The community of Alcoholics Anonymous has been providing necessary support and healing to recovering alcoholics for nearly 80 years. Alcoholics Anonymous was started in 1935 by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson who were both recovering addicts as a fellowship with the aim of encouraging other alcoholics on the path to recovery to stay 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. The original 12 steps are still intact; besides, many former alcohol addicts contribute to the group by helping the members make steps to recovery.
There are more than 50,000 AA groups in America alone and over 2 million members in the world.
What The Aa Meeting Entails
Arriving at the decision to go to an AA meeting can be scary and very uncomfortable, especially for people who don't realise what to expect from it. It requires the individual to venture out of his or her comfort zone and admit before a room full of strangers that they have a problem and need some assistance to get better. Fortunately, every participant within AA is fully aware about how the other feels. AA was founded by recovering alcohol addicts and its model has remained till today. For recovering alcoholics, AA provides a special environment where they can open up and not feel judged because every person involved was an alcoholic at some point.
All attendees of the group will be welcomed with open arms during an AA meeting. Although there is no requirement to contribute, this is always encouraged. Not everyone will be open to exposing their private experiences at first and everyone will understand this. After the members has started sharing their experience with others, they'll start seeing some positive changes in their lives.
Only recovering alcoholics or those trying to get on the path to recovery are allowed to attend closed AA meetings.
Open meetings, on the other hand, admit family and friends of the alcoholic members. The beauty with AA is that they allow you to choose any meeting you wish to attend. Some people have shown a marked preference to keep their recovery segregated from the rest of their lives. These meetings can provide alcoholics the support needed by their loved ones and many are known to gain from this benefit.
The 12 Stages
These 12 Steps have been the backbone of the AA meetings. The steps are meant to be followed as a cycle although they are listed linearly. A patient may repeat a particular step until they are certified with the results.
The initial step requires an alcoholic to admit that he or she has a problem and needs help to overcome the same. 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. To find out more about the 12 steps, go here.
Reasons For Not Going To Aa Meetings
Withdrawal symptoms and other uncomfortable things one goes through as they try to quit alcohol abuse discourage many from attending the AA meetings. Some of their common objections are the following:
They don't see if they'll get the assistance they need
They are afraid of confronting someone they know
They haven't seen their alcoholism as a problem yet
These excuses may seem insurmountable, but the most important thing is to keep your eyes on what you want to achieve.
Accepting your condition and seeking help is the main objective. There will be no harm for you if you go to a meeting; besides, it can potentially save you from years of suffering caused by your addiction.
Identifying An Alcoholics Anonymous Group
There is always an AA group not too far from where you are. Most groups have regular meetings, and you can definitely visit one sooner rather than later. Make up your mind what kind of group you want to join, closed or open, then go through our online meeting finder to locate one near you. Call us no 0800 772 3971 we are happy to help you locate an AA group today.