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Rock Street, San Francisco
Rock Street, San Francisco

The AA meeting that I attended was at midnight in Bay City, at the Log Cabin. When I first walked in I was very startled. There were three women and seven men. I was quite overwhelmed and a tad bit scared to be in that sort of predicament. I know going at midnight was probably not the best idea, but it was the only meeting that fit into my schedule. Everyone was very nice to me when I walked in and informed me on how the meeting was held and what went on. At the start of the meeting some book readings were read off and they all said the serenity prayer.

As everyone went around the room and talked about how alcohol affected their lives and how now that they were trying to be sober, I sat there and listened. A hand full of the people there did not share any stories or advice, they just said their names and that they were alcoholics and that they were just at the meeting to listen, not to share anything. A lot of the men told stories about how alcohol affected their personal and professional live. Something that really threw me off was that three of the men there all had degrees from universities.

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When I think of an alcoholic I think of someone walking down the street in ragged clothes with a brown paper bag holding a bottle of the cheapest beer or booze on the shelf. But that’s not the case. These men were dressed in jeans and nice jackets, work boots and they appeared clean and shaved. I sympathized with the one man when he shared a story about how alcohol had changed his appearance and attitude so much that his toddler didn’t even recognize him. Many of the men that spoke talked about the amounts of alcohol they consumed everyday on a daily basis.

The one guy said that he would buy a half gallon of vodka in the morning and a thirty pack of beer at night. I was floored by this. He talked about how his organs were starting to shut down and that was when he realized that he had to make a change. All of the people that spoke had one thing in common, and that was the fact that something tragic or life threatening had happened to them for them to realize that they had to quit drinking excessively and all together or else they would end up dead or with nothing.

Two of the women that were there were younger, I assume around my age, twenty, maybe a little older. The one lady spoke about how she had no desire to quit drinking and doing drugs until her daughter was taken away from her and put into foster care. Being a big sister and very close to my family, I could never imagine putting the need to drink and do drugs before the safety and care for my family. I felt for the young women, but it was her decision, I feel like she lost her daughter on her own.

She brought it upon herself with her obsession to get high and wasted. I was also very surprised at the fact that a lot of the people that were at the meeting were religious. God is their greater power to help and guide them through their sickness of alcoholism. The meeting was a lot like what you see on television or in movies. Someone would introduce themselves with their names and they would then state that they were an alcoholic. It was very traditional and everyone was very open. A few of the men talked about the use of cocaine and marijuana.

The ages of the people there were also very interesting. There were a few people there that were under the age of twenty five. The thought of having such an addiction so young is terrible. When I asked what is something that I should take with me out of attending the meeting or something that they would like me to know, they all had something to say. The three men that had degrees all said something very similar. That it doesn’t matter if you male or female, poor or rich, successful of a bum, alcoholism can affect your life .

Another guy spoke up about how bad it can affect your body and you soul. He also discussed how there are so many people around us battling with cancer and other sickness and that alcoholics and drug addicts are just killing themselves , slowly but surely. Being a college student, partying is something that is just done. I truly believe that if students that excessively drink at college parties and attend them frequently would be blown away at the fact that what they are doing now may affect the rest of their lives.

I would love to take a few of my friends to an AA meeting and show them what happens if you continue to abuse alcohol. If every student were required to attend one of those meetings, I really believe that the underage drinking rate at SVSU would drop drastically. I cannot say that I enjoyed this experience, but I do not regret going or taking this course. It was fascinating to hear the stories of the alcoholics.

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