My friend had to attend either a Alcoholic Anonymous or Narcotic Anonymous for a class of his. He decided to go to the Alcoholic Anonymous meeting. I joined him because I was interested in seeing what a meeting was  like. I wanted to see if meetings were anything like on television and the movies. Boy was I wrong about the meeting.

When we got to the meeting, the men (I think this was a men’s only AA meeting) they were reading the promises,12 steps, and another part of the AA program. After that, the guy running the meeting read from the book about promises. The topic of today’s meeting was about the promises and living buy the 12 steps. Many of the members chose to tell their stories. As each man would start “Hi, I’m_________ and I’m an alcoholic. We would go, “Hi__________”. After they finished speaking, we would go “Thank you __________.”  Just hearing their stories, their journeys to get where they are now. It was amazing and yet sad at the same time. This one young man shared his story: He only been to a few meetings, and his reason for coming was so he could be a better father to his infant daughter. He wanted to be a better father than his own father had been to him. As he was talking, you could feel the pain in his voice. He talked slowly and took breaks, as if to keep himself from  crying. After the AA meeting was over, chips were given out to those who had reach a milestone of being sober for a certain length of time. Then everyone got in a circle and said “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. “

I was glad that the leader let us observe the meeting. Seeing all the men in the meeting reaffirmed, like drug addictions, an alcoholics can be anyone. They is just not one stereotypical type of alcoholic. There were college aged men, men who held high powered jobs, and others who looked like they would be the best grandfather in the world. I learned that each of these men has a story that pushed them over the edge. I do know what could cause someone to have to turn to alcohol to help get through the pain and hurt those closest to them. But one thing I do know, is I applaud them for trying to overcome their addiction and fight their demons. I applaud them for  realizing that they have an addiction and get help. I especially applaud them for trying to make amends to those they hurt the most. It takes a bigger person to realize they have a problem and need help. That is the hardest problem for anyone with an addiction must face.

As with the promises, those who decided to go through the 12 steps and AA, made promises to their loved ones and themselves to become a better person and live a better life. And a promise to new beginnings.


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