Triggering (Substance Abuse) - What are AA Meetings Like?
I've thought about going to one as of late, but I don't know if I can handle the group setting aspect...I've been to group for a different thing, but I'm only able to go if I'm feeling exceptionally brave...which isn't very often.
Mostly, I'm worried about the shame and embarassment aspect...What if I see someone I know (unlikely, but...)? I wish AA did free counseling or something...
I'm just sick of setting these stupid "goals" for myself (IE: Don't Drink For One Week) and not sticking to them...And drinking for the wrong reasons. (On a positive sidenote, I went out last night and did *really* well, so I am proud of myself for that.)
AA meetings are different in different places. I'm out in California and have never been to one in your part of the country.
That said, you don't have to give anything more than your first name. They may ask if there are any newcomers and they aren't doing it to embarass you, but rather so they know to reach out to you. There may be readings, or sharing, or discussion of a book, depending on what the topic of the meeting is. There usually is no requirement that you share. You can sit and listen and learn.
Don't be intimidated. All of us in AA were once new. We are there to help each other, and to help whoever shows up at a meeting, It doesn't matter if you've not had a drink in 30 minutes or 30 years.
My pm box is always open if you want to talk.
My husband is my best friend.
In forgiving others, we are not exonerating them. They may not deserve exoneration. Rather, in forgiving others we are giving up our anger over the fact that what happened is not what "should" have happened or that our life is not the way it "should" have been.
I'm 20, first attended AA at 19. I can only draw upon my own experiences. Of course there was an element of embarassment and shame at first, but after that all I felt was complete and utter compassion and understanding. It felt like I'd come home. It helped me to understand and gave me answers that I had not been able to seek before. I am not abstinant, and am an alcoholic but I would urge you to go to a meeting, even if just once. I very much doubt that you will have a negative experience :) Hope this helps, and good luck.
i don't know how similar NA is to AA, but NA is all i've had any experience with...so here's my two cents.
it was overall a good experience. i was a little intimidated--i was the youngest there by far, and probably hadn't got as far into my vice as any of the others, but the people there were so nice, i felt like they really cared. there was a hug at the end and i didn't like that so much, because i don't really like being touched. there were readings for the NA book, and i don't know how it is in your part of the country, but in durham, nc (READ: THE DIRTY SOUTH) parts of it seemed almost like a church service, with singing, and what came off as preaching.
it almost made me want to stop using.
that was the only time i ever went, i haven't been back because i feel like a hypocrite--maybe 2% of my at most legitimately wants to stop using.
"I wanted to black out the future as well as the past. I wanted to hurt myself and everyone who had hurt me."
I've been to both AA and NA and I found the both a positive experience. I am actually still using but this weekend I'll attend my first one in like 5 years. I think it's important to try a few different meetings as you may feel more comfortable in some depending on there size/ age of the group/ sometimes you can even find all male or all female groups.
People there are very friendly, and trust me everyone has been through the embarrassment and shame addictions cause. I found it was a great place to feel accepted and supported, and it also helped me become more social.
Hope you feel able to give it a try x
"Where ever I am I always find myself looking out the window wishing I was somewhere else." - Angelina Jolie
I have never been, but my dad goes several times a week and he finds that it really helps. He feels accepted and he now hangs out with some of the people he met there.. they go for coffee and support each other in ways that people who have never been through an alcohol addiction can understand. I appriciate that a lot because there are people there who can help him in a way that I cant.
I am in Canada, and I know here they have a sponsorship program where you have another AA member that you can call if you are feeling the need to drink, or if you feel like you are not going to make it to your goal, or if you just need some support, a friend, or someone to talk to. They are there for you, and in turn you can be there for someone else!
I hope you give it a try as I know it has benifited my father!
"They say time heals all wounds. I don't agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessons, but it is never gone." - Rose Kennedy
I've been to AA, NA and OA - all helped. I like the literature of AA and I like NA because the emphasis is on overcoming all addiction, so it really helped me stop self-harming. I felt weird being there at first, becuase I had used drugs/ drink for different reasons. The best thing about any 12 step program is sponsorship - someone with whom you can share anything you could not tell another soul. I found it far more beneficial than years of therapy in the mental health system.
I felt a bit awkward at first with the "God" referrences but it's a higher power as you understand it, which for some people is nothing more than the power of a group of people coming together to help each other, with no emphasis on following any aprticular religion.
In NA despite my differences I knew I was in the right place when I heard in the readings "we were slowly comitting suicide" I knew that's what I was doing and I knew I had to stop.
Im in AA, and go regularly. I tried NA, but found the meetings triggering. Their stepwork is awesome though. Different meetings have different vibes, but without exception they are all welcoming and supportive. If you use/drink - 'just keep coming back'. And the one phrase that had me wondering just how much stamina they've got: "we'll love you until you can love yourself".
What is said within those walls, who is seen within those walls - stays between those walls. If you see someone there it means they are in the same boat-no rocks thrown.
Anonimity is the basis of all the traditions, and it is powerful. You wont find a solid AA member who disregards it in any way.
AA is all over the world...if you want to do something about using/drinking I would definately recommend it.