The first step in determining if attending AA meetings is for you is to answer some questions about yourself honestly. Have you ever tried unsuccessfully to give up drinking? Were you ever unable to remember what you did while drinking? Your honest answers may guide you to seek out information about AA meetings. The premise for anyone who attends AA meetings or seeks the help of those attending AA meetings is that they cannot control their drinking by their own willpower.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a group of people who meet together with a shared understanding of their inability to control their drinking. In the AA meetings they acknowledge their lives have become unmanageable due to their drinking. In the AA meetings they share their experience, strength and hope as they discover how to live a sober life. The formula for AA meetings is based on a 12-step program, which in the first step acknowledges that your life has become unmanageable and that you are powerless over alcohol.
AA meetings are spiritual in nature and acknowledge that only with the help of a Higher Power will you be able to achieve sobriety and a life that is both manageable and serene. There is no religious affiliation, however, in AA meetings. Your Higher Power is one of your own understandings as he chooses to reveal himself through the group conscience and to you personally as you work your steps.
It is also advisable to have a sponsor who is mature and has been with the program for a number of years. This person can prove invaluable as you go through each step. Your sponsor should be someone with whom you can discuss your thoughts, ask your questions and confess your past failures, which can sometimes feel overwhelming and cause you to feel stuck. Your sponsor will not condemn you or necessarily tell you what to do about any given situation, but will gently, yet firmly, guide you in discovering your own truth about your problems and possible solutions to them.
Attending 90 AA meetings in 90 days is a guideline to get a jumpstart on your path to sobriety. AA meetings can be found throughout this country and the world. An internet search or a phone call to your local AA chapter will help you locate meetings close to where you live. After being in the program for only a short time, you will realize that attending AA meetings when you have the urge to drink can mean the difference between relapse and sticking with your program.
AA meetings are housed in a variety of locations, from churches, community centers or on the internet. AA meetings can be mixed gender, male or female only, smoking or non-smoking. AA meetings may be closed, for members only, or open, where anyone seeking a greater understanding of the program may attend. AA meetings may choose to have a guest speaker for the evening or they may choose to read a book together as a group. Sometimes AA meetings will have a different leader for each meeting who chooses a topic of interest in which everyone can participate by sharing their own views.