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Old 10-04-2009, 01:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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First AA Meeting


I'm doing a observational essay for a college class and I picked going to an AA meetings. I just wanted to know some sterotypes and stigma's that people say about AA meetings and what to expect?
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you walked into a closed meeting of AA and told me you were there to 'observe' and write an essay, I would ask you to leave.

And you might expect members at whatever closed meeting you attend to tell you that.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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this makes us sound like guinea pigs,it also smacks of voyuerism.you wouldnt be able just just sit in and observe for an essay at any of the meetings i attend.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What about an open meeting?
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What preconcieved ideas do you have, and what are the stereotypes you expect to see? Write them down. Then go to a few open meetings. See how what you thought it would be differs from the reality.

Please show care and respect.

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Old 10-04-2009, 02:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Open meetings are designed for people who want to sit in and listen. When people go to an open meeting it is usually to decide if they are an alcoholic/drug addict. I can remember being in the same situation as you when completing my college diploma. However, I walked in and knew that I was dealing with addiction issues - so I was one of them - but I didn't go to meetings. I wish you luck pal - don't expect a warm welcome - and sure as hell don't throw around "textbook quotes" pertaining to addiction - cause you'll get eaten alive! (Take it from someone who has been there!) Do you know someone in the program who could accompany you?
Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Open meetings are designed for people who want to sit in and listen. When people go to an open meeting it is usually to decide if they are an alcoholic/drug addict. I can remember being in the same situation as you when completing my college diploma. However, I walked in and knew that I was dealing with addiction issues - so I was one of them - but I didn't go to meetings. I wish you luck pal - don't expect a warm welcome - and sure as hell don't throw around "textbook quotes" pertaining to addiction - cause you'll get eaten alive! (Take it from someone who has been there!) Do you know someone in the program who could accompany you?
Good luck!
Nope I don't know anyone. But I am an alcoholic and thought doing a essay about would motivate me to actually get off my ass and goto one.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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this makes us sound like guinea pigs,it also smacks of voyuerism.you wouldnt be able just just sit in and observe for an essay at any of the meetings i attend.
voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other activity usually considered to be of a private nature.

I'm not going to the meeting because I have a sexual interest with AA meetings.
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We have students come sit in one of our meetings all the time. One thing I would advise is to get to more than one meeting if you can since they are all different.
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other activity usually considered to be of a private nature.

or

voyeurism is the practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, or other activity usually considered to be of a private nature.

AA meetings are usually considered to be of an extremely private nature, why they even have the word "anonymous" in their name.

If you are going there for you, expect a warm welcome

It's possible you won't meet any alcoholics with unresolved anger management issues whilst studying them like lab animals without their permission, it's also possible that you will.

Be aware they take this as a life and death business and they take their anonymity extremely seriously, that could be an interesting combination if they feel they are being "outed"
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ago View Post
voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other activity usually considered to be of a private nature.

or

voyeurism is the practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, or other activity usually considered to be of a private nature.

AA meetings are usually considered to be of an extremely private nature, why they even have the word "anonymous" in their name.

If you are going there for you, expect a warm welcome, if you are going there to study them as if they are Guinea Pigs, don't.

It's possible you won't meet any alcoholics with unresolved anger management issues whilst studying them like lab animals without their permission, it's also possible that you will.

Be aware they take this as a life and death business and they take their anonymity extremely seriously, that could be an interesting combination if they feel they are being "outed"
I'm not studying the people who go their I am studying HOW and WHAT the people do their.
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If you want information, contact the Public Information committee.
If you want to get sober & stay sober, become willing to surrender.

IMHO; the fellowship of A.A. or N.A. does not exist to benefit anyone intellectually or to assist anyone in the pursuit of their career. We are free to enjoy our anonymity as long as we are not under surveillance from outside agencies, groups, or individuals. We are able to be of genuine service to each other, in an atmosphere of love & respect, because we are not being monitored or watched in any way within our meetings.
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Jeb...open aa meetings are just that...they are open to anyone. The act that you are an alcoholic qualifies you free and clear. Sit in the back and observe...if anyone questions you say that you are just there to listen. Your reasons for going seem to be two fold, you may just be able to identify with a member or twos experience and may also observe and draw your own conclusion about the organization. In my experience aa meetings are hardly anonymous, it just has a nice ring to it. Good luck to you.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Jeb....I'm glad you are planning to check out AA.
There are no 2 meetings exactly alike.
Sometimes you have to attend several to see
if AA is for you....

This link is full of facts ...not opinions.

Your First AA Meeting<
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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You will no doubt get plenty of responses, including from people who have never been.

If you would like to contact me via a PM, I'd be happy to speak with you further.

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Old 10-05-2009, 09:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Jeb in my area an open meeting is just that "Open", any one is welcome as long as they are respectful of peoples anonymity.

We have had people from the medical profession attend some of our open meetings in the years I have been in the rooms. Even though a meeting is open people who are there for "Observation purposes" out of respect for the alcoholics present do introduce them selfs and state thier purpose there.

AA is a program of attraction and not promotion, in my area any one who is a healthcare professional is always welcome in "Open" meetings because it allows them to be able to tell a client/patient what an AA meeting and the people there are like.

95% of stigmas and stereotypes about AA are generally in the heads of active alcoholics who are not quit ready to quit yet but are almost there.... Do not get me wrong I am sure there are a few stigmas by folks who have no idea what alcoholism really is or even what an AA meeting is like.

I will tell you what mine was before I started going.

I thought AA meetings were full of broken down old men sitting around crying in thier coffee, smoking and dreaming of the days when they could handle thier liquor.

That was so far from the truth today I laugh at myself. Some other say "Oh AA is religous." Spiritual yes, religous no. Yes many meetings do have prayer as part of the opening/closing of the meeting, but you know every sprtiing event I have been to has many times been opened with a prayer....... does that make them religous? Congress opens with a prayer every day, does that make congress a religous body?

If you were in my area you would be more then welcome to an "open" meeting and even more welcome if at the beginning of the meeting you introduced your self and what you were doing there. For some folks who come to AA thier anonymity is important to them and this would give them an opportunity to either leave or not share.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:28 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeb18 View Post
What about an open meeting?

I didn't read what's been posted


Probably would be better for you to attend an open meeting. In the event there isn't any around, ask at a closed meeting if, you can sit and take notes etc.
It's a selfish program, I'm there to keep me sober. Then again, I've been going for a long time no one at the meetings has any power over me
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Jeb, I don't know of any stereotypes or stigmas associated with AA meetings. Such things are usually associated with people, not events. If you want to know about stereotypes or stigmas attached to alcoholics, there are probably millions of them. As has been suggested, go to a few different open meetings. No one's going to throw you out. But go with an open mind, not one with any preconceived notions of what to expect. If what you're doing is an observational essay, then objectivity is important. You need to write about what you observe, not about what you thought you'd observe.

If you think you may be an alcoholic, then listen to what's said in the meetings. You may hear your own story. As Carol suggested, go to several to see if AA is for you. But please remember that anonymity is of critical importance is AA. Leave the particulars regarding people etc out of your paper.
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