Anyone who is thinking of getting sober should understand that it can be done. People who have been drinking for a long time may find quitting difficult but don’t think anyone else’s struggles will keep you from being able to get clean. Everything takes time, and there’s a process. More importantly, each person’s journey is different. You can’t compare yours to a friend or a celebrity.
Attending Alcohol Anonymous (AA) meetings can provide many benefits to help you recover from this disease. AA meetings can give you guidance, support, and comfort, and you can even forge lifelong friendships with people who can empathize with you and understand your struggle.
However, sticking to meetings and maximizing their potential can be difficult for a recovering addict. This post will guide you on how to get the most out of your AA meetings so you can have long-lasting sobriety, better relationships, and healthier life.
And once you’re ready, you may check the AA meetings San Jose that offers the 12-step program so you can come out of this ordeal better and stronger. Read on.
Find The Right Meeting
AA meetings have many formats. You should find one you’re most comfortable participating in. Here are some of them:
- Open meetings: They’re available to members and non-members. You can even drop in unannounced and bring a friend or a family member. If you find it difficult to adjust to strangers, this meeting is not for you, and you need a more structured one.
- Closed meetings: Attendance at this meeting is strictly for members only. It provides a safer and more confidential space to anyone who wants to share their experiences, feelings, and challenges with alcohol addiction. This is suitable for people who are uncomfortable sharing their experiences publicly.
- Step meetings: This focuses on the 12-step program of alcohol recovery. The program builds on the steps and emphasizes spiritual and personal transformation to eliminate addiction. This program has helped millions of people worldwide and is still a popular method used today, along with other treatments.
You need to find a meeting that suits your needs and preferences to succeed in your recovery journey.
Although you might be afraid to speak up at the beginning of an AA meeting, it’s important that you do. You’ll find greater support and connection with other members if you share about your experiences—and feel more comfortable in the room overall. You might even find common ground with other participants in the group.
Another way of participating is by volunteering for tasks such as setting up the room, making coffee, and distributing reading materials. This way, you’ll feel worthwhile and make a valuable contribution to the group’s success.
Listening to other people’s stories and experiences will give you more insight into the illness and recovery process. It can also provide you with inspiration and motivation to work harder on your own goal. When you’re in a meeting, it’s essential to do the following:
- Stay focused: Give your full attention to the one speaking.
- Be present: Acknowledging the speaker in front by making nonverbal cues like nodding, making eye contact, and answering a question directed at you will show that you’re interested and engaged. It also shows respect, which is valuable in a meeting like this. You’d want the same thing when it’s your turn to speak.
- Avoid interruptions: Wait until the floor is open for questions, and don’t just throw questions at the speaker. More importantly, keep your devices away and on silent.
- Practice empathy: put yourself in the other person’s shoes to better understand their situation. Sometimes, it’s so easy to pass judgement. But until you’ve been in that similar situation, you really can’t say.
- Active listening: This is a skill you must learn before you attend an AA meeting. Being present and attentive will show your commitment to the program and, more importantly, to your own recovery.
Get A Sponsor
A sponsor is somebody who has successfully finished the 12-step program, and is willing to guide a newcomer through the process. Sponsors will provide much-needed support because they understand the hardships of this battle.
They can provide helpful and practical tips, especially if you have encountered an obstacle. They are beneficial members of the community who can also give you the encouragement you need.
This can probably be the hardest of all challenges you may face. Nevertheless, if you want to come out of this victorious, you must be resilient and fight all temptations that will fall on your lap.
Staying committed is possible. It would help if you made the journey straightforward from the get-go. For example, choose a location near you to avoid making the excuse that it’s far. Choose a schedule that will suit your lifestyle. And address your transportation needs before meetings so you will arrive on time.
Be Open Minded
You cannot recover from alcohol addiction by yourself. Being open to new ideas, perspectives, and experiences would be best. It would help if you were open to accepting help from others, especially from people who have already gone through the same experience you had.
AA meetings help you grow, learn, and overcome your addiction. The AA community is so diverse that there is much to learn from. Valuable life lessons you can adapt to your own life and struggles. You only need to have an open mind and be trusting.
If you’re ready to seek recovery from your alcohol addiction, consider the valuable lessons you’ll get from AA meetings. Staying sober is a life-long process, but with AA supporting you, you can come out of this challenging journey victorious.