Going to AA meetings is an interesting experience in the beginning months of treatment. Being called on to share can feel like a punishment but it doesn’t have to be. Everyone in the rooms of AA and other twelve step meetings have been where you are right now.
Do Identify Yourself As You Feel Comfortable
There’s a certain psychology behind identifying yourself as an alcoholic. Calling yourself an alcoholic is not a requirement for AA attendance or to share at a meeting. You don’t have to worry about what other people might think if you do or do not identify yourself as an alcoholic.
Don’t Feel The Need To Be Fake
You don’t have to present yourself as anything other than you are. Plenty of people in those rooms with years of sobriety behind them still wonder if they’re really an alcoholic from time to time. You can identify yourself as ambiguously alcoholic or otherwise undefined and probably get a good laugh. Everyone will understand.
Do Stick To The Topic Of Alcoholism
AA meetings are not group processing sessions. You aren’t supposed to check in with what’s going on in your life and how you are doing, unless it has to do with alcoholism. AA meetings are not for venting or ranting, unless you’re talking about the urge to drink because of whatever you’re going through.
Don’t Tell War Stories
AA also isn’t a time for reminiscing on the good old days, telling stories about how great drinking was, or how great drinking wasn’t. Your shares should include three components: what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now. Even if you’re in the beginning stages of sobriety, each hour you spend sober makes you different than you were an hour ago.
Do Share About Your Struggles
Meetings are for the newcomers, it is often said, but they’re also for the old timers. Your struggles in early sobriety are an important reminder to the old timers about why they stay sober. Relapsing would put them back in early sobriety, back in your shoes.
Don’t Be Disrespectful Toward Recovery
You’re having a hard time and everyone knows how that feels. However, there’s no need to disrespect the people, the process, or the place where you are receiving treatment. Try to focus your share on your emotional experience rather than where your anger is. Don’t worry, everyone will understand if you can’t. They’ve all been there.
Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step meetings are great supplements to the treatment process. Fellowship and peer interaction are essential to the recovery journey. Aurora Recovery Center utilizes the 12 step program in addition to evidence based methods to provide transformative healing. For more information on our programs, call 844-515-STOP.