Alcoholics Anonymous Day 2021 is on Thursday, June 10, 2021: Experiences of Alcoholics Anonymous?
Thursday, June 10, 2021 is Alcoholics Anonymous Day 2021.
First of all, let me say that anyone is welcome to attend AA meetings. And for your friend to truly get a feel for what it is like, he should go....but beyond that, I have been attending AA meetings for about 2 months now. I don't go because I want to, or as the first step states "I have admitted that I am powerless over alchohol" I go for one reason and one reason alone: its court ordered. That being said, I'd like to share my experiences with you (and your friend). I can say that my first meetings were not court ordered, but I was going with a friend, about 7 or 8 years ago, because she had a very serious addiction, she was in a 60 hour/week outpatient program, and was required to attend a meeting every night. I simply provided transportation for her, in hopes that it would help. I found that the meetings were boring at best, but informational and sometimes even interesting, but at the time I didn't drink or use anything, not even in moderate amounts (my own use didn't start for another 3 years), I did however have a very strong tendancy (or addiction, if you will) to lying. I lied about everything, and I was damn good at it, I could convince someone that the sky was green, or that I was the CEO of the biggest company that ever existed. From a very young age I lied, (I remember my first real lie was in 3rd grade at the ripe old age of 7) now you're probably asking yourself what any of this has to do with AA meetings, but here's the answer....AA lives by its 12 steps, and anyone who takes the time to translate those 12 steps and figure out how they relate to thier own life, can actually use them to thier advantage. That first time around I went for about 6 monthes and in those 6 monthes I was truly able to help myself stop lying. Whats truly crazy about it, is that after I stopped going, I saw myself begin to tell lies again, of course they started out as "little white lies" but then progressed back to the full span of lying about everything (and on a side note, I immediately sought treatment in other forms, and have since then been an honest person). So now flash forward to the present time, about 2 years ago I got my second DUI in 13 monthes, and as part of my "punishment" i've been ordered to attend 2 AA meetings a week. I don't consider myself to have a serious drinking problem, but just a person with bad judgment who can't drive worth a shit once I've had even one....so, as part of this conquest to get my life together, I've gone into those AA meetings every Monday and Thursday with my head held high, trying to make the best of my time. Every meeting is a different experience, theres some meetings that I walk out of saying "jeez, I can't belive I just wasted 2 hours of my life sitting through that" and there are definatly some meetings that I walk out of and think "wow, my life is going to be better because of what I just learned" In that respect it makes it very difficult to summarize what AA means to me (or to anyone for that matter). Its something that is different to everyone, I'm sure that people who have strictly given up drinking and/or using (I have not, I will still drink at certain family functions i.e. weddings, christmas, birthdays) it means something much different than what it means to me. But simply knowing that if I'm having a bad day and I want to have a drink, I can go to one of my local meetings and for 1 or 2 hours I can divert my cravings, and by the time I've listened to what everyone has said, I won't feel the need to go home and have a glass of wine...thats an amazing feeling. Its hard to explain exactly what AA means to me, or does for me, but as I said before, its different for everyone. AA meetings are merely people talking, its what you take from those meetings that will or will not change your life...I often feel that everyone shoudl attend one meeting, at some point in thier life, because even though you may not embrace it, or stand by thier beliefs (I agree with some but not all of thier traditions and steps), theres always something to be learned by seeing how the other half lives....
If you or your friend are interested in attending a meeting, you can most likely go online and find one close to where you live. I live in CT and if by chance you live around here as well I'd be more than happy to give you the info on good meetings to attend. If you don't live around here, go on your local AA chapters website and search for area meetings. Good ones to attend in this situation would be Open Discussion or Open Speaker (my favorite) meetings, some will even state that they are geared towards beginners, which will give you the feeling of a meeting, without getting too personal. I find that in pop culture its often portrayed as everyone sitting in a circle introducing themselves by saying "hi my name is ______ and I'm an alcoholic" but in reality of the 100 or so meetings I've been to, I've only had to introduce myself twice, and I simply said "Hi, my name is Rachel, and I'm here because I thought your meeting could help me make sence of my feelings"
I wish your friend the best of luck with his book, and if theres any way I can help you, or provide more information for you, please feel free to contact me. I hope I was at least a little helpful. And, thank you for giving me the chance to tell my story, its been helpful beyond belief...best of luck
alcoholics anonymous question?
I'm no expert on AA, but I can tell you about my experience, and hope it helps. As far as I know AA does not claim to be the only solution to alcoholism. However, I've found that AA's solution is single and it is a spiritual one. Those who are seriously alcoholic need serious help - I can't diagnose for you, but here's some helpful info.
Regardless of what you have heard in meetings or on this board - everyone is entitled to their own opinion - I would recommend you go ahead an read the Doctor's opinion in the Big Book. It was written by Dr. Silkworth. He was a top doctor of the top medical center on alcoholism back in the forties who saw thousands of alcoholics suffer and painfully watched most bad alcoholics keep on drinking until death. This guy was not an AA member but he had real experience and has some good authority on the subject. He's got real credentials. He dedicated his life to helping the alcoholic and stood on the front lines of the problem.
Dr. Silkworth explains that an alcoholic is "different" mentally and physically from a normal person. Physically speaking, an alcoholic develops a craving after a "first drink" or so, and that craving is nearly impossible to stop. That is abnormal with a temperate or moderate drinker. Most people can drink a few and put it down. So, ask yourself do you have a hard time stopping? The Big Book even says to go ahead and try some moderate drinking and see how it goes. I think it along the lines of what lefty was saying. Next is the mental problem. Mentally, the alcoholic is abnormal in that he/she becomes obsessed with the next drink. That is he/she may be able to abstain for some time but eventually he/she will convince themselves it is ok to drink. Despite possibly losing family, kids repeated DUI's, etc. etc. When I read your question, I can't help to wonder if you are suffering from this mental state of trying so hard to figure how you can drink normally. A normal drinker just doesn't have to go through all that. I think you notice that and agree that you are not a normal drinker.
A problem as large as mine and obsession, I believe, could not be helped by a blog. I will not say moderation drinking programs don't work - I have only never come across anyone that has had success with one. I have never, never, never seen an alcoholic pick up drinking again successfully - I have seen many try and fail and 3 people I call friends die over the last year. I guess, I don't think I will become unallergic to alcohol. I have witnessed others and it just get worse. This is only my experience.
Maybe you can pick up normally again - what does your gut tell you? Do you have a gut to listen to these days? I believe that I found some sort of "gut" some connection with an inner conscientiousness, a high-power if you will, thanks to the AA and the 12 steps. At least for me, I never grew up and never felt like a man until I worked through the AA steps. I can be honest with myself and those around me. So, can you play in that gray area of - just a drink here and there. I lost that ability a long time ago and I realized I need to play it straight if I'm going to be ok.
Best of luck with love.
Serious question about anyone that has been in outpatient Alcoholics Anonymous programs?
Alcoholics Anonymous programs are free. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking.
Most every town in the US has meetings.
Look in your local phone book for the AA number in your area. They can help you find the nearest and most convenient meeting for you. Meetings usually run many times per day - 7 days per week.
You can also go online at: www.alcoholics-anonymous.org for information.
Out patient programs may be in your area also, and most of them are based on the 12 step program that AA offers.
You have taken the 'first step' in getting help.