How to Find Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Meetings
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who share the desire to stop drinking alcohol. AA suggests members completely abstain from alcohol, attend regularly scheduled AA meetings, and follow the 12 Step program to support each others common purpose; to help members "stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety." The Founders of AA created the twelve-step model used by all other Anonymous Recovery groups like Al-Anon, a 12 Step Recovery support group for friends and family members of alcoholics; If you're suffering from the disease of Alcoholism and your life is unmanageable, please contact the AA Help Line to find a meeting in your area and use InTheRooms.com as your safety net 24/7/365.
IS A.A. FOR YOU?
It's a personal choice if you want to try A.A. and think it can help. We who are in A.A. came because we finally surrendered to the fact that we cannot control our drinking. We still hated to admit that we could never drink safely like "normal people" Then we heard from other A.A. members that we were sick, that we had the disease of Alcoholism, not a moral deficiency . We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt, shame, loneliness and hopelessness that we did.
We made a decision to confront what alcohol has done to us. Here are some of the questions we tried to answer honestly. Click here to take the test. If we answered YES to four or more questions, we had a drinking problem and were most likely an alcoholic. See how you do. Remember, there is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a drinking problem and need to do something about it.
Anyone, including non-alcoholics, are allowed to attend "open" AA meetings, while "closed" meetings are reserved to those who attend for their personal drinking problems. There are many different kinds of AA groups. There groups specifically for men and women, men's groups, women's groups , groups that cater to the GLBT community, Atheist & Agnostic groups and much more.. In general, however, anyone is welcome at these specialized meetings. Most AA meetings begin with fellowshipping and socializing before the meeting. Meeting formats vary, for example, there are beginners meetings, speaker meetings, open discussion meetings, step and traditions meetings just to name a few.
In a typical meeting, the chairperson starts by calling the meeting to order and the serenity prayer, meditation, and/or period of silence (practice varies by meeting). Then, a section from the book Alcoholics Anonymous may be read aloud, usually the beginning of Chapter Five, entitled "How It Works". Announcements from the chairperson and group members follow. Many groups celebrate newcomers, visitors, and sobriety anniversaries with rounds of applause. Following announcements, donations are collected, usually by passing a basket around the room. There is no requirement to make a donation. Most members contribute a small amount, often just a dollar or two. The making of large donations (more than $3000) is actively discouraged in AA. Depending on the type of meeting, a talk by a speaker relating their personal experience with alcoholism and AA or a discussion session with topics chosen by the chairperson, the speaker, or the attendees follows. The "no crosstalk" suggestions, where responding to another member's comments is discouraged, is a hallmark of AA meetings. In many meetings, in order to encourage identification, members confine their comments to their alcoholic drinking and recovery, following the guidelines of "what we were like, what happened and what we are like now". This format is intended to avoid distracting the group from its primary purpose. After the discussion period, the meeting is typically ended with a prayer, usually the Serenity Prayer or often in the US, the Lord's Prayer. These ending prayers are sometimes undertaken by the entire group forming a circle and holding hands. More socializing typically follows the close of the formal meeting, and it is common for members to gather at a nearby coffee shop or restaurant. Other meeting formats also exist where specific AA related topics are discussed in more detail. A common example is a Step Study meeting where one or more of the 12 steps are discussed at length.
The AA Preamble
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
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