and alcohol review, 38(3), 284-293.
Tonigan, J. S., Pearson, M. R., Magill, M., & Hagler, K. J. (2018). AA attendance and abstinence for dually diagnosed patients: a meta‐analytic review. Addiction, 113(11), 1970-1981.
White, W. L. (2001). Pre-AA alcoholic mutual aid societies. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 19(2), 1-21.