Lets agree that finding the right AA meeting in your area, can be a daunting task.
Well here in this post we would like to help give you some key factors to consider when deciding on the right meeting for you.
We Will Cover:
How To Find Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings In your region
Each day thousands of people are diagnosed with alcohol-related problems. Thousands more die from these ailments. Well, they don't have to. At Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in your area, a lot of alcohol addicts find all the help they need to get rid of their addiction through support and self-empowerment from a group of people who were once; or still are but are making it through, alcohol addiction. Are you an addict or are suffering from an alcohol-related ailment? Fortunately for you, this post covers ways you can get help from the AA meetings and what to expect in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a compulsive and uncontrollable desire to consume alcoholic beverages which usually leads to the destruction of the user's health, relationships, and socialism status. Medically it's considered a disease or as specified in the medical field, an addictive illness.
The AA meetings try to help its members to overcome the urges of the addictive drink and create for them a satisfying way of leading their lives without alcohol.
Are you an alcoholic?
This might be the question you have been asking yourself for quite some time now. The answer is a conscience one that only you can give. If you are a casual drinker who drinks more than you should and always crave to drink, or are desperately trying to control your drinking habits but can't, then you may be an alcoholic. Scores of alcohol users deny the fact that they may need help to overcome their addiction and end up deeper in the caustic belly of alcoholism.
At AA, the choice to stop the regular drinking is always yours, and it's not up to anyone else to decide for you. Once you've made up your mind and are ready to take a different road that's alcohol-free, the doors at AA are always open for you.
Why Alcohol Anonymous Meetings in your area.
Alcohol Anonymous is a winning fellowship of people, both men and women, who've lost the battle against alcohol which has led them to all kinds of trouble, but now are attempting: some with success, to create a better way of living their lives without using alcohol. AA meetings boast of having made good in assisting many alcoholics. There is a great tool here that helps you search for local AA meetings.
Types of AA Meetings.
There are mainly two types of AA meetings: open meetings and closed meetings.
As their name suggests, these meetings are open to alcoholics and anybody else who would like to attend them. Family, friends, observers and even students from various institutions can are allowed to be in them.
These are specially meant for those who are alcoholics or those who are suspicious of their drinking habits. The closed meetings are always the best choice for newcomers especially those not sure whether they are addicts. Now that you understand the different types of AA meetings lets look at some of the activities that take place in the various gatherings.
What to Expect in an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting in your area.
Let's admit it. No one walks into an AA meeting feeling happy, jubilant and victorious. The feeling of loss and defeat to one's drinking doesn't really warm the soul. But, accepting to take the first step to attending an AA meeting is the gateway to getting that victory. The first session is always not easy for a newcomer but not to fuss. This post will prepare you on some of the things that take place or what you ought to expect in your first AA meeting.
Here is a great example of the types of supportive stories you will hear when attending an AA meeting.
The 12 Steps and 12 Traditional Reading.
The AA meetings usually start with the reading of twelve steps to recovery commonly called the 12 steps 12 traditions. These help the members feel like part of the group and to see that there is a higher power in control.
The leader of the meeting makes general announcements and brief comments. Then he/she introduces the topic of the day and gives a brief statement and then recognises those willing to share through the raising of hands.
Those who are recognised and allowed to share start by first introducing themselves. They then participate usually by referring to the topic that has been mentioned. Following the issue that has been given by the leader is not mandatory. The speakers are still free to change the subject, especially if they are having a hard time or are seriously thinking about drinking.
On other occasions, the discussion's allowed to go around the room giving all those who desire an opportunity to speak.
Some meetings involve or devote themselves to studying individual alcohol addiction books. These sessions typically include reading some portion or passage from the book which is usually done by the meeting leader or designated members. The discussion leader then invites the members to comment in turns on the reading and finally discuss on a general topic.
Here is a great list of recommended reading
Sometimes an entire meeting can be devoted to a speaker who's chosen in advance. He/she then tell their drinking and recovery story to the group. The speakers are usually selected from those with an extended period of sobriety generally a year or more.
You cannot be asked for any charges to become a member of AA, but during meetings, some collections are made to cover various expenses such as rent, and coffee. Donations are not fixed, members can contribute as much as they wish or want.
AA meetings are not religious and do not adhere to any religion. The meetings are spiritual in a way but do not ask anyone to follow any form of religious group. That is left for the individuals to decide.
The members, once in a while, break the ice in the room with humour as they share openly. The humour relieves any tension especially with the newcomers in the meeting.
As much as there's hysterical laughter in the AA meeting, sometimes there are moments of sadness and crying. As members narrate and relate to each other's story of struggles with alcohol cravings, a bond is created, and people are relieved of the pressures of addiction.
Keeping of Time.
The meetings start on time and wrap up in time. Members usually make sure to arrive and socialise before the meeting start. There is also time for small talk at the end of the meeting in small group conversations. As a newcomer, this might be an anxious time for you as you don't know anyone. On the contrary it's quite the opposite. In AA meetings, this is the moment members show support to newcomers by approaching and introducing themselves to them. Phone numbers are also exchanged at this time. Don't be surprised if the members invade your personal space by trying to hug you. This is just a way of letting you know that you are not alone and have people to talk to no matter what you're experiencing.
Alcohol recovery is not easy, and at AA, we understand what it's like to be an addict. Many habitual drinkers join us because they know it's possible to recover from regular drinking. Recovery is possible because we have done it and have a believe that you too can do it!