Name of Meeting: Open Discussion
Time: 8:00 P.M.
Date: October 3, 2011
Location: St. Jerome’s Catholic Church
10895 Hamlin Blvd.
Largo, Fl. 33774
I decided on the meeting listed above because a personal friend of mine attends on a regular basis and I knew she would be present, hence avoiding any feelings of apprehension, as she has spoken to me freely about her addiction to alcohol, and explained the general concepts associated with an AA meeting and what to expect. I arrived a bit early and was warmly greeted by several people who introduced themselves, welcomed me to the meeting, and showed me where the coffee was located. Before the meeting actually started, I noticed small groups of people were formed around the room, so I made my way to the group in which my girlfriend was a part of and was introduced, then the casual conversation they were having beforehand about their jobs, ...view middle of the document...
* The chairperson asked if there were any newcomers who would like to introduce themselves, and specified that it was completely optional to do so.
* AA-related announcements were read by the chairperson.
* The topic for discussion is decided by the chairperson.
The chairperson introduced “anger” as the evening’s topic, and asked that if anyone present wanted to “share” their thoughts and feelings, to please raise their hand. This was apparently a popular subject, as I heard almost as many viewpoints and opinions as there were members present. Initially there was some confusion about the nature of anger. Many members thought of it only in terms of temper outbursts, getting angry about certain conditions or actions, while others expressed how AA had helped them learn how to suppress their anger so they would not lose control. There were also a few members who felt that restraining anger was an unhealthy practice, explaining it should be let out. During the discussion, multiple interpretations of anger were presented, which was informative, because I initially thought it would be a fairly “simple” topic. As the meeting progressed, all points of view were thoughtfully discussed in a well-mannered fashion, there was no right or wrong, and no arguing, which is what stood out the most to me.
As the meeting drew to an end, the chairperson stood up and gave his closing thoughts on anger, which I found to be very compelling. He said: “I am convinced that we probably have to face anger in much the same way we faced alcohol, which is realizing that we are powerless over it, and that it makes our lives unmanageable. The only completely effective solution is to turn it over to a “Power greater than ourselves.” Next, chips were then passed out for various lengths of sobriety, and a basket was passed around for optional donations. We then stood up, held hands, bowed our heads, and recited “The Lord’s Prayer.”
I would definitely recommend this meeting to anyone who may be having problems with alcohol. The people were very warm and accepting of me, they very much made me feel at home. There was an abundance of pamphlets, and various literature regarding treatment programs and other programs available for help with alcoholism.