AA Meetings

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How AA Works Happy Joyous Free

How Alcoholics Anonymous Works

Despite being around for over 80 years, there is still a certain aura of mystery surrounding Alcoholics Anonymous. Some people say it is a miracle program that saved their lives, while others call it a cult.

The truth is, it is neither. Alcoholics Anonymous is a structured program that aims to facilitate recovery by providing a solid structure for a fulfilling spiritual life, to help addicts overcome their alcoholism.

How does it work? Members regularly attend meetings and find a sponsor. The support of these individuals is crucial to a successful recovery. They then work the 12-steps outline in AA literature carefully and methodically. If members genuinely want to quit drinking and follow the steps, they usually able to stay dry and establish a more fulfilling life in the long run.

The AA Principles

The 12 Spiritual Principles (Virtues) of AA & What They Mean

The 12-steps are the cornerstone of a popular approach to treating addiction, first popularized decades ago by Alcoholics Anonymous. The steps and the 12-step process more generally have a spiritual component.

However, the spiritual components of each step are not always apparent. In addition, the wording behind the steps often stresses practical concerns over spiritual ones.

Bill W., one of the two founders of AA, stressed the spiritual side of the program and wished to make that element more explicit. The 12 step program ultimately aims to replace destructive tendencies and addiction with a healthier and more sustainable way of life. Therefore, he envisioned a spiritual program that would be incorporated into all facets of day-to-day life.

Alcohol Sadness

5 Ways Alcoholics Anonymous Helps

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship and organization that is known worldwide. It is available for men, women, and teenagers who struggle with alcoholism. Whether someone abuses alcohol or admits to having a problem with alcohol, Alcoholics Anonymous can help them. The meetings are not professional. They provide a supportive environment for anyone who needs help with overcoming their alcohol abuse or alcohol problem.

Hot to Find an AA Meeting

How to Find Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings Near You

There are Alcoholics Anonymous meetings all around the world. Just about every country has chapters, and most big cities have multiple meetings every day. Meetings types vary. Some are open to the public, while others are closed and designed to protect anonymity. There are meetings designed exclusively for men or women and co-ed meetings as well. Therefore, every member of the fellowship should be able to find the right arrangement for them.

Regional Service Centers

Many cities and counties have service centers dedicated to local AA chapters. Many of them operate hotlines, sometimes 24-hour ones, which you can contact to find a meeting nearby.

Volunteer members of the fellowship answer the hotlines and are eager to help newcomers. They will tell you which meetings are currently available and open. They can also help newcomers find an individual to meet with them and prepare them for the first meeting.

Local AA directories list all of the meetings in their areas. However, the guides are often closed to non-members.

12 step AA meeting concept

Different Types of AA Meetings – Meeting Types Explained

When you imagine going to AA meetings, you may think of a fairly simple set up. People introducing themselves as alcoholics and telling their stories. Indeed, the official purpose of AA meetings is for members to “share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.” Almost all meetings have certain characteristics in common. The serenity prayer starts the proceedings. Some AA material is read and people share. Finally, there is almost always coffee involved!

However, aside from these common characteristics, meetings can differ greatly. Indeed, as the fellowship has grown and evolved, different types of meetings have been pioneered to suit its growing needs. Here are the main types of meetings currently open to attendance.

What Are 12 Step Meeting Like

What Are 12 Step Meeting Like? See What A Beginner Can Expect

Attending your first meeting can be an unnerving experience for anyone. Very often you will be facing a personal crisis that led you to seek help. You may be wondering: how did I get here? Where did my life wrong? You may be concerned that the people around you are losers or that you may be joining some kind of cult.

On a more pragmatic level, you may be concerned that you will have to talk. In your imagination you probably see yourself forced to share harrowing details of your addiction and hitting rock bottom with a group of strangers. You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect.

You may be concerned that you will run into the people you meet. At this early stage, revealing your addiction to people you know seems like a bit much! Worry not. In the first place, it is statistically unlikely that this will occur, especially if you live in a big city. More importantly, other members are there for the same reason as you. The Anonymous element of the 12-step fellowships is taken very seriously. People in the group, whether you know them or now, will not disclose your identity to outsiders.

The truth is, attending your first meeting will be less stressful than you think. Most members of your recovery group are interested in making you feel comfortable enough to return. They remember the anxieties associated with their first meeting and know that giving you some space to find yourself within the program is essential to your comfort.

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