Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sticking With It

Tonight I attend the fourth in a six meeting orientation at Expensive Cutting Edge Treatment Center. This is the same mandatory program family members of inpatients must attend. The goal is to develop a 20 minute intro to AlAnon, and present it once a month at family sessions.

So far, it's been disappointing.

First, family members are late. It starts at 6:00p, and people trickle in up to 7:00p. It's winter here, and the clothing associated with that does not make for subtle entrances. Then they must sign in, get name tags, take hand outs. Sure you have to work, but your kid is in inpatient substance abuse treatment. Could you make it a priority to get here on time?

Second, there is always one (or two) people who mistake "orientation" for "free therapy". Sensing an opening, they launch into long histories of their own tortured childhoods, or a litany of complaints about the family member. You are here for your loved one. Maybe you could be quiet, and listen?

Third, cross talk. Interrupting. Advice and opinions. Too much information. So you are 50 years old, a successful real estate investor, and still smoke pot every week end. What's your point in boasting about that?

I put out the AlAnon meeting list, and the booklet "AlAnon Faces Alcoholism, 2010". Attendance is voluntary.

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