Friday, October 29, 2010

The Fourth Year of My Formal Education

It is my fourth year, but not my last . I have just started the Public Health major and I am loving it! Everyday I learn about all the problems in our country and world and what we can do to help them. I am required to think about ways I could solve these problems and go out into the community and experience things for myself. I want to share my experience with attending an Alcohlics Anonymous meeting. I am just so grateful for the education I am receiving, including my " general education." I have studied singing and participated in choir, I've studied the Spanish language, I've learned about art and history, statistics and human anatomy. I am very happy to have finally found a major that is right for me. I will graduate in April 2012. I am really excited because I figured out my graduation plan and registered for winter classes. Next semester I'm taking Spanish for the first time in a year and a half! I am so happy.

Me and the bike lane
An assignment for my Health 100 class to find something that means public health and put this sticker on it. This is Public Health is a campaign to create awareness about the field of public health and all it does for society.

The following is my experience at the alcoholics anonymous meeting I attended.

I went to a 12-step meeting at the state hospital chapel. When I arrived on my bike all the people were just getting out of their vans and entering the chapel. I found out they were from a recovery center in Payson. There was actually no program director there. We set up chairs and someone took charge. They didn’t have anything to read, so they just said any topic was ok and started going around the circle.

A lot of people chose to speak. I thought what they had to say was really interesting and really touching. Over all there was a really good feeling in the meeting. One man said, “There is a difference between recovery and sobriety.” He talked about how if you’re just white-knuckling it, you are going to relapse. I thought that was really insightful. In talking to my friend about it later, it made more sense. If you’re just white-knuckling it, you still want the alcohol more than anything. You haven’t changed. So I suppose we are to understand that without the Savior we can’t change. Many of them mentioned a higher power, and many of them specified that by that they meant Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I think most of them were raised LDS. One lady sounded like she had been married in the temple. She said Satan has known us for a long time. And he knows what will push our buttons. She said he is a beautiful liar. She said she become a beautiful liar until she believed the lies herself. Several people mentioned coming to the point where they were in recovery for themselves, rather than simply the better alternative than jail. Most people were pretty positive. They were very supportive of each other and very grateful to each other and to their higher power. One young man was having a harder day. He talked about how it hurt his pride to realize he needs help. He sort of talked through it and became more positive at the end. He said he needed to remember that he was worth it. That he was worth being happy. The lady before me grew up in a really good LDS family from what I could gather. She was grateful for her experience as an addict because she said she’s become much closer to the Lord than she ever was. She encouraged the young man by saying relying on the Lord is not weakness, it’s a strong person that can depend on the Lord. She said her parents taught her that the Lord wants so much more for us than we want for ourselves. I was really touched.

By the time my turn came around I had been very moved and was truly humbled to be there. I introduced myself and got the traditional, “Hi, Elisa,” response. I was able to thank them for letting me come and say how impressed I was with the things they had said. I did say that while I don’t know what they are going through, I do know what it feels like to be helpless. I testified that no matter who we are or where we’re at in our life, we all need that higher power.

At the end we all stood up and, arms around each other, said the serenity prayer.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I feel that anyone would benefit from attending a meeting like that and saying, “Hi, my name is Elisa (or Sam or Jo or Mary), and I need the Savior just like everybody else.”