In my lifetime I feel as though I have overcome many obsticles and accomplished many goals and as I looked around at others that were less fortunate than me I became even more thankful and more willing to help others. It made me feel good to see others happier and to make their day and things a little better. On Sunday night my roommate and I went to the Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting in a building downtown Harrisonburg called the Club with my friend Joseph. The place did not look like a club where you party at but it looked like just a normal building with a lot of cars there.
If you drove by you would not know that it was an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting location. When I first went in I did not expect to see that there were so many normal people in there. This place seems like a place that you have to go to when you are in trouble and have nothing else to do. There was a range of people from my age to elderly people. The people that looked like they had the most trouble were the older people and the younger ones were in there because they might have been more curious of what goes on in the meetings. The open meetings are a place where anyone can go to get help or support others.
I went with my friend for support and to gain knowledge about the truth behind alcoholism and to see what it’s like in real life versus the movies and television. It was very different from what I expected. I wasn’t expecting such real problems and people in the situations. I feel like in real life people don’t go through all these bad things due to that I see it happen so much in everyday life that everyone lives as actors and goes home to a normal life and not this sad, difficult problem. The largest part of the meeting was support orientated and sharing stories, struggles and success.
I got to hear how they got there and what they are doing to stay strong. The stories that were told were confidential and very heart breaking. It made alcohol seem like such a controlling substance that can become deadly if used too much or in large amounts at one time. Alcohol is never seen as being bad or controlling until people start binge drinking and it gets out of hand and we need help. I feel that if college kids would listen to some of the situations and the real struggles of others then they would feel less obligated to get drunk all the time.
Some of these people have hit rock bottom and you could see who they really were and the struggles they went through. There were many different stories on how they got to where they were and what pushed them to go the right way. Some were their kids and families or someone who took the time to help them and show them things could get better. There were a few parents there that wanted more information about how the kids in this generation were abusing alcohol so they knew what to look for in their own children. This type of meeting for the community is very helpful due to that everything is confidential and you can get help for free.
I feel like if I could change something about the meeting is making it so that you don’t have to say your name in the beginning because it makes people seem insecure about themselves. Our community Center us a place for those to go who could need help in a variety of ways. Some see it as a church or a counseling center. It is a place to go for enjoyment and help. They provide food and exercising as well as plays, activities or talent shows. The shelter is a place for homeless people in the city and a place for them to pray and seek religious insight.
The leader of the OCP is Ron Copland and is a great supporter and motivator for this shelter. He wants everyone to feel closer and equal. He has had many great ideas to make this place a successful shelter and made him a respectable leader and achiever. He is extremely dedicated and spends most of his time and money into this volunteer only facility. He is a very inspirational man and has done so much in his lifetime to help others that time I was there I wanted to help and show my gratitude and respect for all he has done. He is a wonderful man and he has succeeded in life.
The OCP is a group that uses caring experiences and working together to help others. Recovering alcoholics and current alcoholics come here to work together and keep busy while trying to get over their problem. They use agriculture and other jobs to show them how to move on and work together. They use a program called OCM which is our community works. They learn to work with each other versus doing it all alone. The center does many activities and programs to get everyone involved and help them run these programs and volunteers like my self help keep this wonderful place in the right direction.
When I went to the center there was a talent show. Everyone there had a job to do for the show to be put on. They were people from little kids to older adults and they all worked together like they were best friends who know each other forever. OCP is an effective program that is steadily spreading to more individuals. It brings not only people without homes together but those people of the community. It makes us thankful for what we have and realize they are real people. We don’t see homeless people we see every day plain-Jane citizens.
We see our community in new light. Each Program had its own approach to the problem at hand. The alcoholics anonymous meeting was depressing and awkward. People were sad and uncomfortable and no one sounded like they wanted to be there. The OCP was much more upbeat and happy. I feel that it is a much better way to get over alcoholism. It gives you activities to keep your mind off drinking and keeps you happy. I would rather forget about a drink than talk about it in an awkward group meeting. I think MR.
Copland was onto something when he opened the OCP. But just like any idea it may not work for everyone. Both of these situations have shown me another side of the tracks. Both community programs help others and have me a different perspective on alcoholics and their situations. Hearing their stories was very sad and I could not imagine what they go through. Mr. Copland and his hard work made me inspired to work to help others. He has helped so many people and it felt good to show people that they are equal and can get their problems taken care of.