Those who have never attended an AA meeting don’t know what to expect and often have fears and and anxiety.
Here is Steve, a member of six years, talking about his first meeting. “I remember it as if it happened yesterday. I was afraid and knew they would not welcome me, a stranger to their meeting. Boy was I wrong! I walked into the hall at the church where the meeting was held and almost everyone was already seated.A few were still at the coffeepot, but since I waited until the last moment, the meeting quickly started. The man I sat next to reached over and shook my hand and whispered, ‘newcomer, right.’ Yes, I replied shakely. He told me not to worry, ‘You are the most important person in the room. and I’ll help you make it through.’
I listened carefully as I had never heard them before. But I got scared when the chairman asked if there were any newcomers. My new friend whispered, ‘ Just say your name.’ and I did.
The chair then announced that since there was a newcomer in the room we would talk about the 1st Step. They went around the room and each person spoke briefly about his or her experience coming into A.A. During the meeting people just began talking. They introduced themselves by their first name and said they were alcoholics. Then everyone else said Hi! I was amazed that their stories were so much like mine. After they completed sharing (they seemed very aware of the time the meeting ended), the chairman asked if there were any AA related announcements. Then they passed out chips. My new friend urged me to take a white chip (24 hour or surrender chip) and I did. The person passing out the chips hugged me and everyone applauded. Then the chairman gave me a list of all the meetings in the area and almost all the men in the room had put their names and phone number on the back. Then everyone gathered in a large circle and said the Lord’s Prayer.
My new friend walked me out and asked me if I would like to go to a meeting with him the next morning. I said I would and he took my address and said he would pick me up My feeling as I drove home from that first meeting was one of relief and awe that there were people like me. I still felt some fear, but I knew that regardless of my fear, I wanted to go again.”
Am I an Alcoholic?
Only you can decide whether you want to give AA a try or if you think it can help you.
We who are in AA came because we finally gave up trying to control our drinking. We still hated to admit that we could never drink safely. Then we heard from other AA members that we had a disease. We found that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt, loneliness and hopelessness that we di. We found out that we had these feelings because we were sick with alcoholism. We decided to try to face up to what alcohol had done to use. Here are some of the questions we tried to answer honestly. See how you do. Remember, there is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a problem.