Continuously providing help and support to alcoholic addicted persons for 80 years is what Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) does best. 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 founders compiled the twelve steps to direct AA meetings; later they introduced the 12 traditions to help better define the aims of the group. 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.
For first timers, getting the courage to go to an AA meeting may pose a challenge. 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 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.
The reception to the AA meeting is always amazing. While a discussion among new attendees is certainly encouraged it is not essential. The meeting participants know from experience that a new member may not find talking about themselves readily at first. In the course of time, most of the attendees realise great healing power of the open honest debating at these meetings.
Attendance to a closed AA meeting is just available to recovering alcoholics or to individuals who are looking forward to learning more about how they can overcome their alcoholism.
Open meetings welcome also spouses, friends, and family members of the addicts. You have the option of deciding whether you want to attend a closed meeting or an open meeting depending on your comfort level within the organisation. 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 steps originated in Alcoholics Anonymous, have become the standard for almost all addiction recovery groups. The steps are meant to be followed as a cycle although they are listed linearly. If a recovering user hasn't successfully passed through a given step, they can revisit it until they are okay with their efforts.
The first step includes admitting that you have a problem, and really need help to solve it. Further steps include the following: making a firm decision to quit; admitting all your wrongs to yourself and others; making amends for all wrongdoings; and commitment to permanent improvement. To find out more about the 12 steps, go 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. Some of their common objections are the following:
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. Attending a meeting may end up saving you a lifetime of pain and destruction brought about by the addiction to alcohol.
No matter where you live, there certainly is an AA group nearby. 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. Contact us on 0800 246 1509 today and we'll help you find an AA group that will suit you best.