The Start Of Alcoholics Anonymous
Recovering alcoholics have benefitted from the support provided by Alcoholics Anonymous for many years. 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.
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
For first timers, getting the courage to go to an AA meeting may pose a challenge. It requires the individual to venture out of his or her comfort zone and admit before a room full of strangers that they have a problem and need some assistance to get better. Fortunately, every participant within AA is fully aware about how the other feels. 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.
All attendees of the group will be welcomed with open arms during an AA meeting. While a discussion among new attendees is certainly encouraged it is not essential. This is because it takes time for one to build trust so they can open up to strangers. 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 recovering alcoholics or those trying to get on the path to recovery are allowed to attend closed AA meetings.
Open meetings, on the other hand, admit family and friends of the alcoholic members. You may choose the type of meeting you feel comfortable attending. A certain share of the people attending these meetings prefer to keep their therapy separated from the rest of their lives. These meetings can provide alcoholics the support needed by their loved ones and many are known to gain from this benefit.
The 12 Steps Of AA
Alcoholics Anonymous is the first group that came up with the 12 stages of achieving addiction recovery which is currently being used by other communities. Though steps are taught to one leading to the next (linear), the members experience them as a circle of events. 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. Following steps are consciously deciding you want to stop the habit; accepting your wrongs and those others did to you; correcting your mistakes; committing to keep on the road to recovery. To find out more about the 12 steps, go here.
Objections To AA
Some people do not want to attend the gatherings because of excuses. Some of the common oppositions which people have in mind are
- They don't see if they'll get the assistance they need
- The guilt of meeting familiar faces
- They haven't seen their alcoholism as a problem yet
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. 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
There is always an AA group close to where you live. It's easy to attend these meetings because the groups tend to meet up regularly. Our meeting finder can help you to locate a group near you depending on whether you're looking for an open or closed meeting. Contact us on 0800 772 3971 today and we'll help you find an AA group that will suit you best.