The Founding Of Alcoholics Anonymous
The community of Alcoholics Anonymous has been providing necessary support and healing to recovering alcoholics for nearly 80 years. 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 original 12 steps are still intact; besides, many former alcohol addicts contribute to the group by helping the members make steps to recovery.
Presently, Alcoholics Anonymous can boast of more than 2 million active members throughout the world and more than 50,000 groups nationwide.
What To Expect From AA
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. The fact that the group was started by people that were former alcoholics shows that it can really help you. Every individual within AA has been through a problem before and has cultivated a unique feeling of community and understanding among recovering alcoholics.
All attendees of the group will be welcomed with open arms during an AA meeting. Although there is no requirement to contribute, this is always encouraged. 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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Closed Vs Open Gatherings
Only the people that are struggling with alcohol addiction are the ones allowed to attend the closed meetings in AA.
Partners, family and pals are allowed to attend open meetings. Depending on your comfort level, you can choose to either attend the open or closed meetings. Some individuals want to keep these meetings as a separate part from the other activities. Other people appreciate the support provided by their loved ones during these meetings.
The 12 Stages
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. A patient may repeat a particular step until they are certified with the results.
Accepting the fact that you are suffering from alcoholism is usually the first stage you go through. Making yourself a promise that you'll recovery from the addiction, accepting your mistakes and the wrongs you have done to others are some of the stages that you must go through in the process. You can read more about the 12 steps here.
Reasons For Not Going To AA Meetings
It is normal for a person to try and find reasons not to attend the meetings especially if they don't feel comfortable yet. Most excuses people give include
- They doubt that attending the meeting will help
- The guilt of meeting familiar faces
- They haven't yet accepted they are addicts and need help
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. Attending a meeting may end up saving you a lifetime of pain and destruction brought about by the addiction to alcohol.
Identifying An Alcoholics Anonymous Group
Regardless of where you are living you will not have any difficulties in finding an AA group within the locality. Most groups have regular meetings, and you can definitely visit one sooner rather than later. You should make a decision about whether you want to attend an open or closed meeting and also choose the location you have in mind, and you will definitely find one online through our meeting finder. Let us provide you the help to find an AA group today please contact 0800 246 1509.