Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alcoholics Anonymous

My friend Jessica and I went an AA {Alcoholics Anonymous} meeting tonight. It was for our Addictions class we're taking. We have to write a paper on our experience observing an AA meeting. Well, anyways, it was {obviously} my first time going to an AA meeting, and let me tell you, it was quite the experience.

It was so hard for me to see the people in attendance there. Yet, I was so proud of them for trying. There were people there {I'm guessing here..} ages 20-60. You could definitely see the age in some of them. You could see the effects alcohol had had on their lives. I am willing to bet that a lot of them are not as old as they look. The consequences of alcohol have definitely taken a toll on all of their lives- physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually...and you can tell.

I want to applaud all of the people there- anyone who received their white chip tonight, symbolizing their first 24 hours being sober {from what I understand, you aren't "sober" until you come and admit you're an alcoholic}, or anyone receiving another colored chip, symbolizing a longer period of sobriety. Alcoholism is something that completely controls your every fiber. It takes a person being beaten down so incredibly much for them to even begin seeing that there might be a problem. So, again, I applaud everyone there, working hard to make their sobriety their top priority.

I heard something tonight that got me thinking. The speaker said that he heard someone say that their sobriety was their absolute top priority in life, and they said it sitting beside their wife. Honestly, if I was married to an alcoholic {and FYI: you're an alcoholic for the rest of your life. You don't become an ex-alcoholic. You just are sober.} then I would want my husband's top priority to be his sobriety too. If being sober isn't your top priority, there will come a time when you will relapse. It's as simple as that. When you are sober, because you made sobriety your top priority, then everything else has the ability to fall into place. So, I had never thought of it that way before, but, I guess it surprisingly makes sense.

Something I thought about on the way home was this:
Just because you drink every day, doesn't make you an alcoholic.
Just because you don't drink every day, doesn't mean you aren't.

I have gained a life experience tonight by attending this AA meeting and I will pray for the ones I met tonight and also everyone else in attendance I didn't get to meet. One particular prayer I am praying for them hits me on a personal level. I'm sure there is someone, somewhere, that is angry at them, not speaking to them, holding a grudge, or may even hate them because of what they have let alcohol do to their lives and to the lives of others. I pray that those people see these alcoholics trying, staying sober, and struggling to make a change in their lives. I pray that these people will be given a break, and given another chance. We all deserve another chance. And if world will treat them no differently drinking or sober, then what motivation does that give them to want to change? That's just something to think about...

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