The Founding Of Alcoholics Anonymous
Recovering alcoholics have benefitted from the support provided by Alcoholics Anonymous for many 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 steps developed by the pair are still intact while many former alcoholics have credited the group for the help they received during their recovery.
There are over 50,000 recovering alcoholics that are part of Alcoholics Anonymous group in the country and over 2 million around the globe.
What You Will Find At An AA Meeting
It is always quite challenging the first time you go for the meeting if you are not aware of what goes on there. Opening up about your condition to people that you have just met is always the hard part for the new members. The great thing is those in the room understand you completely and feel what you are feeling. The fact that the group was started by people that were former alcoholics shows that it can really help you. Everybody in the AA programs even those running them has gone through the program at some point, so they empathize with members.
All attendees of the group will be welcomed with open arms during an AA meeting. New attendees are encouraged to join the discussion, but it is not required. The meeting participants know from experience that a new member may not find talking about themselves readily at first. 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.
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Closed Vs Open Gatherings
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. However, some people recover faster when their families and friends are near them.
12 Stages Of Recovery
The 12 steps originated in Alcoholics Anonymous, have become the standard for almost all addiction recovery groups. Despite the steps being presented in linear fashion participants are known to view them as an ongoing circle. 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. 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.
Objections To AA
It is normal for a person to try and find reasons not to attend the meetings especially if they don't feel comfortable yet. The resistance people have towards attending AA include
- They don't see if they'll get the assistance they need
- They do not want to risk meeting someone they know
- They do not accept they have a problem
These excuses may seem insurmountable, but the most important thing is to keep your eyes on what you want to achieve.
If you think you need help, most likely you do. Alcoholism can cause you many years of misery and in the long run you'll realise just how much attending these meetings may save you from.
Identifying An Alcoholics Anonymous Group
No matter where you live, there certainly is an AA group nearby. It's easy to attend these meetings because the groups tend to meet up regularly. 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. Contact us on 0800 246 1509 today and we'll help you find an AA group that will suit you best.