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Old 09-20-2009, 08:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I just went to my first AA meeting...

Hey all...I just got back from my very first AA meeting. I wasn't sure if I was really going to go, I have always had it built up in my mind that actually going to an AA meeting was a gigantic step...I don't know in what direction that step was, but it always held some kind of major significance to me...maybe I didn't want to actually do it because after that I would DEFINITELY be an alcoholic or something...but now I don't really have a problem saying I am an alcoholic...why else would I drink 12-15 beers every time I drink...Anyway, it was a beautiful day here and I decided to go out for a motorcycle ride...I rode around for a couple of hours and somehow or other the bike just ended up steering itself to the meeting. I went in and there were like 3 other people sitting in this rather large room...I was kind of nervous as they all seemed like they had been there many times before and it was supposed to be a beginners meeting...nothing was happening so at 7:15 I asked "what time does the meeting start" and one of them said 8pm...I'm like "damn I thought it was 7"...and they said, "that meeting is in the back room"...so I had been sitting in the wrong room the whole time lol.

So I quickly made my way to the back room and grabbed a seat. Like I said it was a beginners meeting and was pretty full, probably 20 or 30 people. People took turns talking about their experiences with AA. I found it very interesting, and I have to say I was mildly surprised to find most of the people there were just NORMAL people lol. I don't' know exactly what I expected but it was better than whatever I was expecting. It only lasted an hour. When people started to get up at the end, I thought we were leaving so I grabbed my jacket and started for the door...but then saw that everyone was holding hands...and two people wanted to hold my hand...so I did, they said a prayer I think, anyway it was nice. The guy beside me introduced himself, he had actually shared a story...he asked if I had been there before and I said "no this was my first time"...he said "first time here or to AA" and I said "first time to AA". He asked if I had the big book and I said no...he said hang on and he went and got me one and gave me his card and said to call him anytime if I had any questions or anything, he was a really nice guy. I'm really glad I went. I don't know if I will ever do the steps or any of that but I love that I can go to these meetings and listen to all these other people who are alcoholics and dealing with it successfully. I will definitely go back for more meetings. I really enjoyed it. I would encourage anyone who has never gone to give it a try, even if you don't plan on saying anything it's great to be able to listen to everyone else tell their story's.
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's a great first-time experience, PS...

I've had mixed, so I don't usually bring them up, because I do believe AA is useful for many and I don't want to turn any new people off of it.

I like how your bike decided you should go... been there a time or two, although I prefer four wheels and a lot of horsepower...

And I agree with your take on the meetings. I'm not sure if the steps etc are right for me--haven't found anyone close to a sponsor, so I guess it's a moot point anyhow--but sometimes I just need to get out of here and be around people who are like me... normal, and alcoholic.

Yeah, I'm fairly normal, as you put it. Not like my picture, I'm about 4 feet taller and way less furry...

Take care,

Last edited by thirtybubba; 09-20-2009 at 09:03 PM. Reason: can't spell furry
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ya, it was a pretty good experience TB...glad I went and would recommend it to anyone in their quest for sobriety, even just for the face to face value of being around others that are going through the same thing you are.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow PS....
I'm really pleased you will be going back.

For me to stay quit... I needed to change my drinking lifestyle.
All my social circle drank excessively with no plans to stop.

Where to find new non drinking friends? AA meetings...
We did all sorts of interesting things outside of meetings.

Tip-go about 15 minutes early and or stay a little after.
Offer to help set up or break down the room.
That's how you get to know others.

All my best as you continue to move forward...:ghug3
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Congtats on making it to your first meeting PS thats huge. I look forward to reading about your journey through recovery.

Take Care,

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life"
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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PrimalScream glad to hear things went well, glad you went to a beginners meeting, I know a lot of first timers go to meetings and because it may be a step study meeting or a Big Book study meeting they are totally lost and do not feel welcome.

Keep going back to that newcomers meeting and if they have more then one newcomers meeting in your area go to those as well.

BTW call that guy back who gave you the Big Book, just by calling him back you will be helping him stay sober as well. Prehaps he could suggest some other good meetings for you to go to, maybe you could meet him at the next one you go to.

I know it is not easy going to those first few meetings, every one is a stranger, most folks are friendly, but not all. Do not let the ones that are not nice bother you, they may very well be new also, or just in a bad mood that day.

Oh yea and as already suggested go 10 -15 minutes early and stay a bit late..... a lot of times people go out for coffee and to just talk after meetings, this is a darn good way to make some new sober friends.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I like it when someone talks about the PEOPLE in AA.

Too many newcomers get wrapped up in what they think they have to do, but it really all boils down to being among PEOPLE just like us.

Keep coming back.
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That is just wonderful. I'm so glad you went. I looked like a zombie that first night 18 days ago when I picked up my white chip, so through with life and so tired. Just the other night, I was talking to one of my new friends at a meeting, and she stopped me and said, "Wow, you look so beautiful. Your eyes are bright and your face is just glowing." I knew she felt like that because of the work I have been doing and opening my heart to the people in the program.

