Continuously providing help and support to alcoholic addicted persons for 80 years is what Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) does best. Alcoholics Anonymous was started in 1935 by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson who were both recovering addicts as a fellowship with the aim of encouraging other alcoholics on the path to recovery to stay 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. 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.
In the country, there are currently 50000 people enrolled in the AA and the number stands at 2 million across the world.
It is always quite challenging the first time you go for the meeting if you are not aware of what goes on there. 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. It must be understood that the organisation was founded by recovering alcoholics, and the model has served the community well even to this day. 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.
You can always expect a warm welcome when you attend the sessions. Although there is no requirement to contribute, this is always encouraged. AA has the understanding that a number of people cannot be comfortable with sharing their intimate details during the initial visits to the organisation. In the course of time, most of the attendees realise great healing power of the open honest debating at these meetings.
Only recovering alcoholics or those trying to get on the path to recovery are allowed to attend closed AA meetings.
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. There those who need family and friends to be there when they attend the meetings.
The 12 steps which originated from Alcoholics Anonymous are presently the standards which are applied by all addiction recovery groups. It involves following one stage t the next throughout the whole recovery process. The member needs to be comfortable with every step before they can move to the next stage.
One starts with acknowledging they are having a problem and they cannot solve it on their own. Making yourself a promise that you'll recovery from the addiction, accepting your mistakes and the wrongs you have done to others are some of the stages that you must go through in the process. More on the 12 steps can be found here
Some people do not want to attend the gatherings because of excuses. Most excuses people give include:
It is important at this stage to focus on the fact that you have genuine reasons for having considered going to the meetings in the first place even if the other reasons are weighing heavily on you.
At the end of the day, if you believe there's a problem with your drinking, you are right. Alcoholism can cause you many years of misery and in the long run you'll realise just how much attending these meetings may save you from.
Regardless of where you are living you will not have any difficulties in finding an AA group within the locality. There is usually a schedule of meetings for each group; it is best to join as soon as you can. 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 246 1509.