8 November 2011
I am writing to thank you for your kind invitation to attend a local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. In the twenty years that I have been practicing as a GP I have obviously been aware of the existence of the AA but have always only had a sketchy idea of how the organisation functions. I can think of no better way to find out more about the organisation than to sit in on one of your open meetings. The twenty people there couldn’t have been more welcoming or open about their experiences and life situation. The stories were harrowing and were told with great humility and some humour. The fellowship and friendship within the group was very apparent and I was hugely impressed by the support and unconditional regard that was shown to the members through the fellowship. I can see how important it is for participants to be able to identify with each other’s situation and the self knowledge that comes in time from being part of the group.
Please pass on my thanks to the group for allowing me to sit in on the meeting. I now feel I have a much clearer idea about what the organisation is there for and who is likely to benefit. The Chair said that AA needs friends outside the organisation and I hope I can be seen as one of those friends in the future.
With best wishes,
Dr Miles Mack
So what did I learn?
- AA is able to provide a supportive fellowship for those most severely affected by alcohol addiction.
- Their meetings are far from the severe and serious affairs I would imagine but are full of humour and friendship.
- Those most likely to benefit are the people who are able to make a serious and long lasting commitment to the fellowship.
- If anyone wants to understand AA, get invited to an open meeting.