Essay Preview: Homeless Veterans
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I was very interested in doing this assignment because of the simple fact that Ive never been to an AA meeting. Ive been planning on attending one for the longest time since I work with a population (Homeless Veterans) were as this is one of their biggest barriers. I really didnt know what to expect because from the clients I serve they make it sound like its just people sitting around talking. This was intriguing to me as I couldnt understand how sitting around talking could help solve anything especially if theres no professional to facilitate it. I hoped by attending I would gain I better understanding into what my clients are going through as well as getting an actual visual of what goes on at an AA meeting. As the time grew near I became nervous and dont know why. I guess I felt like I would be viewed as an outsider to this group or they would think I would judge them in some way. As I looked for a group to attend I didnt know there were open and closed groups, so then again my nervousness returned. I work part time at a halfway for recovery addicts and never thought to attend a group because for some reason I didnt think I was allowed. I dont know why I thought this. So when I asked to attend one of the open AA meetings I was surprised when my supervisor had thought I already attended one and laughed at me when I told him I thought we couldnt attend them. He informed me that this is what we do and how we interact with the clients in addition to my interaction with them already. So with everything set I waited patiently for that day to arrive. The time had arrived and I was at the meeting.
As I stood outside waiting for the meeting to begin, I observed everybody interacting in a friendly and compassionate manner. Before the meeting started I stood up an introduced myself. This wasnt needed because I knew most of the people in there because I interact with them on a regular basis. Some Ive even had in-depth conversations with about their recovery and relapses. I still felt compelled to inform them that I wasnt there to judge. They all laughed and told me not to be so serious and to relax, because they felt they already knew me. By them saying this it broke the ice and I felt it would be like talking to them one on one but in a group setting. I still felt a little apprehensive because I didnt know how much they would reveal of themselves and there were some of them I didnt know that were from outside the halfway house.
As the meeting began the chairperson welcomed everybody. He led the group in the Serenity Prayer in which everyone seemed to know and recite verbatim from memory. There was people of varies age there. Then I think the person who began speaking was picked before hand and was sought of a guess speaker. They spoke for about 15-20 minutes about their story. Their particular story stood out to me. It was one that Ive seen on television but couldnt understand how someone could or would for that matter allow this to happen to them. It was the story of a lawyer who life spiraled out of controlled, resulting in him losing his house, job, family, money and almost his law license. He describe how he started with drinking occasionally to regularly attending happy hour with the guys to coming to work drunk and being able to function.
I found this unbelievable as I think of lawyers being very smart people and their job as being very difficult. As he told his story I found myself going through a range of emotions from disbelief, shock, anger, sympathy and disheartening. Disbelief because of his first- hand accounts of handling cases drunk. Shock because of the progression in which he arrived at becoming an alcoholic, as I do similar things