A Meeting Reflection
A brief history of Alcoholic Anonymous that I researched and report that AA started out in 1935 at Akron, Ohio, as the outcome of a meeting between two surgeons Bill and Dr. Bob. Both guys had been hopeless alcoholics. Before that moment in time, Bill and Dr. Bob had contacted the Oxford Group, which was a group that dealt with mainly making sure you are living your life in a spiritually correct manner, they consisted of a mainly nonalcoholic group of individuals. In that period, the Oxford Groups in America were ran by the well-known Episcopal clergyman, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker. With such a spiritual influence, and with the assistance of lifelong friend, Ebby T., Bill had finally gotten sober and had then kept up with his recovery by creating relationships with other alcoholics, though none of these individuals unfortunately had actually recovered. Meanwhile, Dr. Bob was unable achieve sobriety despite his Oxford Group membership. When Dr. Bob and Bill finally met, the result he felt was almost instant. This time when he tried recovery, he found himself face to face with a fellow alcoholic who had made it.
Bill emphasized that alcoholism was a sickness of mind, emotions and body. This fact he had learned from Dr. William D. Silkworth of Towns Hospital in New York, where Bill had often been a patient. Though a physician, Dr. Bob did not know that alcoholism was a disease. Responding to Bill’s convincing ideas, he soon got sober, never to drink again. The founding spark of A.A. had begun. “Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.”
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You can attend as many times as you want to, and the only stipulation is what is said there stays there. I went to a AA meeting March 6, 2019 in Lancaster two other girls were there from class otherwise I didn’t know anyone else. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this meeting as I hadn’t been to one since I was in high school. I purposely went to one in a town I did not know really anyone so I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew. I went a bit early so I could talk with the greeter of the group for a little bit before the meeting began. The gentleman told me about the history of the group there and that he had been running it for many years (I forget how many now as I am writing this). He said normally they would rotate between people but being in a smaller community there are not too many people willing to take over in the position. He also talked about the closed group that meeting for drug addicts more specifically. He said for the most part its been the same people the last few years, but he does notice a few younger faces starting to come in here and there, some court ordered, but most are on their own free will. The meeting started off with someone reading from “The Big Book” and going through all of their rules. I’m not sure when it was established but I quickly caught on that their theme for the night from the reading was fear.
The other younger gentleman talked about how he currently lives in a known drug house and how there are people constantly using in front of him and how difficult it is to stay sober. He talked about how it’s not a day to day thing for him, that it is a literal second to second thing for him. He counts down the minutes, sometimes even seconds until he can get to another meeting because his sobriety is that important to him. He feels he is a ticking time bomb because of the environment he lives in. His story and way of talking is the one that still stands out the most to me. I could physically feel the struggle he was having with himself just while being there, I’m going to be honest here, when he walked in and sat down, I felt he was high as a kite right then and there. He then began to talk about the way he was twitching and jittery and constantly moving, all the same movements I judged him for, as being the movements that are driving him crazy. He is literally itching out of his skin to go use and is doing everything he possibly can to not use. The atmosphere and demeanor of this group of people was absolutely amazing and so encouraging to see these people supporting each other in their struggles as much as they were.