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Old 02-09-2011, 11:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question How to start AA Meetings

How does one work up the courage to go to their first AA meeting? What is some self talk to help you get through the door?
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You need not worry, you will be welcomed and made to feel comfortable, no pressure......safest place to be.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I went to any lengths to
get a drink. Got in my
car during a pouring
rain and flooding to
satisfy my cravings.

If I could go to any lengths
and put myself in that
kind of danger, then I
can go to any lengths to
save my life.

To be around others like
me learning how to live
life without drinking.

To not isolate or feel
alone.

To be in the company
of many experincing the
same situations as I.

Im so glad to never have
to be alone again in my
life thanks to the program
of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Think of yourself and your present life as an empty jar.
Each meeting you go to...you get to put a penny in that jar.
Before you know it...you will be a jar overflowing with pennies.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Great question Tammy...

I was scared sh*tless when I walked through the doors of my first AA meeting. Scared, ashamed, embarassed, stressed out, detoxing. The meeting began at 7PM and I sat out in my car until 6:59. When I walked through the door, eyes down, fortunately the seat closest to the door was not taken, if I had to walk across the room I would have turned around and left. So I sat my butt down.

Usually the meeting chair will ask if anybody is there for their first AA meeting. If you say yes, the topic of the meeting will cover the basics, people will offer support and encouragement, some will tell their story, usually a piece of paper will be passed around the room and others at the meeting will put their numbers on it...this is a call list, people who really do want you to call if you feel like drinking, have questions, etc. At the end of the hour, you will be given a chance to speak, only if you want.

If this seems frightening, you don't have to say you are their for your first meeting, and the topic will be directed elsewhere. You don't have to say anything if you don't want to. Some meetings will be open to whoever wants to speak, some will go in order around the room. Again, you don't have to speak if you don't want to. Simply say "I'll pass". If you do want to speak, do.

The important thing is to go, and go again, and go again. I can't remember much of my first 3 or 4 days of meetings because I was physically detoxing at the time, but I know I went, and it kept my mind off drinking. AA got me through the obsession of wanting to drink, and the compulsion of taking that drink. I'm still new in the program, just got a sponsor, and began working the 12 steps. After 24 years of drinking, I've been sober for 81 days. There is no way that I could have done it on my own. AA is a HUGE support. And the only requirement is simply a desire to stop drinking.

Good luck to you!
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Tammy,

I don't go to meetings, but I encourage you to do whatever it takes for you to be sober.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Recovery is the process of healing and getting healthier. It it about treating yourself better and there is nothing to be fearful about.

However, being kind to oneself and good to oneself if a foreign concept to alcoholics. How can we be good to ourselves while we are in the process of self-destruction?
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I avoided going because i was scared...i went for a few weeks, left drank for six and then went back with a new view on why i was going....those 6 weeks drinking did the trick...hope you go sooner than later:-)
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I was totally freaked out about going to an AA meeting. What do I say? Where do I sit? Do I have to say anything? What if I do say something and it's totally wrong? What if I'm a few minutes late because of traffic after work?

What I did was walk in, say hello to the person I sat next to and said, "I've never been to a meeting before, would you mind guiding me along?" Of course, I got the perfect answer of "absolutely, girl! Welcome."

You could also go a little early, say 10-15 minutes and speak to the leader. I can PROMISE you that they'll make you feel comfortable and safe.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi Tammy. I was hopeless before I went to my first AA meeting. I had never been arrested for alcohol, never had a DUI, my wife never asked me to stop drinking, nor had anyone I knew. I never was told that my drinking was interfeering with my job, etc...

BUT, I was hopeless. I had tried for years to control my drinking, while drinking. I had told myself "NEVER AGAIN" more times than I could count. I tried switching where I drank, who I drank with, what I drank, the times and days that I drank, and none of it worked. Inevitably I would find myself drunk. Or planning on drinking. Or planning on not drinking.

What lead me to AA was that I was whipped. I knew I did not have in me the power to stay sober and I hoped very much that AA might have the answer. It turns out.............. they did!

If you are anywhere near where I was and are open to trying it, my advice is please do. You don't know - what you don't know. AA has done more for me than any other "thing / group" has in my entire life.

Please check out this link. Downloads & mp3's from silkworth.net Go directly to the Dr's opinon and just start listening. It will give you a taste of what AA has to offer.

In recovery I have many things that are in my "tool box". AA is at the top of that list, this website is right there with it, and the link I gave you is also right there. For me, I need many recovery tools but they all start with AA.

I wish you the best of luck. I promise you have nothing to be concerned about in going to a meeting. Nobody will judge or make fun of you in any way. Look for the simularities, not the differences there. It changed my life!
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi Tammy!

I found this quick little video that explains what to expect at a meeting and the different types of meetings. (there's a brief commercial preceeding the video)

What to expect at a first AA meeting

Hope you find this helpful.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Why not try a speakers' meeting, and perhaps a one which is "open", that is welcomes anyone whether or not alcoholic. You don't have to say anything. Just sit and see how it goes. Then maybe talk with a few people before or after. No one's going to pressure you. Eventually you may feel more and more comfortable and willing to share your thoughts and feelings. You'll find lots of friends and in a way it may seem a little like going home again. Talk with a few folks and if you want tell them how you feel.

W.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I just went to my second AA meeting at a different place, the first one I really didn't feel comfortable in, it was an all womens one..didn't like the vibe...the one I just went to was an open meeting with lots of people, mostly men and I felt pretty good..I was still nervous and not sure what was going on...but I did share abit....I just went in with the mind set that everyone in there is just like me...and we are all part of the same process....
All the best to you in your recovery!!
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I didn't need to do anything to convince myself to go to AA. I realized that my life was spiraling downhill, and I knew that continuing on that path would lead to utter destruction. So I poured out the beer that was in my hand, searched online for an AA meeting, got in the car and drove there. And that was about how it happened.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Did you ever try to buy alcohol or get served in a bar with a fake id?

Going to an AA meeting takes less courage, after all you are not breaking any laws.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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My opinion is that if you're asking how to work up the courage on how to walk into your first meeting, then there is obviously a good reason why you want to quit drinking. Just think about that reason and you shouldn't have any trouble. AA is a very welcoming and comforting environment. You need not worry about judgement from the members as many of them were once in the position you're currently in. I was apprehensive and reluctant to go to AA. I had many fears built up inside, felt that I didn't belong or that I wouldn't ve accepted. Now I'm a full fledged member and I welcome the newcomers and let them know they are in a safe place.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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