First AA Experience | 12 Step Meetings and Anonymous Groups

First AA Experience


This topic contains 11 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 8 years, 2 months ago.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 13 total)
  • Author
  • #3750810


    Hi Folks. This is going to be a tricky post, as I have only just discovered 12 Step National Meetings and I’ve found myself coming back several times a day for tips and motivation to remain sober. I think it’s wonderful. So, given that my reflections on my first AA experiences have the potential to alienate or irritate others, I am nervous about sharing my thoughts. I hope I don’t annoy or offend anyone. I certainly don’t wish to do so.
    I went to my first AA meeting yesterday evening, in a small British town not far from home, but far enough away to reduce the likelihood of bumping into someone I know. (Chosen strategy at this early stage – I hope to be braver over time).
    After an individual shared her story, others at the meeting then chipped in to empathise, demonstrate overlaps with their own experiences and offer encouragement and support. Everyone seemed to know the drill, so I am assuming this is typical. I’ve no problems with any of that.
    However, I was uncomfortable in two or three key areas, and I would appreciate some help with sorting this out please:
    1. Apart from the odd ‘hello’ as I walked though an unusually large group of smokers outside the entrance, no-one spoke to me at any stage, so I felt like a fly-on-the-wall voyeur.
    2. (Here’s the difficult one – please bear with me). Everyone who contributed appeared to have come through life with considerably less opportunity than I to establish a decent standard of living: several were out of work, one was homeless and drawing on hostel accommodation, most appeared to be ‘just scraping by’ in economic terms. None of this has anything to do with their dignity or unique qualities as human beings. Indeed, although my own background is firmly grounded in working class origins, it was clear that life has presented much tougher barriers for others than I have had to overcome. I guess what I’m struggling to put into words is that I heard nothing that I could latch onto as overlaps or analogies, because their life story seemed so different to mine. Please don’t misinterpret this. I am certainly not ‘looking down my nose’ here. I have worked hard to gain a degree and a PhD and to secure a (largely) satisfying career as a teacher, but I know that I have had the opportunity to do so from within a highly committed, functional family and with the encouragement of parents who understood the value of such things. I also have a loving wife or 26 years standing, and we remain deeply committed to one another. I understand and appreciate all these relative advantages. However, I can’t escape the feeling that, with such little common ground, I wonder how I can contribute to others’ recovery or share my own relatively ‘privileged’ challenges.
    I would appreciate your comments please – especially if your experience of AA has been very different, or if I have simply misunderstood how all this works.
    Many thanks. AL&J



    Hello AL&J, welcome to 12 Step National Meetings. I have been ‘shopping’ meetings for a couple of weeks now, and have found each one different and the group members different. Please do try a few more meetings in other places. If you keep looking you will find one where you feel you fit in. There are a lot of professionals who are recovering alcoholics and they probably tend to go to certain meetings because it’s just human to feel most comfortable with people we have more in common with. Mostly, the people at the meetings I’ve gone to have been very welcoming and open to helping others, but not always. I went to a meeting last night that I had never been to before, and no one said a word to me. But I’ve been to others where I’ve felt almost overwhelmed with welcome!



    As you are a teacher…my experience in early AA might help…:)

    I considered AA meetings were classrooms for learning how
    to live sober and enjoy it.
    The more often I attended…the quicker I could determine how.

    Do you have our text book? It’s titled Alcoholics Anonymous
    and you will often hear it referred to as the BB/Big Book.

    There are different types of AA meetings…this link discusses them..:)

    Welcome to our recovery community…:wavey:

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.