Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Philosophy & 4 Reason's It'll Keep Your Sober

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous

a group of people at an addiction support meeting in fife

Alcoholics Anonymous or ‘The AA’, is an international fellowship of individuals who have been abusing alcohol.

The AA is not a professional body, nor is it funded. It is a self-sustained group of individuals with one goal in mind; to remain sober.


Overview


The AA was founded in 1935 by Bill W. and Dr Bob in Akron, Ohio, who met to discuss their problems with alcohol. That very meeting expanded to what we know the AA to be today, an incredibly useful group shown to help people attain and maintain long-term recovery.

The AA program involves ’12 Steps’ to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.


Who can attend the meetings?


Anyone who finds their lives are detrimentally affected by their use of alcohol can attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. People with problems other than alcoholism are eligible for AA membership, but only if they have an alcohol abuse problem as well.

There is no need to sign up for AA meetings, you can just turn up on the date and time listen on the AA website.

The AA’s group meetings offer the same benefits to LGBT individuals as they do straight people, however, some individuals in the LGBT community find LGBT specialised groups particularly helpful.


The AA philosophy


Dishonesty has commonplace in an addicts life. People who have got sober usually need to rebuild their life after addiction, and the AA philosophy states this can only be achieved by being honest with themselves and others.

“Those people who are trying to rebuild their life after an addiction need to pay particular attention to honesty.
Failure to establish honesty as a personal quality may mean that the individual will be more at risk of relapse.”

There is even an app named “The AA 12 Step Toolkit”. It is a perfect companion app for your 12 step aa program with loads of great features for those abstaining from alcohol.


Sponsorship


An AA sponsor is someone who can help guide you through the aa steps program. This individual will have a history of abstinence from alcohol and will help those in their first stages of sobriety. Sponsors should be compassionate, sympathetic and honest with their sponsees.

But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours.
Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.” (Book: Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 18)

My name is ……… and I’m an alcoholic


AA meetings will differ somewhat, but the general consensus is to discuss how alcohol affected their lives and personalities, what actions they took to deal with their substance misuse, and how they currently live their lives presently.

The feelings of anxiety before your first meeting will be difficult to deal with, but remember that everyone has likely felt that pressure and moved past that feeling.

Attending a meeting doesn’t mean you require to speak up, especially on your first one.

“You may think you can find an easier, softer way. We doubt if you can. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start.
Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.”


4 reasons why the fellowship might help you


Data from more than 1,700 study participants suffering from alcoholism was compared in a trial named ‘Project MATCH’. The aim of this trial was to study three alcohol treatment approaches.

The participants were to attend cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, and a 12-step therapy — participants were free to attend AA meetings.

Overall results indicated that greater participation in AA during the first three months of the study period was independently associated with more successful recovery over the following year.

“Our findings are shedding light on how AA helps people recover from addiction over time,” says Kelly.

Behavioural changes associated with AA attendance included:

  1. Changes in who participants interacted with on a day to day basis
  2. More contacts with people who supported a completely sober lifestyle and fewer with those who would encourage casual drinking.
  3. Greater confidence in their ability to maintain sobriety in social situations
  4. Reduced depression

Open & closed sessions


Open meetings allow anyone to attend, but usually, a member of the AA will tell their story.

Closed meetings will be open to members only, typically discussing a certain topic in which the members will share their experiences on the topic.


12 steps to a sober life


The basis of the fellowship program is contained in the famous ‘Twelve Steps’ which are as follows:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

What about membership fees?


The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no due or fees to be paid to the AA; all meetings are self-supported through their own contributions. AA is free from any sect, denomination, political view, organisation/institution and does not wish to be involved in any controversy.

The primary purpose of the group meeting is to help people get sober and stay sober.


Are faith-based meetings for you?


Some people are worried that the AA won’t work for everyone, and it is usually the spiritual aspect of the 12 steps. The spiritual aspect of AA is an obstacle for some endeavouring to quit alcohol, but however difficult this is to curb, please remember that the main aim of the AA is to help you achieve sobriety.

AA is not a religious program, but a spirituality based program encouraging the connection between people suffering from a common illness. Exchanging and share knowledge, views and experiences to attain abstinence from the life-threatening addiction illness of alcoholism is the main goal of the AA.

AA is a cross-section of society and therefore one may experience the odd person who talks about their relationship with God and how they found personal support in either a restored or new experience of strength in religion.


Al-Anon


Alanon is a fellowship that holds meetings for families of alcoholics. This means that relatives, spouses, siblings, friends or anyone who is affected by someone else’s alcoholism can attend these group sessions.

Alcoholism is a family illness as it impacts more people than just the individual with alcohol addiction. The emotional side effects that the family of alcoholics experience is usually shared at Al-Anon meetings along with their hopes for an alcohol-free future.

UK meetings


There are many UK cities and towns well served with support group meetings, which are free to attend. These support group meetings are held throughout the week and can be beneficial for anyone seeking help after having undergone a structured detox or rehab programme.

Support Groups & Services in:

Warwickshire

Aberdeen

Dundee

Edinburgh

Glasgow

Inverness

Paisley

Stirling

London

Sign up to our Newsletters by Email