Today I went to my Alcoholics Anonymous class, and needless to say, I did not know what to expect. I went to the Step program at Memphis Memorial, and the entire group was very accepting of having nursing students attend. The class began with one lady reading from their big book, and then the group recited the serenity prayer and the 12 steps. Once this was completed, the nursing students in attendance introduced ourselves and stated our reason for being there. The leader of the group asked to members if they had anything to discuss, and since nobody offered any discussion topics, he brought up the topic of “Are you doing everything you can to get the most out of the program?” This became a very emotional topic to the members. One man brought up the thought that since his disease is Alcoholism, he made the reference that going to the A.A meeting was equivalent to a patient with diabetes using insulin. He said that he regularly attends three to four meetings a week. One lady read from the big book about the allergic reaction alcoholics feel when they taste alcohol that causes them to drink until they become drunk. There was one man who was recently discharged from rehab, and he expressed his concern about how he was going to be able to get on with his life since drinking has been a large part of his life for so long. He did express how he was being hounded about the bills he had missed while in rehab, but he told the group that he does not get stressed out about these situations as a result of rehab. One man broke down in tears about how he was fighting with the “Devil inside him that is encouraging him to drink,” and the group was very comforting to his needs. Near the end of the meeting, they passed out coins for the amount of time people had been sober. To end the meeting we stood in a circle and held hands as we recited the serenity prayer revised. I learned a lot from this meeting because I always assumed that these people just lacked...
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