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What to know when going to your first 12 step meeting

What to know when going to your first 12 step meeting

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Since you have managed to find this website and are interested in reading the articles, you more than likely figured out that something inside of you is different. You are already seeking answers and searching for relief. Maybe you have found this insistent need to continue to drink despite the negative consequences it has caused you. Or, maybe you have not had any negative consequences, but you know deep down once you start drinking, you cannot stop. There is a voice inside of you that is screaming for help. Listen to it. You are trying to save your own life.

The group called Alcoholics Anonymous may not be foreign to you either. You may be terrified or ashamed, or maybe you feel you are not sober enough to go; well you are, so go. I have been to plenty of meetings where someone there was still actively drinking. You are still welcome in AA; we actually want you to come. The truth of the matter is we were all scared to go to that first meeting, but we did, and in doing so we have transformed our lives.

Once you have decided to go, find a seat and sit down. That is all. You do not have to do anything else. You may hear people laughing and smiling, and shockingly enough they are not laughing at you, they are in fact just laughing and smiling. You may smell fresh coffee and cookies; they are free, so eat them. You may be nervous or your hands may be shaking, so put them in your pockets. You may not even be sober, so be drunk. Just be there. You will meet the most open, non-judgmental people here. These people are your people, so embrace them. We may look like we have it all together, but I can assure you we don’t; that is the beauty of these meetings, we are all a mess. We are a beautiful mess of beautiful people.

We are people of all ages, races and creeds. We are men, women, young adults, business men, business women, construction workers, priests, lawyers, doctors and politicians. We may all look like we have nothing in common, but we do, we all have the desperation to be and to stay sober. Everyone has started where you are, we have all sat in that seat that you sit in. More than likely someone else who is there just walked into their first AA meeting also.

There are meetings everywhere and you may be shocked to see so many near your home. The best part is that they are of no cost to you. There are step meetings, speaker meetings, big book meetings, men’s meetings and women’s meetings. You will find the one you prefer with the people you feel most comfortable with.

They all typically open with prayer. If you are resistant to this, be resistant. No one will force you to pray, raise your hand, say your name or tell your story. You will probably over time decide you will want to. You will probably find some sense of relief in disclosing that you are actually an alcoholic. You may find that you are willing to open yourself up to this thing called sobriety. You will see over time how many people have transformed their lives and you will start to believe that you can as well.

The longer you stick around, your mind will become clearer, you eyes will open and your heart will beat again. You will find your happiness here, you will begin to feel fulfilled and inspired. Pieces of your life will begin to fall into place. You will will learn from everyone around you, how they handled things, how they have overcome. Sometimes I feel just being in a meeting is enough, sometimes I can leave a meeting and have no idea what it was about, but my presence in it had settled my soul.

Do not fall victim to your fear, do not listen to that voice telling you that you are ok. Ask yourself, has what I have been doing working for me? This trepidation will kill you, it is not your friend; addiction and fear go hand in hand. You are passed this now. Nothing is more fearful than waking up every morning chained to your addiction. Being at constant war with yourself is exhausting. Aren’t you sick and tired of being sick and tired? If that answer is yes, then seek answers no further, you know what you need to do.

Kimberly K. is a recovery blogger from New Jersey, her blog can be found at www.MyDay-MyChoice.com. She can also be found on facebook at Hospital For Your Soul.

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