Alcoholic Anonymous meetings are the most common programs related to helping people with chemical addiction. These meetings which are commonly referred to as AA meetings are designed with the aim of helping people who are struggling with alcoholism but are willing to quit and those who are in the process of quitting. Recovering from addiction is a tough journey but AA applies a straightforward and fair process that will help all participants recover from their addictions.
How AA Meetings Work
If you are newly sober, you may feel intimidated to join a support group as you don’t know what usually happens in those meetings. Your recovery expert will recommend that you look for such a group and start attending the meetings. Deep down, you know that you need to hinder to his words but you don’t know where to begin. Well, for starters, you need to understand that AA self-help groups are highly non-judgmental and welcoming with everyone in the groups willing to help and encourage each other to overcome addiction.
The people in the groups are usually going through recovery as well and so they understand what you are going through. When gathering around, you will note that they like sharing smiles and laughter and will greet you on your first meeting as a way of welcoming you to the group. The laughter they share is an indication of their relation to each other and also an appreciation to the new members who have realized and abandoned their destructive behaviors.
The meetings usually start with sharing a cup of coffee, after which the group leader calls the meeting to order. The group members can then recite a prayer or a saying which is not mandatory and hence you can wait until you get enough confidence to participate. The group leader then welcomes anyone who is new to the group. If you are new but have been sober for over thirty days, you are welcomed with a hearty hug from other members. In case you were attending but relapsed along the way, you are given a chip with the statement “keep coming back.” After that, the meeting items commences and attendees are given an opportunity to share their stories.
It may take time but finally, you will get used to the meetings’ procedure. Also, you can start by attending several different AA meetings until you find the one you are most comfortable with. Also, no one will ever force you to open up when you are not ready. To help you feel comfortable at the meetings, you should try doing the following:
- Don’t beat yourself with engaging in a small talk with the attendees. However, it is always good to acknowledge those who welcome you with a hello or a smile.
- It possible for your mind to wander to other things when the meeting is ongoing. Try your best to fully concentrate.
- Ever self-help group has rules which should be respected. The most important is that what is shared in the group remain within to maintain anonymity.
- While joining a meeting group, be driven by the desire to find support and also offer yours to others within the group.
- Look for a sponsor who will guide and assist you through the journey to sobriety
- After the first meeting, ensure you keep coming back and finally, your persistence will start bearing fruits.
Benefits of Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
Everyone attending AA meetings is seeking recovery from addiction. When sharing your personal experience with addiction, you should feel free knowing that everyone in the group has a share of their stories to tell. In addition, there is no mistake that is bigger than the other and especially if it resulted from addiction. The meetings hence give you an opportunity to open up your darkest secrets without the fear of having fingers pointing at you.
The meeting is held in the highly structured environment and with a set timetable that should be strictly followed. In addition, the attendees are prohibited from sharing what happens in the meetings with members outside the group. The fact that everyone shares their experiences makes it easy for everyone to respect each other and hence avoid disclosing about the meetings.
Offers you help when you need it
The recovery process is not an easy one and sometimes the cravings can be too strong to a point of tempting you to relapse. However, attending the meetings and hearing other people share their story gives you the courage to keep moving.
Some of the people in the group will act as your encouragement to stay on the path to sobriety. On the other hand, interacting with members who had relapsed and then found their way back acts as a reminder of how bad using substance can get.
Get the opportunity to learn
During the meetings, you are able to learn about life hacks on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to sobriety. Although what works for another person might not work for you, there are high chances that you will learn something from your teammates. In addition, you also get an opportunity to share with the members about discoveries you have made when seeking ways to help you sober up.
Alcoholic Anonymous meetings are available for free
AA meetings are easy to find since f you cannot find within your locality, you can always depend on the internet. Whether you are attending your meetings physically or virtually, the rules apply and the benefits are similar. Most importantly, these meetings are free since not everyone who is willing to recover from addiction can afford a private therapist.
If you are going through alcohol addiction recovery, do not deal with the withdrawal symptoms alone. Consider attending alcoholic anonymous meetings and you will get an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others. As you continue attending and adhere to the rules, your chances or relapsing will be minimal and within no time, you will look forward to attending the meetings. By the time you have fully sobered up, your life will have changed for the better.