AA stands for “Alcoholics Anonymous”. This is a kind of a support group that consists of fellow abuse victims, mentors, and motivators. The group meetings are held periodically and being part of these is said to be beneficial for alcoholics and substance abuse victims. You can begin by looking for “AA meetings near me.” But before you actually join an AA meeting in Oregon, there are some misconceptions to clear out regarding what to expect from an AA gathering and how to make things work smoothly to your benefit. We start by debunking some myths.
Some Myths Concerning AA Meetings
Some common expectations from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings that you might have but may not be met include:
- You will always be surrounded by alcoholics who are helpful and cooperative and will help you with your recovery process.
- You have to openly declare your status as an alcoholic.
- You have to divulge all personal facts concerning your addiction to alcohol publicly, before the entire group.
- There are compulsory group hugs you have to take part in.
- You need to have a religious affinity and join in prayers even if you are an atheist.
- You are to become part of a cult.
- You might come across people you actually know.
None of these facts are universal truths. While some may be true for AA gatherings in your locality, some others may be more common elsewhere. Expecting a set standard of procedures may not be right. Alcoholics’ anonymous meetings should ideally be attended with an open mind and a positive approach.
What Actually Happens
Although standards vary across the globe, a typical AA meeting should include the following:
It starts with reading the Preamble for the meeting. It is sometimes followed by a prayer where you may or may not join in. Following the prayer, different members are asked to read portions of AA literature which includes a book titled “Alcoholics Anonymous”. The snippets read would largely be about the 12 traditions of AA and how they are to be followed.
Once the reading is complete, there is an introduction round for newcomers. They may be asked to introduce themselves with personal names. However, even if you are a newcomer and do not wish to introduce yourself, it is perfectly ok and not mandatory.
Anonymity is Key
The public relations policy is not based on promotion but on attraction. Personal anonymity is always maintained at the press level and even at a more public level. Members of a particular AA meeting can actually discuss the benefits of joining the group and its success rates but cannot name it. Keeping the identity private and confidential is a must. Anonymity in fact is the benchmark of every AA meeting.
Looking for a mentor-driven AA meeting is extremely important. A mentor is one who guides the meeting and keeps it grounded in its objective. Your mentor also remains your point contact even outside AA meetings, keeping you staunchly on your recovery track and nullifying possibilities of relapses.