MOUNT VERNON — Emotions Anonymous
is a group dedicated to helping those who suffer from problems as diverse as
depression, anger, broken or strained relationships, grief, anxiety, obsessive
and negative thinking, worry, compulsive behavior and a variety of other emotional
An EA group was formed in Mount Vernon in the late 1980s but only lasted a couple of years. A new group has started up locally again with meetings at The Main Place at 117 W. High St.
According to Marilee H., (no last names will be used in order to keep with the group’s anonymous approach) who has started the current group, the first one began in 1989 and ran until 1991 when, in her words, “It just kind of broke up.”
Marilee was also the one who started the first group in Mount Vernon after moving back from Washington, D.C.
“I had gone to a meeting when I was living outside of Washington, D.C.,” she said. “When I moved back to Mount Vernon, I was having some trouble readjusting to living in a small town. I was having all kinds of problems adjusting. One day I was sitting at my desk, cleaning out a drawer and I found a pamphlet from the Emotions Anonymous meeting I had attended in Washington. I thought it would be nice if someone started one of those here in Mount Vernon.
“So I looked at the pamphlet and I decided to attend some of the EA meetings in Mansfield for a while and some Alcoholics Anonymous meetings here. The EA 12 step program is based on the AA program. I did this to get an idea of how to start the program here in Mount Vernon. So I had a meeting open to the public in 1989 with about 50 people attending. That was how we started the program.”
Marilee had sent out letters to area ministers and published announcements in the News to let people know about the meeting. Some of the people from the Mansfield program came to talk about the EA program.
After what appeared to be a good run, Emotions Anonymous became defunct in Mount Vernon in about 1991.
“It just kind of broke up. It was a victim of its own success, really. A lot of people moved on after the program and there wasn’t as big a need for it anymore,” Marilee said.
In the intervening years, there was no comparable program for people in the Mount Vernon area. Marilee said there was one in Centerburg for a while but nothing else.
“In June, I went to Glenn Hopkins, the CEO of The Main Place and I asked him if we could start an EA group here,” she explained. “He said ‘Yes. It’s a great idea.’ He was very supportive. The Main Place has been providing the books we use and the pamphlets for the classes I teach. For now this has been free but we will soon start passing the hat, so to speak, so we can be autonomous, even from The Main Place.”
For now, participants have been associated with The Main Place but Marilee said the group would soon be open to the public.
“But when we get people from outside, we will definitely have to pass the hat,” she said.
David L. has been attending the new meetings since they started. He explained what this meant to him.
“I’ve learned that I have a choice,” he said. “I do not have to let others take and take advantage of me or make me do something that would eventually get me into trouble. I believe in a higher power and have turned my life over to the care of God. ... There’s definitively room for improvement and I think that is a very good reason for me to be at the Emotions Anonymous meetings, to accept my responsibilities.”
For more information about Emotions Anonymous contact Marilee H. at (740) 263-3642.