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 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. 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 12 Steps are still followed, and many recovered alcoholics say belonging to an AA group saw them through the recovery journey.
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. 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. AA was founded by recovering alcohol addicts and its model has remained till today. 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. They are encouraged to join the conversations though no one will force them. 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. Depending on your comfort level, you can choose to either attend the open or closed meetings. This is mainly because some people do not want to involve their families and friends in their struggle with alcoholism and the recovery process. However, some people recover faster when their families and friends are near them.
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. A patient may repeat a particular step until they are certified with the results.
One starts with acknowledging they are having a problem and they cannot solve it on their own. 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. To find out more about the 12 steps, go here.
Since attending AA meetings may bring discomfort, so many people will find reasons not to attend such meetings. The resistance people have towards attending AA include:
These excuses may seem insurmountable, but the most important thing is to keep your eyes on what you want to achieve.
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.
There is always an AA group not too far from where you are. 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. If you're looking for an AA group, we can assist you to find one just contact 0800 246 1509.