Alcoholics Anonymous And The Beginning
Recovering alcoholics have benefitted from the support provided by Alcoholics Anonymous for many years. The group was founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith who are both recovering alcoholics in 1935, it began as a community-based fellowship in order to encourage sobriety in many recovering alcoholics. 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.
In the country, there are currently 50000 people enrolled in the AA and the number stands at 2 million across the world.
What To Expect From AA
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. 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. 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. 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. Although there is no requirement to contribute, this is always encouraged. AA has the understanding that a number of people cannot be comfortable with sharing their intimate details during the initial visits to the organisation. 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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Difference Between Closed And Open Meetings
Closed AA meeting is open only for people who are recovering alcohol addicts or the people who are interested in knowing more about how to overcome their addiction.
On the other hand, friends, spouses and family members are welcome to attend open meetings. 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. For others, the love and support of friends and family members during meetings is important.
AA 12 Steps
The 12 steps which originated from Alcoholics Anonymous are presently the standards which are applied by all addiction recovery groups. The steps are meant to be followed as a cycle although they are listed linearly. 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. Further steps include the following making a firm decision to quit; admitting all your wrongs to yourself and others; making amends for all wrongdoings; and commitment to permanent improvement. You can read more about the 12 steps here.
Reasons For Not Going To AA Meetings
Some people do not want to attend the gatherings because of excuses. Most of the times, people avoid these meetings because
- They doubt that attending the meeting will help
- They do not want to risk meeting 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 think you need help, most likely you do. Attending a meeting can possibly save you from years of heartache caused by your alcoholism it can in no way be harmful.
Identifying An Alcoholics Anonymous Group
The AA groups are widespread everywhere and you will definitely find one near you. There is usually a schedule of meetings for each group; it is best to join as soon as you can. Our meeting finder can help you to locate a group near you depending on whether you're looking for an open or closed meeting. If you're looking for an AA group, we can assist you to find one just contact 0800 246 1509.