The longer I’m sober the more I realize that not a lot of people get sober via AA nor do they stay “in” the program after getting sober, and so I sometimes take on the AA spokesmodel persona and comment to someone, “Why not check out an AA meeting”. Of course I’m quite biased as this is the way I got sober and I continue to live a life of recovery through AA and the 12 steps. But I’m not a hardcore pusher of AA for others as I truly believe that whatever works for you – do it – as long as you feel most comfortable with your recovery.
Some folks take what they want and leave the rest and regularly attend AA, and some even become very entrenched in the Fellowship, get a sponsor, work the steps, start reciting from the Big Book and become a big AA advocate. On the other hand, there are other people that go to a couple meetings a week, don’t work the steps and use the Fellowship as their recovery model. I think it comes down to personal preference and what works best for your own recovery. I was nudged by my Attorney after receiving my 2nd DUI and as much as I didn’t want to go to my first meeting, I went to get the heat off and what I found was so much more. It was life changing for me and I’m so grateful I went. And I kept coming back!
Recently, I’ve received some emails from women that have read my Memoir and have asked me, “Maybe I should check out an AA meeting?” My initial response to them is, “Where do you live?” as I’d be happy to meet them at a meeting, but, normally they don’t live close by – so my follow up is “Yes, definitely check out an AA meeting, you’ve got nothing to lose”. That was my whole thought process when I went to my first AA meeting – why not, I’ve got nothing else going on, my life is in shambles and plus I needed that court card signed.
(Note From AddictionUnscripted editor: Check Out Nancy Carr’s Book, “Last Call, A Memoir” by clicking here)
5 reasons as to why you should check out that AA meeting:
1. You’ve got nothing to lose. It can’t hurt if you are trying to quit drinking – it’s a program that has been around for over 80 years – so it must be doing something right.
2. You’ll find other people that share a common bond with you; getting and staying sober. You won’t feel so alone and people are more than willing to offer a hand and help you – it’s one of the main drivers in being affiliated with AA – being of service to others.
3. You will learn what makes you tick. By going through the 12 steps of recovery (if you follow the AA way) you will uncover who you are as each step is a window into your soul and what makes you tick. It’s an exercise for you to really understand why you drank and what your short comings are in life. You get to put yourself back together and learn a new way to live through being honest and open about your life.
4. Free coffee and cookies (or doughnuts)! I know this sounds a bit trite, but I substituted sugar for alcohol (still do sometimes) and my fix for sweets sated me for a while.
5. You will be able to track your progress on your sober path. 30, 60, 90 days, 6 months, 9 months and One year are all milestones that are celebrated when you are in AA. You get to celebrate yourself and share that with others as well. You will feel good about your recovery and how far you’ve come during your sobriety. It’s a pretty darn good feeling.
So, whether or not you are thinking about getting sober, or you already are sober and not sure what to do or where to go – I encourage you to check out your local AA meeting and if you live near me, I’d be happy to take you along. It can’t hurt, and you’ve got nothing to lose.
This story was written in partnership with Recovery Connection.