Noe Valley Voice February 2001

When You Need a Little Support, Anonymously

By Kathleen Mahony

When considering all the months of the year, January and February seem to be "dead weight" -- that is, pointless months created only to fill the gap between the festive cheer of December and the spring fever of March.

However, upon reconsidering these gray months, one might become thankful for this downtime and seize the opportunity to care for one's self.

In Noe Valley, there are dozens of private therapists, exercise classes, volunteer activities, and support groups that can help you shoulder life's challenges and make lasting changes.

But if you're struggling with an addiction problem and need day-to-day support (at virtually no cost), you might want to connect with one of the "Anonymous" groups meeting in the neighborhood.

These groups are self-supporting and not affiliated with any private or public organization, political movement, ideology, or religious doctrine. Membership requires no dues or fees. Inquiries and participation are always anonymous and confidential. Although some meetings may have a particular focus or emphasis, every meeting is open to anyone.

Following is a description and schedule for the Anonymous groups meeting at two main locations in Noe Valley:

Bethany Methodist Church (BMC)
1268 Sanchez Street at Clipper Street

Noe Valley Ministry (NVM)
1021 Sanchez Street near 23rd Street

However, there are Anonymous meetings at other places in the neighborhood (such as Holy Innocents Episcopal Church on Fair Oaks Street), and throughout San Francisco. To confirm meeting places and times or to find out more about these self-help groups, check their web sites. If you are looking for a group that focuses on a topic not listed here, a useful web site to consult is

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a fellowship designed to give support to those who have developed a dependency on alcohol. Membership is open to any man or woman who wishes to do something about his or her drinking problem.

Sundays, 7:30­9:00 p.m., in the sanctuary at Bethany Methodist Church (BMC)

Mondays, 6:30­7:45 p.m., at the Noe Valley Ministry (NVM)

Tuesdays, 6:15­7:40 p.m., in the League Room at BMC (women's group)

Tuesdays, 7:30­9:00 p.m., at NVM

Wednesdays, 8:00­9:00 p.m., at NVM

Thursdays, 6:30­7:30 p.m., in the League
Room at BMC

Additional information regarding Alcoholics Anonymous can be found at (or

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) is a program for women and men who grew up in alcoholic or dysfunctional homes. Through common experience, members focus on how childhood affected their past and influence their present. Members take positive action to find freedom from the past and a way to improve their lives today.

Wednesdays, 6:30­7:45 p.m., in the Heritage Room at BMC (for beginners)

Wednesdays, 7:30­9:15 p.m., in the Trinity Room at BMC (lesbian-specific)

Visit for more information.

Overeaters Anonymous (OA) is for anyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. This is a place for individuals to share their experience, while receiving strength and hope during the recovery process.

Mondays­Saturdays, 7:00­8:00 a.m., at NVM

Sundays, 8:30­9:30 a.m., at NVM

Sundays, 7:00­8:15 p.m., in Trinity at BMC

Fridays, 7:00­9:45 p.m., in Trinity at BMC

Saturdays, 6:30­7:30 p.m., in Heritage at BMC (focus on women)

Consult to get additional information.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is for men and women for whom drugs have become a problem. This is a group of recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.

Saturdays, 10:30 a.m­12:15 p.m., at NVM

Thursdays, 6:15­7:30 p.m.,at BMC (for women)

Additional information on NA can be found at

Al-Anon is designed to assist family and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with the problem drinking of a relative or friend. Alateen is a program for young people, which is sponsored by Al-Anon members. The only requirement for membership in either group is the presence of alcoholism in a relative or friend. These groups offer hope and recovery to all people affected by the alcoholism of a loved one or friend, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.

Sundays, 5:00­6:15 p.m., in Trinity at BMC

Wednesdays, 8:00­9:30 p.m., in League at BMC (12-step Al-Anon)

On the web, go to

S-Anon is a fellowship that works to solve common problems through shared experience, strength, and hope so that people may help others to recover. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of sexaholism in a relative or friend. The primary purpose is to recover from the effects of another person's sexaholism, and to help families and friends of sexaholics.

Thursdays, 7:45­8:45 p.m., in Heritage at BMC

More information on S-Anon can be found at

"I have realized that we must be kind to ourselves on life's journey because at the end of the day all we have is ourselves. All we ever know we have is ourselves."