I keep hearing from others how doing the steps will change my life forever. I really can't wait. I see it on their faces...true peace.
Never separate the life you life from the words you speak.~~~Paul Wellstone
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That sounds really cool Cath, "true peace", it just made me relax and smile reading that....
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Cath "PEACE" that is what I sought and saw in so many of the folks in AA, like so many others I did find that "PEACE" in the steps, a return to sanity if you will, the ability to be alone and not have the demons spinning in my head any more, it took time and work, but I did find "PEACE", sometimes the demons speak but I have tools to deal with them quickly and efficiantly.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Congrats, so glad to see your post, the fellowship has been fantastic for me
First the man takes a drink;
Then the drink takes a drink;
Then the drink takes the man.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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How strange, I made a comment to this post on another forum

Keep coming back

J - Jesus first
O - Others next
Y - Yourself last

John 14:6
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:47 AM   #13 (permalink)

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so pleased for you ps that you have had this experience already.i got back to AA at the begining of the year (had a brief spell 4 yrs ago) and my life has changed beyond recognition! i have made a handful of very good friends there.AA not only saved my life but it has given me one that i have never had and never thought possible.it has taken hard work on my part but boy is it worth it,there is the 12 steps,a programme for living,real living,not white knuckling it or just putting up with it! please keep us posted on your progress,,
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:47 AM   #14 (permalink)

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Consider yourself fortunate. I went for 3 weeks, every day, no one offered to help me at all. I got the "is this your first time to AA" thing I would answer and that was the end of the conversation.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:06 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I am so glad you had a good experience.

It's great that you are taking care of yourself.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

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Old 09-21-2009, 10:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Congratulations.... Try workin' that program with a good sponsor!!! I think I am about to use AA again as part of what I'm doing. Humbly on day 54 this time.
He who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:38 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Oh wow Primal, I'm so very glad for you!!!! Glad you had a good 1st experience--not everyone does--the people there are human after all just like everybody else. The first thing I noticed was how judgmental I was about the people there at first ("they're not like me, they're not like me, I don't belong here...")...and what a different opinion I had after I heard them share their stories. There are all kinds there, a few just complaining, some struggling, but most are SO REAL it's so inspiring!

Being new, going to groups where I was the only new one was really scary until I realized that I was actually helping them too, reminding them of where they once were and why they keep coming back. So much good advice and support there too. There are people there celebrating months, even years of sobriety, and they are still clapping for me and my 3 days, 11 days, whatever...what an honor.

PS-I'm impressed with your bike for driving you there too--how cool is that? Please take that next step and call that guy who gave you his #. And try a few different groups out if you (or your bike) can muster it. I get a totally different experience at the 5 different groups I've been to.

Wow, I'm so glad you went--that's so awesome!!!
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for the support guys. It was a cool experience. From the sounds of some of the posts it seems the first meeting is not always as good as mine was, maybe it was because mine was a beginners group? I plan on going back to the beginners meeting...there are two a week at the same place, friday and sundays...I might try a few others not sure yet. There is another one right after the beginner one in the same building so I could always stay for that one. I am kind of shy in a crowd so I did leave pretty quickly after the meeting, I did help put chairs away though and then got my Book from the guy I mentioned and he gave me his card. I might call him...I feel weird doing it though. Maybe I will see him at the next beginners meeting as he said they are his favorite and he usually goes to them at this place. I will probably go a little early to the next one to possibly meet a few people. As I said earlier I only have good and positive things to say about the meeting and I would recommend it to anyone.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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he gave me his card. I might call him...I feel weird doing it though.
the way you felt when he gave you the Big Book is exactly how you would make him feel with that phone call. Don't even think about it, just do it and you will see how great you will feel after you make it.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:22 PM   #20 (permalink)

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Thumbs up Sobriety & AA....

Hi Primal Scream,

I mostly noticed your name....that is how I have felt several times while getting sober & staying sober. I remember my first AA Meeting...it was the same day I was released from the local hospital after a medical detox.

I walked across the room to two tables of lots of people. I was shakey & very anxious. One young man came forward to help me find a place to sit. He & I spoke everytime we met up in the community & he recently passed away. I called him Little Richard because he was about as tall as he was in the width of his body.

I went to a meeting every day for the first year of sobriety...that was 21 years ago this past July 10. I didn't do things perfect but with my sponsor & a lot of work on myself I have stayed sober a long time.

AA did save my life and made it possible for me to have a life like I thought I would have but didn't due to my chemical Imbalance Depression and Alcoholism.

I am going to be 69 in a few days but I don't much celebrate this birthday...even after all the years I still celebrate and share my sobriety birthday all day with others.

One tool I use daily is the Serenity Prayer...you will hear this a lot in AA but it is a true prayer in the Bible somewhere...in a longer version. It helped me to focus on what I could change rather than trying to change something or some one that cannot be changed.

I had to change a lot of things....I learned to set small goals to work up to the larger goals and it worked for me.

I have had the same experience while driving somewhere....I all of a sudden find myself where I planned to go but it was like I couldn't remember what I saw or heard inbetween home and destination.

Take care & keep coming back. :ghug2


God Grant Me the Serenity to Accept the Things I Cannot Change..the Courage to Change the Things I Can Change..and the Wisdom to Know the Diifference.

Sobriety Date: July 10, 1988
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