The Start Of Alcoholics Anonymous
Recovering alcoholics have benefitted from the support provided by Alcoholics Anonymous for many 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. 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. The 12 Steps are still followed, and many recovered alcoholics say belonging to an AA group saw them through the recovery journey.
There are more than 50,000 AA groups in America alone and over 2 million members in the world.
What The AA Meeting Entails
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. 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. Sharing a common experience of being alcoholics is what makes AA successful in its objective and mission.
All attendees of the group will be welcomed with open arms during an AA meeting. The best way to recover is through opening up about your journey but it is not mandatory to speak in the meetings. AA realises that there are people who feel uncomfortable when sharing info about private matters during their first visit. During the meetings, the people present will openly discuss various issues about their lives and this helps many of them to find peace.
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What Are Closed And Open Meetings
Only the people that are struggling with alcohol addiction are the ones allowed to attend the closed meetings in AA.
The family and people close to the recovering alcoholic are allowed to attend the open meetings. 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. For some people, it is preferable to separate their normal lives from their recovery. These meetings can provide alcoholics the support needed by their loved ones and many are known to gain from this benefit.
AA 12 Steps
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. The member needs to be comfortable with every step before they can move to the next stage.
Admitting that you have a problem and accepting that you need assistance is the first step. 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.
Common Reasons For Not Attending AA
Most people are not comfortable with attending a meeting with AA and therefore, come up with reasons not to attend. Most of the times, people avoid these meetings because
- They are not convinced the meetings can help them
- They fear running into a person who knows them
- They haven't seen their alcoholism as a problem yet
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. You will definitely overcome your addiction to alcohol when you commit yourself to attending these AA meetings without missing.
How To Find An Alcoholic Anonymous Group
No matter where you live, there certainly is an AA group nearby. Most of such groups meet on an ongoing basis, so you needn't wait long for the nearest meeting. 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. If you're looking for an AA group, we can assist you to find one just contact 0800 772 3971.