If I want to go to an AA meeting do I just show up? What happens my first time? Do I have to quit drinking before I go to one/ be committed to quitting before going? How many people are at these? Is there a time/day of week that is best to go? How often do people in AA have to go to meetings? Does it cost anything once you join? I just can’t shake the feeling that my luck is going to run out. Not a daily drinker, but blackout when I do. Thx.

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Thank you so much for posting these questions! I'm going to Pin this to the bowl because this is *exactly* the type of situation I was in where I wish I could anonymously ask this stuff without fear of awkwardness or shame.

likehelpful

I really like that. Drinking was the solution, not the problem.

Great comments so far, wanted to pass along this great app for finding meetings near you!

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/meeting-guide/id1042822181

Going to my first meeting I felt a sense of humiliation but pushed myself to go. Since then I have never felt that. I know I’m taking control over alcohol because my life had become unmanageable. Now when I go I look forward to being around an amazing community of people who have admitted they are broken to some degree, and were all there to support each other’s sobriety and spiritual growth. It has been life changing for me, happy to talk if you want more context. I’m 7 months in now, so sort of new still.

likehelpful

OP this sounds SO familiar. I hate when I see my dad come out in my personality. Through this process I have really come to grips with my upbringing and even did a 9th step amends to my dad recently. I feel like the cycle has stopped and I’m now integrating my dark side with my light side and I feel so much more whole now, if that makes sense. 100% with you re father archetypes coming out subconsciously.

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You don’t have to quit drinking, just have a desire to quit. Some groups require you to be dry when you come or they will ask that you leave as someone who is using in the meeting can distract. I have been in meeting from 3-150, depends on the group. Look up AA online for a local Intergroup that keeps a calendar for all local meetings, time and context/intent.

Look for an open discussion meeting to start at the soonest possible date/time you can make work. At the meeting, listen but be prepared for people to come up and introduce themselves offering to help.

likehelpful

^ Lots of self pity and shame true that ✌🏻

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60 days sober here, started AA meetings July 16. I work remote, sit in front of a computer all day, so I sought out in person meetings. The fellowship and gracious outreach practiced by AA members of this bowl gave me the courage to go. It has been life changing to be among fellow alcholics and addicts. For a very long time I had convinced my self I didnt have a problem - my career/work was great, no DUIs, finances all in order. Even when my wife started to attend virtual Al Anon mtgs during Covid lockdown I felt convinced that was "her" issue, not mine. I encourage you to just go, listen, be open minded. If you can, go to a few meerings a week. Everyone has been first timers and new before, they understand. Best of luck on your journey.

likehelpful

^ Thank you for sharing. I am not a daily drinker so not sure if I am severe enough to be in AA. I am just worried about overdoing it when I do drink.

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Welcome. We are happy to have you. Walking through the door for the first time is enough.

likeupliftinghelpful

There are no dues or fees. The only requirement is a DESIRE to stop drinking. There are zoom meetings and in person meetings. Honesty, open mindedness and willingness are the best tools to take with you. You don’t have to do anything. My suggestion would be to share your name and where you are coming from (situation) and then truly listen. If alcohol subtracts from your life more than it gives, there is a better way.

likeuplifting

Don’t face the tough times with alcohol as it will only make the tough times tougher.

likehelpful

Hello, fellow lawyer, AAer, and peer monitor for the Lawyer and Judges Assistance Program through my State's Supreme Court.

I'm now sober 3.5 years. The first 3 years were general AA meetings in my community. It saved my life. The last 6 months, I was able to tap into lawyer specific meetings and programs in my state. It was very surprising, and yet comforting, to see some of the people I see every week now. You aren't alone. And if you're willing to let yourself, you may just save another attorney's life. See if your Court offers these programs, and use them to supplement your community meetings. Our profession is notorious for its adversarial nature and hyper-competition. The lawyers meetings I attend are the exact opposite of that, and it's honestly given me a lot of insight into how to approach my career with more empathy and understanding, while still keeping my edge in the courtroom.

likeupliftinghelpful

Goodness D1! Not that much. Granted I didn’t drink much out at bars/restaurants unless I was on the firm/client dime. I kept it to bottom barrel type stuff at home.

