I attended the Stepping-Stone meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous on a Saturday night at the St. Vincents Stress Center. The Stress Center is located at 8401 Harcourt Road, Indianapolis. The impression of this meeting that I got was that a bunch of people got together to tell their sob stories about drinking. Everyone sat outside the building smoking and talking to each other when I first arrived. After entering the building, everyone it seemed, grabbed a cup of coffee, and then went to sit in the auditorium. The place was packed. There was standing room only. After everyone got settled the facilitator introduced himself.
The only thought that kept running through my mind was, Why am I here Most of the people at this meeting were middle to upper class and white. There were more men than women. There were more middle-aged people then young people. Looking at some of the way the people dressed and the cars that they drove you could tell that some of these people had money. I was extremely uncomfortable being there. To me the meeting was a waste of my time. I was bored. I knew that I did not belong in this room. This was not the place I wanted to be. I did not care that these people are alcoholics. I feel that they brought their problems on themselves.
I did not want to hear what they had to say, and I did not care. The only thing I learned from sitting in this meeting for the hour it lasted was not to drink. Unfortunately, I knew that before going into this meeting. I learned that alcohol is and/or was a way of life for these people. I also learned that since I have never had a drink, that I am not an alcoholic. The speaker at the meeting was a Jane Doe. She talked about how her family moved here from Baghdad. She talked about how she had to sneak out of her house to be able to go on dates, as her parents would not permit her to do so.
She was accepted to Indiana University at Bloomington. While in school she met a guy who introduced her to alcohol. The first time she drank, she got drunk and she lost her virginity all on the same night. At the beginning of her junior year at I. U. , she met another guy who introduced her to the art of wine tasting and to cocaine. She dumped the first guy and started seeing the second guy. During the summer between her junior and senior year, her parents found out that she had had pre-marital relations, and she was banished from the family.
The guy she was with moved to Louisville to finish his law degree and she decided to follow him. When she showed up at his office, he told her that he never wanted to see her again. She went across the river to drink. She finally decided that she should check herself into a clinic to get help for her depression. After she checked in, she realized that she was put on the floor with the alcoholics and drug addicts. She checked herself out. Jane was in and out of treatment eleven times before she stayed long enough to get sober. This was in 1988. She has been sober ever since. She has attended AA meetings every week since that time.
Attending this meeting did not help me to see where Jane telling her story helped the group. It may have helped her to tell her story. However, I fail to see how her story would help the group. Personally, the only message that I got was, dont drink. I do not think that support groups help anyone. You sit in a meeting for an hour and listen to strangers tell their sob stories. What is the point If a person wants help go to a therapist. Dont sit in a meeting with strangers and tell us about your life. Leave the help for the professionals. I feel that the people were there to celebrate the fact that they do not drink anymore.
However. If they had not started to begin with, they would not have had to stop. If these people feel that the meetings help them, and by following the Twelve-Step program are something they need to do to stay sober fine. I have never had to attend a support group before, and I will never put myself through attending one again in my lifetime. In conclusion, the meeting may have been helpful to the people who attend, but for me it was a waste of my time. I have no sympathy for people who are alcoholics. They chose to drink. They chose to get drunk. Nobody held them down and forced alcohol down their throats.
As a non-drinker I made the choice not to drink. They made the choice to drink. Sympathy and understanding are real hard to come by. I have been in car accidents where the driver of the other car was drunk. The police let them go both times. They got into their cars and drove away like nothing happened. I dont feel sorry for them and I cant empathize with them. I like the idea of prohibition and am sorry that the Constitution repealed the amendment. Alcohol has no place in our society. Personally, I would rather fail my classes, than to go to another one of these meetings.