The community of Alcoholics Anonymous has been providing great support and healing for recovering alcoholics for nearly 80 years. Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith both of whom were alcoholics, aiming to encourage others to quit and remain sober. There are 12 traditions that were put in place to help define the reason for the group's existence but first, the famous 12 steps were introduced to help give the meetings some direction. Many former alcoholics believe the group was instrumental in helping them remain sober and the group still uses the original 12 steps in its meetings.
There are more than 50,000 AA groups in America alone and over 2 million members in the world.
What To Expect From Attending An Aa Meeting
If you've never been to one before, it may be daunting to attend an AA meeting. Opening up about your condition to people that you have just met is always the hard part for the new members. It is fortunate that every AA attendee understands your feelings exactly. The original model is still in use today and it helps that the organisation was started by recovering alcoholics who understood the challenge. Everybody in the AA programs even those running them has gone through the program at some point, so they empathize with members.
You can always expect a warm welcome when you attend the sessions. They are encouraged to join the conversations though no one will force them. The meeting participants know from experience that a new member may not find talking about themselves readily at first. As time passes by most attendees become comfortable with the great healing and therapy, they receive through the open and honest discussions which are provided by these meetings.
Only the people that are struggling with alcohol addiction are the ones allowed to attend the closed meetings in AA.
On the other hand, friends, spouses and family members are welcome to attend open meetings. Depending on your comfort level, you can choose to either attend the open or closed meetings. This is mainly because some people do not want to involve their families and friends in their struggle with alcoholism and the recovery process. However, some people recover faster when their families and friends are near them.
12 Stages Of Recovery
The 12 steps were first started in Alcoholics Anonymous but is used in addiction recovery groups for many other drugs nowadays. These steps are written one after another, but group members realise that in fact they go in a circle. Steps may be revisited several times until the member comes to grips with that stage of their recovery process.
The first step includes admitting that you have a problem, and really need help to solve it. Following steps are consciously deciding you want to stop the habit; accepting your wrongs and those others did to you; correcting your mistakes; committing to keep on the road to recovery. Learn more about the twelve steps here.
Some people do not want to attend the gatherings because of excuses. The resistance people have towards attending AA include:
They do not believe these meetings will be helpful
They are afraid of confronting someone they know
They aren't sure they really have a problem
These excuses may seem insurmountable, but the most important thing is to keep your eyes on what you want to achieve.
The bottom line out here is that if you feel there is a problem you are probably right. Alcoholism can cause you many years of misery and in the long run you'll realise just how much attending these meetings may save you from.
Aa Groups Near You
There is always an AA group not too far from where you are. The meetings held many times so you can catch the next one soon. Choose the kind of a meeting you want to attend - a closed or open one - and in what area, and you will be able to find a group online using our meeting finder. If you're looking for an AA group, we can assist you to find one just contact 0800 772 3971.