The other week at our meeting a recent member asked the question, why do people attend the group meetings? I thought fast and then responded.
Over six years ago our family was hit with the absolute bombshell of compulsive gambling. Never had we felt so alone and powerless and lacking any understanding of what had just happened. Luckily we were able to search the Internet and find the details of the local group. We turned up on a freezing cold February night, the place was in darkness and we stood with the cold and the despair for an hour before we gave up and went back home. Back home we called a number and were told that there was a mistake and the meeting was the next night…..
So back we came and at least the place was open – we went into the room we were directed to and stood around feeling very awkward and waited for people to arrive. It seemed like ages – in reality around 10 minutes and another person arrived. He sat down with us and began to help us make sense of what we were going through….
As I say that was over six years ago, and aside from when I have been away from home due to work commitments, or a holiday I have only missed one meeting.
Had that one other person not been there that night we’d have been left in our own personal despair and who knows what the result would have been.
So my answer was I always want to be sure there will be someone there when a newcomer arrives needing help, advice, sympathy. The memory of that first night, shivering outside a dark building is burned in my consciousness. I want to be there to offer support and to keep a bargain agreement that just as someone was there for us that first night I will be there for others, and to know that others will be there for me whenever I need help and support again.
Over the years I have seen many people at meetings, at present our group is very strong – I hope it continues that way. Many people attend a meeting, get the information and are not seen again – we never know what has happened to them.
Its a small price to pay of a couple of hours once a week to feel you are part of a support group that can make such a difference to your own life and that of others. The strength of the support offered by Gam-Anon is the group, its not an add on or an optional extra…….