Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking and have found ourselves in various sorts of trouble as a result of drink. We attempt – most of us successfully – to create a satisfactory way of life without alcohol. For this we find we need the help and support of other alcoholics in AA
No. AA keeps no membership files, or attendance records. You need disclose nothing about yourself. No one will bother you if you don’t want to come back.
They will be there for the same reason you are there. They will not disclose your identity to outsiders. At AA you retain as much anonymity as you wish. That is one of the reasons we call ourselves Alcoholics Anonymous.
An AA meeting may take one of several forms, but at any meeting you will find alcoholics talking about what drink did to their lives and personalities, what actions they took to deal with this, and how they are living their lives today.
We in AA know what it is like to be addicted to alcohol, and to be unable to keep promises made to others and ourselves that we will stop drinking. We are not professional therapists. Our only qualification for helping others to recover from alcoholism is that we have recovered ourselves. Problem drinkers coming to us know that recovery is possible because they see people who have done it.
We in the fellowship of AA believe there is no such thing as a cure for alcoholism. We can never return to normal drinking, and our ability to stay away from alcohol depends on maintaining our physical, mental, and spiritual health. This we can achieve by going to meetings regularly and putting into practice what we learn there. In addition, we find it helps us to stay sober if we help other alcoholics.
You are an AA member if and when you say so. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking, and many of us were not very wholehearted about that when we first approached AA
There are no dues or fees for AA membership. An AA group will usually have a collection during the meeting to cover running expenses, such as rent, coffee, etc., and to this all members are free to contribute as much or as little as they wish.
No. Nor is it allied to any religious organisation.
The majority of AA members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves. However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes. Many people call it God, others think it is the collective therapy of AA, still others don’t believe in it at all. There is room in AA for people of all shades of belief and non-belief.
Family members or close friends are welcome at ‘Open’ AA meetings. Discuss this with your local contact.
In our experience, the people who recover in AA are those who:
- Stay away from the first drink;
- Attend AA meetings regularly;
- Seek out the people in AA who have successfully stayed sober for some time;
- Try to put into practice the AA program of recovery.