I was quite apprehensive about going to a meeting, more so than I expected to be. I am not an alcoholic, and I was nervous about being invasive to those who are... I am involved in other support groups and I would feel violated if a student sat in one... especially if they participated in any way. I comforted myself with the fact that is acceptable to have visitors at open meetings... then I had to find open meetings.
I was also worried about encountering really small groups, or intimate groups. That did happen, and I felt badly about that.
I have to admit that I was also worried about meeting people that I know at meetings... for several reasons. One, I didn't want to be known as an alcoholic. I know that is pretty sad, that I shouldn't worry about it, but the shame attached is very real and I didn't want to associate it with me... I don't have any close family members who struggle with addiction either, so I didn't have that experience to pull from... since I planned on being a silent observer I knew that logical conclusions would be drawn. As a teacher and a foster parent myself, daughter to a teacher in my own town, and wife to a 911 dispatcher for the closet big town to us (Sanford) as well as the County (meaning another 13 towns) I know a lot of people in the community.
Two, if I did encounter someone that I knew, I worried about violating their privacy... it would feel different to me if we were both there for the same reason, then there is a sense of camaraderie... I didn't want to falsely create that or impact what they already had in the group.
I had a feeling that it wouldn't be like what I've seen in TV, where there are easily 30 people in the room... unfortunately I was right... the largest group that I encountered was about under 20. I had intensions of trying to get to a meeting in Portland hoping to find a larger group where I could have more anonymity... but it never worked out. Sunday, 7pm at St....