Many people that were alcoholics were able to get over the condition through the help of the groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. 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. The 12 Steps are still followed, and many recovered alcoholics say belonging to an AA group saw them through the recovery journey.
Today, Alcoholics Anonymous has more than 2,000,000 active members all over the world and more than 50 thousand of support groups countrywide.
What Happens At An Aa Meeting
Arriving at the decision to go to an AA meeting can be scary and very uncomfortable, especially for people who don't realise what to expect from it. 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. The great thing is those in the room understand you completely and feel what you are feeling. The fact that the group was started by people that were former alcoholics shows that it can really help you. Everybody who is involved in AA activity has been its attendee before, which creates a unique feeling of solidarity and mutual understanding among the addicts.
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. Not everyone will be open to exposing their private experiences at first and everyone will understand this. After the members has started sharing their experience with others, they'll start seeing some positive changes in their lives.
Only recovering alcoholics or those trying to get on the path to recovery are allowed to attend closed AA meetings.
Open meetings welcome also spouses, friends, and family members of the addicts. The beauty with AA is that they allow you to choose any meeting you wish to attend. This is mainly because some people do not want to involve their families and friends in their struggle with alcoholism and the recovery process. There those who need family and friends to be there when they attend the meetings.
12 Stages Of Recovery
The 12 steps originated in Alcoholics Anonymous, have become the standard for almost 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. Subsequently, the steps include making decisions to quit, accepting yourselves and others the wrongs which may have been committed, making amends for the wrongdoings along with making a commitment to improve continually. Learn more about the twelve steps here.
Withdrawal symptoms and other uncomfortable things one goes through as they try to quit alcohol abuse discourage many from attending the AA meetings. Most excuses people give include:
They are not convinced it will work for them
They are afraid of confronting someone they know
They haven't yet accepted they are addicts and need help
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 suspect that the problem exists, you're probably right. 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.
Aa Groups 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. Choose the kind of a meeting you want to attend - a closed or open one - and in what area, and you will be able to find a group online using our meeting finder. Contact us on 0800 772 3971 today and we'll help you find an AA group that will suit you best.