Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most popular programs for helping alcoholics overcome their addiction and maintain their sobriety. It follows a 12-step program that has been proven to be effective and that has been utilized for other addiction treatment programs in Arizona.
The program offers numerous support meetings that you can attend at various times and in various locations. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a meeting at just about any time and on any day. That ensures that you have the support you need when you need it.
When you go to your first AA meeting, you may feel nervous – not only because you are going to tackle a big issue, but also because you don’t know what to expect. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your first AA meeting:
You don’t have to do anything specific or say anything specific to go to an AA meeting. No one is going to kick you out if you don’t share or if you don’t say something memorable. The most important thing you can do is just show up.
If all you do is sit and listen, that’s important. If you show up and stay for only 10 minutes, that’s a step in the right direction. Don’t worry about being “perfect” at recovery. Just make the effort to attend the meetings, and you’ll already be moving in the right direction.
Sharing anything about yourself – even just saying your name and admitting that you’re an alcoholic – requires you to be vulnerable. You don’t have to share more than you want, but you do need to let your guard down enough to share something.
It may take you awhile to work up the courage or strength to share. That’s OK. But know ahead of time that you are going to have to open yourself somewhat in order to make that step forward. You’ll be glad you do.
There aren’t a lot of rules at an AA meeting, but one of them is that you can’t engage in crosstalk. What that means is that you shouldn’t be talking while the person who is sharing is talking. Not only should you not interrupt the speaker to ask a question or add a comment, but you shouldn’t be whispering to the person next to you while the speaker is talking either.
Think about how you would feel if you were talking about some of your biggest mistakes or some of your more profound feelings and someone cut you off to ask a question or were talking to someone next to them. Chances are you wouldn’t feel very good and you’d feel less likely to share again and engage in the healing process. Don’t do that to someone else.
One of the other rules for AA meetings is that you should not offer advice to others and you should not pass judgement. People are likely to share some tough stories, and you may have thoughts or opinions about them. Keep them to yourself. Passing judgement will only make people feel guilty or shameful, and that will inhibit their healing.
Know that you can share even your worse thoughts and behaviors with the people who attend the meeting. Not only will they not pass judgement on you, but many will empathize because they have had similar thoughts and experiences.
You won’t be able to work through the things that led to your addiction or your feelings during recovery if you can’t be honest. You are likely to feel more comfortable as you attend more meetings and will feel more able to be open and honest. But be as honest as you can with your very first meeting. The more you can give to the process, the more you will get out of it.
There’s not much you can do to prepare for your first AA meeting except to muster up your strength and commit to participating as fully as possible. Knowing the rules ahead of time can help you to avoid any faux pas that might embarrass you and keep you from returning. Other than that, just know that the people who are there understand what you have been through and are ready to support you as much as they can.
If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, call Corebella Health and Wellness to learn about your addiction treatment options. We offer addiction counseling for individuals and groups, and we offer support meetings. We also offer medication therapy, as well as wellness services to help you create a healthier lifestyle. Call us today to learn more about our services in Glendale, Tempe, and Scottsdale.
Corebella Health and Wellness offers addiction counseling for those suffering from addiction, as well as their friends, family, and other loved ones. We offer complete addiction treatment services, including counseling and medication therapy. Call us today to learn more about services in Tempe, Scottsdale, and Glendale.