Many people that were alcoholics were able to get over the condition through the help of the groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. 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 journey to recovery is aided by the 12 stages that guide the operations of AA. 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.
There are more than 50,000 AA groups in America alone and over 2 million members in the world.
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. 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. 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. Every individual within AA has been through a problem before and has cultivated a unique feeling of community and understanding among recovering alcoholics.
You can always expect a warm welcome when you attend the sessions. 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. 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 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. A certain share of the people attending these meetings prefer to keep their therapy separated from the rest of their lives. Other people appreciate the support provided by their loved ones during these meetings.
These 12 Steps have been the backbone of the AA meetings. The steps are meant to be followed as a cycle although they are listed linearly. Some of the steps mentioned could be revisited until the recovering alcoholic is comfortable during 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. Most of the times, people avoid these meetings because:
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.
The bottom line out here is that if you feel there is a problem you are probably 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.
There is always an AA group not too far from where you are. Most groups have regular meetings, and you can definitely visit one sooner rather than later. 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.