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Yeah you just show up. You don’t have to say you’re an alcoholic. You can just say you have a desire to stop drinking.

likehelpful

You don’t even have to say anything

likehelpful

To answer questions that haven’t been addressed- sometimes meeting are just a few people sometimes there can be more than 100. They all have a different vibe too! Meetings are held at all times of day - just go with what works for your schedule.

There are no dues or fees at AA. Simply contribute what you can. I give $5 at meetings.

AA saved my life and I’ve been going back ever since- 13 years.

likehelpful

$2 is the suggestion at my meetings.

helpful

If you want a good story to learn about the work, highly recommend this amazing book:

Listen to Recovery by Russell Brand on Audible. https://www.audible.com/pd?asin=B074MHFNTN&source_code=ASSORAP0511160006

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likehelpful

Also wasn’t a daily drinker, but a binge drinker who drank to black out. Always was that way. There was never a stage of my drinking where I wanted one or two drinks. Been sober and mostly at peace for over 10 year thanks to AA

uplifting

You don't even have to say anything really, just sit in the back and listen if that's where you are most comfortable. They may ask if there are any new comers in the room, it's up to you if you want to raise your hand, though don't feel obligated. Keep coming back until you're sure that you need to be there, even the big book of AA tells us to try some controlled drinking if we aren't sure, hearing that said out loud scared the crap out of me btw.

FWIW I was never a daily drinker, and I don't have some crazy story about the consequences that happened to me, but when I hear people share I directly identify with their thought patterns and how they describe feeling. How or what we drink has no bearing on whether or not given sufficient reason, we simply can't put down that next drink.

helpful

Funny you mention it, when I was in my 20's I left a girlfriend specifically because she wouldn't quit. I have always been anti-smoking, we lost my stepdad to lung cancer a while back, yet when I finally quit drinking I was smoking a pack a day.

I was finding less and less relief in the bottle as time progressed, and added nicotine, sex, video games, etc. in the name of relaxation.

This might help https://www.aa.org/information-about-meetings

You can also search the above site for zoom meetings... Sending you good vibes

helpful

You are good to just show up - I would google AA and your city’s name and the local inter group should have a website with a meeting directory.

You don’t have to say anything, you don’t have to raise your hand, you could even show up drunk if you really wanted to. It is suggested that you get a sponsor, do the steps, and stay sober but at the end of the day these are all just suggestions.

My advice is commit to going to at least 6 meetings, participate in any capacity that you’re comfortable with (which could just be sitting there silently), and then decide whether or not you think AA is for you. Try your best not to judge the program too hard based on your first meeting, since sometimes certain meetings can be just meh. It’s like pizza, you can get a bad slice from a pizzeria but that doesn’t make pizza bad as a whole. If you decide AA is for you then really commit yourself to the program, if not you can at least say you gave it a shot. Also AA isn’t going anywhere, if you don’t like it today and decide you need it tomorrow you are always welcome back no questions asked.

There are no dues or fees. AA is self supporting through its own contributions. A basket will likely be passed around to cover the meetings expenses, and you can just put nothing in if you want there is no requirement it’s voluntary.

AA is the safest and most welcoming place I have ever experienced in my life. I really hope you get the gift of enjoying it the way we do. Godspeed brother or sister, and good luck

helpful

^Yea thanks. I just am really nervous about going, I feel sick thinking about it. I also am not sure what one to go to because there seem to be a lot of different groups. Some have names or are only for certain people. Im a 40 yo M, so not sure where I belong.

AA worked for me the second time due to a solid sponsor. He said- find the meetings you like (CD is closed discussion meaning you are an alcoholic and know it, OD is open discussion- not sure but wanting to check this shit out). If you don’t like a meeting then leave, if you like one save it in your calendar and keep going back.

helpful

It worked the second time because you were finally ready to fully admit defeat a sponsor can't get you drunk, nor can they keep you sober.

No human power...

Well i went to the gym right after work and was good did an almost 3 hour workout to avoid happy hour. Now at home and just made a martini 😵‍💫 and want to go out… could drink this whole bottle tonight but I have a date tomorrow for my event and don’t want to be hungover. Hoping I stop after a couple. Hasn’t had a drink in almost 2 weeks and now this binge cycle is picking up again.

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