New and looking for help

New to AA? Got questions? Here's the place to ask. Note that no one person speaks "officially" for AA. AA meetings in your local area are always the best source of information. Note that anyone may post and reply to messages in this forum.

New and looking for help

Postby Dawn » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:57 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this and to AA (hoping to attend my first meeting next Tuesday). What should I expect during my first meeting if anyone has any advice?

Thank you.
D
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Re: New and looking for help

Postby Feeya » Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:24 pm

Hi Dawn,
Expect nothing and you will be surprised!
When I went to my first meeting I was so scared of who would be there, what they were going to say or do, what I would have to say or do...
You don't have to say anything if you don't want to.
If you want to, you can raise your hand and say you need help.
A lot of people are going to tell you their story and you will find yourself in there, some might tell you things that you can't relate to- leave it behind.
People might come up and want to hug you, if you are not okay with that, tell them, if you are- enjoy a hug.
People are going to be happy that you are there!
Do not expect the coffee to be good...

Let us know how it went.

Feeya
One day at a time.
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Re: New and looking for help

Postby Dawn » Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:27 pm

Thank you for that Feeya. I will be sure to bring my own coffee. How long are the meetings usually?
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Re: New and looking for help

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:35 pm

Welcome Dawn, in USA, its usually an hour. Most meetings read the "How it works" from the book Alcoholics Anonymous, Traditions and 9th step promises. Usually runs to about 15 minutes. And then depending on the meeting the next 45 minutes will be reading from the literature or the discussion leader throws a topic out there and people share their experience strength and hope.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: New and looking for help

Postby Brock » Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:52 pm

We are allowed to put links stating with AA.org like this one, it's from AA Australia, but the information is correct for any part of the world, best of luck.
http://www.aa.org.au/new-to-aa/about-aa-meetings.php

By the way Feeya was joking about the coffee as we often do.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: New and looking for help

Postby ezdzit247 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:14 pm

Hi Dawn and welcome.

Ditto what Feeya wrote in her post.

Expect nothing and you will be surprised!
When I went to my first meeting I was so scared of who would be there, what they were going to say or do, what I would have to say or do...
You don't have to say anything if you don't want to.
If you want to, you can raise your hand and say you need help.
A lot of people are going to tell you their story and you will find yourself in there, some might tell you things that you can't relate to- leave it behind.
People might come up and want to hug you, if you are not okay with that, tell them, if you are- enjoy a hug.
People are going to be happy that you are there!
Do not expect the coffee to be good...

Let us know how it went.


Especially the part about the coffee..... :lol: She was NOT joking!

I got sober in southern California and meetings there are generally 1 1/2 hrs with a coffee break about 25 minutes after the meeting starts so that members can introduce themselves to newcomers, invite them to other meetings, and give them phone numbers to call. After about 10 minutes the meeting secretary or chair calls the meeting to order again and proceeds to introduce the speaker or open the meeting to topic discussion. I moved to northern California about 20 years ago and the meetings up here are generally 1 hr long with no coffee break. Glad you found the forum, Dawn. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

Keep coming back....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: New and looking for help

Postby Feeya » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:08 pm

Meetings in Germany are usually an hour and a half as well.
We don't have coffee breaks, the coffee can is just sitting on the table and everyone can grab it.
But, from my experience, meetings are a lot different from country to country and depending wether it is a book study group or a discussion meeting.
It also depends on the people there.
I go to three different meetings and all three of them have something else to offer.

What struck me the most when I went to my first meeting was, that people didn't look like total trainwrecks and that they were laughing. They weren't laughing about each other but with each other. I wasnt able to find anything funny at the time but that changed quicker than I could have dreamed off.
Laughing AA members surely saved my life.
One day at a time.
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