Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings can be part of a healthy recovery program. Typically, recovering addicts attend these meetings once they have completed an inpatient treatment program or once they begin an outpatient program. The benefits of AA are enhanced when receiving counseling and therapy sessions.
Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of being in AA. Maybe they’ve heard stories of AA not working, or perhaps the only interactions they’ve had is through movies and TV. If you’re one of these people, we’d like to take a few minutes to dispel the stereotypes and share five things that you can learn from attending AA meetings. Let’s dig in!
1. AA is Everywhere
It’s not difficult to find an AA meeting regardless of where you live. Start by searching online for “AA meetings near me.” Depending on your settings, the search engine will return localized results. You can also visit AA.org to find meetings near you. And, if you cannot attend a meeting in person for whatever reason, AA offers online support groups. Find yours at AA-intergroup.org.
If you live near a large city, you can potentially have a dozen or more meetings you can attend. Each one is independently run, too, so you can find a group that works for you. For people who are serious about quitting drinking, it’s reassuring to know that AA groups are literally everywhere.
2. You are Not Alone
AA is a humbling reminder that you are not alone. Addiction is an isolating disease, so it’s easy to feel abandoned. But, there are others out there who are fighting the same battles. You might feel like an outsider in your family or group of friends, but you will not feel that way at AA. Your group members will be supportive, compassionate and proud of your accomplishments.
3. You Can Choose a Different Group
Each AA meeting is independently run, which means each one is unique. If you don’t like the current meeting that you attended, try a different one! You might find that you enjoy another group more because of the people in it, the person leading it or the way the meeting is run. Sometimes, it does take a few weeks to settle in with a particular group, so be patient.
4. Past Mistakes Don’t Define You
Your past experiences shape who you are as a person, but they don’t have to define you. This is something that you will learn about in AA as other members share their stories. Some of these people will have their acts together to the point where you wouldn’t know they struggled with addiction! Just as they’ve moved past their mistakes, so can you.
5. Giving Back Feels Great
One of the great features about AA is that it forces you to take a look at yourself, the mistakes you’ve made and the people you’ve hurt while removing the guilt associated with it. By working through the steps, you can forgive yourself, make amends with others and move forward in your life.
Not every relationship will be repaired, but there are ways to ease the hurt. One of them is by giving back, something you can do once you are stronger. You might choose to volunteer at a local shelter or donate time to helping seniors. You may even end up sponsoring someone else one day! The key is to serve others and find your purpose in life now that alcohol is not in it.
AA can be a beneficial part of recovery. By going through the steps, you discover more about yourself and how to lead a life of purpose. To start your inpatient or outpatient recovery program, call The River Source today.