New to AA need some info and lifting up.

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 to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby Sobrietyandjudo » Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:26 pm

Hello folks. After trying to quit drinking on my own and going 33 days clean I fell off hard. I'm now back on the sobriety wagon and I'm 6 days in. When I tried to get clean on my own I never thought I needed AA. But after some consideration I think it's something that would benefit me in my journey to quit drink for the rest of my life.

With that being said, to be completely honest with everyone I'm really nervous about attending a meeting. I am normally the guy that can walk into just about any room confidently. But for whatever reason I just couldn't start my truck to go tonight. I can come up with a million excuses why not to go but I know all of them are bs.

-Was anyone else this nervous before their first meeting?
-Am I just imagining that it's a place full of rules, both written and unwritten? I say that out of fear of be reprimanded publicly for doing or saying something unintentionally.
-Would it be a good idea to bring my fiancé to my first meeting for support?

Any advice or inspiration is welcome.
Thank you and Godspeed
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Re: New to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby Spirit Flower » Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:46 pm

Everyone was nervous their first meeting.
The only rule is don't take yourself too seriously.
I would go on your own to your first meeting. You can bring her if it is an open meeting.

AA is beyond wonderful. You will find a whole new outlook on life.
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Re: New to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:24 pm

Hi Sobrietyandjudo and welcome

AA has a pamphlet entitled "This is AA - An introduction to the AA recovery program" which will help answer your questions about how the program works. Most AA meetings have this pamphlet on their literature shelf or you can read it online by clicking on this link:

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-1_thisisaa1.pdf.

Here's an excerpt from the pamphlet on AA's 24 hour plan:

"For example, we take no pledges, we don’t say that we will “never” drink again. Instead, we try to follow what we in A.A. call the “24-hour plan.” We concentrate on keeping sober just the current twenty-four hours. We simply try to get through one day at a time without a drink. If we feel the urge for a drink, we neither yield nor resist. We merely put off taking that particular drink until tomorrow…."

AA really doesn't have any rules. There's nothing you have to conform to, or buy, no dues or fees, and if you want to just sit and listen at the meetings, you can do that. If you go to an Alano Club for a meeting, there will probably be a lot of AA "slogans" hanging on the walls like "First Things First", "Easy Does It", "One Day At A Time", "Live And Let Live", but those are just inspirational sayings, not directives. Most discussion meeting secretaries will read a list of guidelines for participation before the meeting starts, like limit shares to a few minutes, turn cell phones off, no cross talk or interrupting a participant-- just common courtesy stuff. AA meetings are generally upbeat and I think you'll enjoy the experience.

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 to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby serendipity » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:49 pm

I absolutely love the F2F meetings. I was nervous my first couple of times going in there, but the people were so warm and welcome. Don't worry about knowing all the "rules" and all that at first. Everything unfolds in time. In my area, a newcomer is never expected to know everything upon entrance and no one would ever publicly chastise a new comer for not knowing all that stuff. I wish you well and all I can say is... go ahead and go. You'll love it. There is nothing more comforting to me than being in the room and listening to a bunch of people who are like me sharing their experience, strength and hope.
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Re: New to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby PuppyEars » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:27 pm

info and lifting up

"Yes, I'm willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?"
Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.
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Re: New to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby Sobrietyandjudo » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:42 pm

Thank you for the input! At 12 tonight will be 7 days, one week without a drink. I was kinda worried about the weekend but i made it so far.

One day at a time right guys. I have lots of work to do, but I'll start with getting through tomorrow first.
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Re: New to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby tyg » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:48 am

The alcoholic mind forms a very powerful, very subtle obsession for alcohol. It's so powerful that my brain lies to me and... I will believe it.
Not just with my own experience, I find it very common that alcoholics will fear going to their 1st meeting, as well as doing the 12 step program because alcoholism (the peculiar twists in our thinking/this obsession) does not want us to see the truth about ourselves, it would rather have us stuck in denial.

I remember when my thinking used to convince me of endless excuses that justified procrastination and used fear, resentment, false pride (thinking I can handle & get by), etc. When things got bad enough, alcohol became my great motivator and, got me completely willing to do anything to not ever drink again. So, I found an alcoholic to teach me how to apply AA's 12 step program in my life. I also sought out extra help from other alcoholics by phoning them or talking with people before/after the meetings.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
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Re: New to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby Feeya » Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:15 am

Hi sobrietyandjudo!
Glad you found e-aa.
I was nervous as hell before my first meeting. I was so scared!
And then someone on this very site actually told me that all of my thoughts, all the fear I felt, wre just that, thoughts... I had nothing to lose by going to one of those meetings and if I did not like them I could still stop going, but how was I supposed to know?
So I went and it was the best and healthiest decision I have ever made for myself. The people I am surrounding myself with now, know exactly where I am at, know exactly what it is like. It feels so good to be understood and not feel alone!
Just go.
As far as bringing your fiancé, if it is an open meeting you can, but closed meetings are for people with the desire to stop drinking only. For me, I am able to be much more honest when I am only surrounded by the people at meetings, so I would not take anyone there with me.
Don't be scared, we have all been there!
Good luck to you!
One day at a time.
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Re: New to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby clouds » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:10 am

Going to my first AA meeing is still the best thing I ever did. It saved my life and gave me a way of living in such a way that I don't ever have to drink again.

Welcome!
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: New to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby Lali » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:19 am

Welcome to e-aa! If the only way you can get to a meeting is to bring someone with you, then by all means, bring someone!! It's pretty common for ppl to bring someone with them to their first meeting (open meetings). As others have said, most everyone fears their first meeting. Then they come back here to tell us about the meeting and they are pleasantly surprised at how well it went.

So, yes, please check out a meeting (or several - not all meetings are the same) and come back and tell us about your experience!!
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Re: New to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby Roberth » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:20 am

Hi Sobrietyandjudo and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. What I tell any new person I work with is tell them your name and tell them the truth and you cant go wrong.
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!
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Re: New to AA need some info and lifting up.

Postby serendipity » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:55 pm

Sobrietyandjudo wrote:Thank you for the input! At 12 tonight will be 7 days, one week without a drink. I was kinda worried about the weekend but i made it so far.

One day at a time right guys. I have lots of work to do, but I'll start with getting through tomorrow first.


That is wonderful news!! And yes, one day at a time... one hour at a time, one minute at a time, one second at a time... whatever it takes! Keep coming back, friend!
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