After reading and hearing about everyone’s experience with alcohol decided to attend an AAA meeting. I chose this for two reasons, one because I wanted to see if these meeting are effective and second because after hearing everyone’s stories I began to doubt myself. I consider myself a social drinker because like to go out and party mostly every weekend. After learning so much about alcohol started to wonder if I depended on it in order to have fun. Honestly it is quite scary to imagine that I could possibly be in the first stages of alcoholism.
The biggest impact I had this semester was while watching the film where the mother hits her daughter because she is under the influence. My parents never did that too me so I do not think my future children should have to go through that either. The AAA meeting I decide to attend Was in Santa Ana, CA named Funnies De Vida. The meetings were held in Spanish because I went with one of my uncles who has a DUD. The location is open 24 hours a day and is free to attend but they do accept donations. In the beginning of the meeting they ask if anyone is knew, I said yes and they asked for my name.
Then they dedicated the service in my name. The rules are quite simple people volunteer to speak and have 15 minutes to share their experiences. They start by saying their name, admitting they are an alcoholic and say what type of alcoholism they I identify with. Once that person is done another volunteer stands up to speak. Overall the meeting lasted about an hour and they gave coffee, water and donuts. At first I expected everyone to be serious and emotional about his or her stories, I was completely wrong. Everyone was laughing at each others stories ND making funny comments.
In most cases the person speaking had a funny story about when they were drunk. I was a bit confused on how people are suppose to get better from these meetings if all they do is joke around. One thing I did pick up from the meeting was that almost everyone was a repeated user and had fallen off the wagon many times. Also I learned that most people in the meeting are also drug users. I was a bit confused because we learned there is no proof to back up the Gateway Theory but yet about 15 people are telling they have all used drugs because of alcohol.
Overall from the meetings I did not learn much; on the contrary it was quiet entertaining because the speakers had funny things to say. The impact was not until we were leaving and a man stopped me. He asked me what was doing there and how old was because looked young. I told him the purpose of the visit and my age. The man explained why he had stopped me, he has a son my age that is also an alcoholic and does not accept help. He wanted to know how they convinced me to attend the meetings because maybe it would work for his son as well.
I have to say that was one Of the saddest moments have ever experienced. I had to hold back my tears because the man looked crushed. He went on to tell me about his experiences with drugs and alcohol, as a result he had lost his job, family, and son. Did not know what to tell him. After he was done sharing his experiences I told him I did not understand how people got better by attending these meetings. He responded, “these meeting do not cure you but they keep you cured”. In other words in order those meetings are their safe spots. It’s the one place that keeps them gather and away from temptation. Mound that interesting because had never thought about it that way. Always thought the AAA meetings were to make people realize their addiction but no they are for people to realize that they are no longer addicts and how wonderful it is to be cured. In the end he invited me to go back to the meetings just for fun and to keep me aware of the dangers alcohol has. Told him I doubt I would be back because I felt relieved. Although do not feel I am any. Veer close to being an alcoholic will stop drinking for a couple months once 201 5 starts.