The community of Alcoholics Anonymous has been providing great support and healing for recovering alcoholics for nearly 80 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. 12 steps were developed by the pair to go on the meetings of AA. They later also introduced the 12 traditions further to help define the purpose within the group. 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.
In the country, there are currently 50000 people enrolled in the AA and the number stands at 2 million across the world.
What To Expect From Aa
It is always quite challenging the first time you go for the meeting if you are not aware of what goes on there. This is to be expected because the meetings involve telling people whom you've probably never met that you're an addict and that you need assistance. Fortunately, every participant within AA is fully aware about how the other feels. The original model is still in use today and it helps that the organisation was started by recovering alcoholics who understood the challenge. 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. They are encouraged to join the conversations though no one will force them. This is because it takes time for one to build trust so they can open up to strangers. 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.
The family and people close to the recovering alcoholic are allowed to attend the open meetings. You may choose the type of meeting you feel comfortable attending. Some people have shown a marked preference to keep their recovery segregated from the rest of their lives. For others, the love and support of friends and family members during meetings is important.
12 Stages Of Recovery
The 12 steps which originated from Alcoholics Anonymous are presently the standards which are applied by all addiction recovery groups. Though steps are taught to one leading to the next (linear), the members experience them as a circle of events. Steps may be revisited several times until the member comes to grips with that stage of their recovery process.
Accepting the fact that you are suffering from alcoholism is usually the first stage you go through. 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. More on the 12 steps can be found here
Most people are not comfortable with attending a meeting with AA and therefore, come up with reasons not to attend. Some of the common oppositions which people have in mind are:
They are not convinced it will work for them
They do not want to risk meeting someone they know
They are not certain whether they have a problem
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.
If you think you need help, most likely you do. 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.
Finding An Alcoholics Anonymous Group Near You
No matter where you live, there certainly is an AA group nearby. There is usually a schedule of meetings for each group; it is best to join as soon as you can. Our meeting finder can help you to locate a group near you depending on whether you're looking for an open or closed meeting. If you're looking for an AA group, we can assist you to find one just contact 0800 772 3971.