AA/NA Meetings Become Forced, Rote, and Meaningless
Alcoholics / Narcotics Anonymous doesn't work for everyone, but aside from breathing, very few things in life do. If you feel it can work for you, and do all you can to make it work, then it will probably work for you.
If, on the other hand, bored and tired nurses who are more wretched than Ratched rudely awaken you from a long winter's nap to attend these meetings against your will, then they'll be about as effective as arguing back and forth with Bugs Bunny. So of course, that's exactly what we did. In lieu of personalized recovery plans, one-on-one counseling, or anything better to do, we herded everyone into the rec room on the daily to discuss why drugs are bad, m'kay. Unless someone was actively dying, attendance was mandatory -- if nobody ever faked an overdose just to get out of discussing the negatives of their one true love, I'd be fucking floored.
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It's the leading cause of that disease where the victim can't stop winking and nudging when doctors ask what's wrong.
As you might imagine, I despised these meetings and dreaded my turns to run them. A successful meeting was one where I wasn't mocked and swore at by angry patients who decided it was bullshit for someone who hadn't ever used drugs to talk about why using drugs was a bad idea. Of course, they barely listened to those of us who had used before, largely treating the meetings as an excuse to trade wacky anecdotes about the hard knock drug life.
Since we had an hour to kill, and not enough people wanted to fill it by taking the damn thing seriously, we often had to get creative. This resulted in us (me, especially) concocting just the dumbest and stretchiest angles to make "stop poisoning yourself" seem like a unique and novel idea that maybe the patients just hadn't considered yet. My all-time favorite was when I whipped out a whiteboard and asked people to give me song lyrics, movie and TV show lines, or famous people quotes that reminded them of the recovery process. Because that helps (me get through the day). Suffice to say, the guy who contributed "I'm gonna kick tomorrow" from "Jane Says" did not, in fact, kick the next day. Or any day after that.
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He was a fucking master at stuffing dinner into his pockets, however.
Why didn't they bring in actual motivational speakers and life coaches who knew how to run a meeting and inspire sick people to rise up and take control of their fucked-up life, you ask? Same reason they skimped on anything else that could've helped the program thrive, not to mention helped anyone who legitimately needed it in order to not fucking die alone in a trashcan one day: because that would've cost money.
Jason can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and at a theater near you. If you don't live near a theater, he'll gladly hang out in your bathroom.
For more from Jason, check out 4 Valuable Life Lessons (That We Never Follow) and 4 Children's Books That Will Unintentionally Scar Your Kids.
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