Recovering alcoholics have benefitted from the support provided by Alcoholics Anonymous for many years. Founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith (who both were recovering alcoholics), Alcoholics Anonymous were started as a community fellowship for recovering alcoholics to encourage them to stay sober. The journey to recovery is aided by the 12 stages that guide the operations of AA. Many people that have recovered from alcoholism always have something positive to say about the group and the help they were accorded.
Presently, Alcoholics Anonymous can boast of more than 2 million active members throughout the world and more than 50,000 groups nationwide.
If you've never been to one before, it may be daunting to attend an AA meeting. The idea of going to a room full of people you don't know you are going through a problem and are seeking help can be intimidating. This feeling is felt by most of the people you'll encounter in the meetings. The founders of the AA were themselves alcoholics and the groups follow the original model to this day. Every individual within AA has been through a problem before and has cultivated a unique feeling of community and understanding among recovering alcoholics.
At each AA meeting, the attendees are welcomed to join the group. 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. After some time, they start feeling at home and find tremendous relief and healing through openly sharing their experiences.
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 individuals want to keep these meetings as a separate part from the other activities. These meetings can provide alcoholics the support needed by their loved ones and many are known to gain from this benefit.
These 12 Steps have been the backbone of the AA meetings. These steps are written one after another, but group members realise that in fact they go in a circle. A patient may repeat a particular step until they are certified with the results.
One starts with acknowledging they are having a problem and they cannot solve it on their own. Subsequently, the steps include making decisions to quit, accepting yourselves and others the wrongs which may have been committed, making amends for the wrongdoings along with making a commitment to improve continually. To find out more about the 12 steps, go here.
Most people are not comfortable with attending a meeting with AA and therefore, come up with reasons not to attend. Some of their common objections are the following:
These arguments may seem meaningful to somebody who is already in doubt about attending a meeting; however, you should keep in mind why you were considering going there in the first place.
Accepting your condition and seeking help is the main objective. Attending a meeting may end up saving you a lifetime of pain and destruction brought about by the addiction to alcohol.
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. You should make a decision about whether you want to attend an open or closed meeting and also choose the location you have in mind, and you will definitely find one online through our meeting finder. Contact us on 0800 246 1509 today and we'll help you find an AA group that will suit you best.