People have been attending AA meetings for several decades. This dynamic group was founded in 1935, and the meetings are widespread throughout the United States. The acronym AA stands for Alcoholics Anonymous, and it is designed to help people who are struggling to recover from an alcohol problem. If you are someone who has battled with the issues of alcohol addiction and wants to quit, then AA is a great starting point. However, you wonder what to expect at your first AA meeting. This is a common question and apprehension that some people have. Northern Illinois Recovery Center can guide you through the process of addiction recovery so you know what to expect at your first AA meeting.
What Are AA Meetings?
AA meetings were first developed in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith. The meetings, like the name indicates, allows for complete anonymity for those who attend. No one is supposed to give out the names or information of the other attendees at the meeting. This allows everyone to feel comfortable sharing their experiences freely.
Principles Of AA Meetings?
The foundation of AA meetings is rooted in twelve guiding principles. The original wording of the principles has been changed or updated over the years, but the essence remains the same. These principles are summarized as follows:
- Recognize you are helpless over your addiction.
- Seek help from a Higher Power for recovery.
- Have a sincere desire to want to quit drinking alcohol.
- Submit your drinking problem into the hands of the Higher Power, knowing that you can’t do it alone.
- Practice introspection, thereby analyzing past behavior and actions so that you can discuss in therapy.
- Take responsibility for your behavior and actions by admitting your wrongs and making amends when possible.
What To Expect At Your First AA Meeting
You are probably wondering what to expect at your first AA meeting. The typical meeting place for an AA session can be in a gymnasium, church basement, rehab center, or another place that offers a large room. Once you arrive, you’ll take a seat with about 30 – 50 other people. Before the meeting starts, some people may talk to you beforehand; others prefer to keep to themselves. There’s no right or wrong way to do things.
Everyone sits in a semi-circle, and the leader will sit in the center. The meeting may begin with someone reading the AA preamble, which describes the goal of the program. It also lets the members know that the only requirement is to have a desire to stop drinking.
Once the preamble is over, other pieces of literature are read that explains how the program works, the steps in the program, and/or the program goals. Now, it’s time for new members to introduce themselves is they want to. This is completely optional.
The main section of the meeting can vary depending on how the leader decides to proceed forward. They may do what’s called the speaker meeting. During this type of meeting, people will tell their story — from alcoholic to a recovering alcoholic.
Another type of meeting is called a discussion meeting. During this session, you may get into smaller groups or stay in one large group. The meeting begins with a reading, followed by a discussion of what was read. The leader will go around the room, giving everyone a chance to comment on the discussion topic. Or the discussion meetings may revolve around a topic that the leader is dealing with at the present moment that relates to their journey of recovery.
Seeking Treatment At Northern Illinois Recovery Center
Find healing at Northern Illinois Recovery Center, where our professional therapists are here to help. We offer a wide range of treatment programs, such as:
- Partial hospitalization treatment program
- Medication-assisted treatment program
- Intensive outpatient treatment program
- Drug Rehab treatment program
- Sober living treatment program
Don’t let addiction ruin your life and steal your joy. Now that you know more about what to expect at your first AA meeting contact us at 855.786.1978, and we’ll get you on the path to recovery today.