Continuously providing help and support to alcoholic addicted persons for 80 years is what Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) does best. 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 two came up with what is known as the 12 Steps to guide the meetings which later gave birth to the "12 traditions" that set out the reason for the AA's existence. The original 12 steps are still intact; besides, many former alcohol addicts contribute to the group by helping the members make steps to recovery.
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 The Aa Meeting Entails
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. The idea of going to a room full of people you don't know you are going through a problem and are seeking help can be intimidating. 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. 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.
You can always expect a warm welcome when you attend the sessions. While a discussion among new attendees is certainly encouraged it is not essential. AA has the understanding that a number of people cannot be comfortable with sharing their intimate details during the initial visits to the organisation. As time passes by most attendees become comfortable with the great healing and therapy, they receive through the open and honest discussions which are provided by these meetings.
A closed AA meeting is attended only by recovering alcoholic addicts or those seeking to know how to go about kicking the habit.
Open meetings, on the other hand, admit family and friends of the alcoholic members. 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. There those who need family and friends to be there when they attend the meetings.
12 Stages Of Recovery
The 12 steps which originated from Alcoholics Anonymous are presently the standards which are applied by all addiction recovery groups. These steps are written one after another, but group members realise that in fact they go in a circle. Some of the steps mentioned could be revisited until the recovering alcoholic is comfortable during that stage of their recovery process.
The initial step requires an alcoholic to admit that he or she has a problem and needs help to overcome the same. 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. You can read more about the 12 steps here.
Reasons For Not Going To Aa Meetings
Withdrawal symptoms and other uncomfortable things one goes through as they try to quit alcohol abuse discourage many from attending the AA meetings. Most of the times, people avoid these meetings because:
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
Knowing the main objective of attending the meeting will help you overcome some of these excuses and recover from your addiction.
If you suspect that the problem exists, you're probably right. Attending a meeting can possibly save you from years of heartache caused by your alcoholism it can in no way be harmful.
Looking For An Alcoholics Anonymous Group
There is always an AA group not too far from where you are. The meetings held many times so you can catch the next one soon. 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. Please contact 0800 772 3971 today so we can help you find a reliable AA group to help you today.