The community of Alcoholics Anonymous has been providing necessary support and healing to recovering alcoholics for nearly 80 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 two came up with what is known as the 12 Steps to guide the meetings which later gave birth to the "12 traditions" that set out the reason for the AA's existence. The original steps developed by the pair are still intact while many former alcoholics have credited the group for the help they received during their recovery.
Today, Alcoholics Anonymous has more than 2,000,000 active members all over the world and more than 50 thousand of support groups countrywide.
It can be extremely intimidating and uncomfortable to come to a conclusion to attend an AA meeting, especially for individuals who have no idea about what to expect. Opening up about your condition to people that you have just met is always the hard part for the new members. Fortunately, every participant within AA is fully aware about how the other feels. The fact that the group was started by people that were former alcoholics shows that it can really help you. Everybody in the AA programs even those running them has gone through the program at some point, so they empathize with members.
The reception to the AA meeting is always amazing. 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 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. The beauty with AA is that they allow you to choose any meeting you wish to attend. This is mainly because some people do not want to involve their families and friends in their struggle with alcoholism and the recovery process. These meetings can provide alcoholics the support needed by their loved ones and many are known to gain from this benefit.
The 12 steps originated in Alcoholics Anonymous, have become the standard for almost all addiction recovery groups. Despite the steps being presented in linear fashion participants are known to view them as an ongoing circle. Steps may be revisited several times until the member comes to grips with that stage of their recovery process.
The initial step requires an alcoholic to admit that he or she has a problem and needs help to overcome the same. Admitting and accepting your mistakes, making an effort to correct these errors and deciding to always try and improve are some of the steps that follow. Learn more about the twelve steps here.
It is normal for a person to try and find reasons not to attend the meetings especially if they don't feel comfortable yet. Most of the times, people avoid these meetings because:
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.
At the end of the day, if you believe there's a problem with your drinking, you are right. 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.
There is always an AA group close to where you live. It's easy to attend these meetings because the groups tend to meet up regularly. We can help you identify the AA meetings near your location and you can choose the type of meeting you want to attend. Call us no 0800 246 1509 we are happy to help you locate an AA group today.