Afraid to go to AA because I might need to leave

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Afraid to go to AA because I might need to leave

Postby minime » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:20 pm

I have panic attacks over not being seated near an exit & panic attacks over having to stay somewhere aka not being able to leave without it being weird.

Do people come and go & can I leave if someone is talking without it being rude.

If not how do I make sure that if I need to walk out at any second, that people know why before the meeting even commences?

Also isn't it a tight-knit group. Won't I be intruding & picked on as the new comer?
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Re: Afraid to go to AA because I might need to leave

Postby Brock » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:54 pm

I would love to say no to everything you asked, everyone has fears about going the first time, all say afterwards it was cool. But meetings are maybe a bit like bars, some better than others, and some have people you feel more comfortable with than others.

I don’t think you will get the opportunity to say to the whole group you might leave at any moment, but it doesn't really matter, I have seen it happen many times, or maybe someone new starts crying, no big deal. The groups are tight knit but everyone remembers what it was like at first, yes sometimes one or two people might try to pay more attention to the new person, it can feel like they are picking on you I suppose, and I wish it never happened, but it hardly ever does. If anyone asks you anything just say I came to listen, a lady or two may offer their phone number just take it, there are no rules or regulations we come and go as we please, and you will see a scroll on the wall with 12 traditions which protect that no rules policy.

If you Google your city or town together with ‘AA Inter Group’ you will probably find a phone number for inquiries, and a list of meetings. If your area has any ladies only meetings, I think you might be more comfortable there at first. Really meetings are just some nice people drinking tea and coffee and talking, nothing to fear I promise.
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Re: Afraid to go to AA because I might need to leave

Postby Chelle » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:16 pm

Hi Minime,
I could tell you not to be afraid, but it probably wouldnt help. I understand how you are feeling.I was scared at first too, and I also have anxiety issues. There really is nothing to be afraid of. Just put one foot in front of the other and go on in. If you have a friend or family member to go along for support, that would be great too. Just look for an open meeting (around here, we just open it up for a family member if it is a closed meeting).

I do not believe that you will be picked on. I have never seen a newcomer picked on EVER.If you feel like you need to get up to leave, you can leave. There are no rules. If you dont want to talk, you can just say "my name is minime, Im just here to listen".

People are so friendly in AA IME, you may not want to get up and leave. You are not intruding! You are the most important person in the room! Many people with long term sobriety just go to meetings to meet new people who want to learn how to get sober. That's you. Ladies will probably come up and introduce themselves before or after the meeting.They are just friends that you havent met yet =biggrin

I do hope you will give it a try. Congratulations for wanting to make a positive change in your life.

Let us know how it went, and keep coming back Mini.
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Re: Afraid to go to AA because I might need to leave

Postby kaosxtech » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:18 pm

There are online groups that you can sign in under a guest name sit and listen...share if you want...and leave when it suits you. It is a good way to get exposure to the program and what a meeting is like. The face to face meetings can be a little intimidating and there are some cliques; however, you have so many people in these meetings that are kind and loving and will welcome you too. If you find yourself in a meeting you dont feel comfortable in then try a different one. Hopefully you live in an area with multiple meetings available. IT may feel awkward to leave a meeting in the middle of a meeting but you are free to come and go in the meeting. Especially if your a newcomer people should understand.
I do feel bad if a newcomer leaves a meeting because I worry that "we" failed them, then i remember its not "us" that keeps them sober.
Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62)
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Re: Afraid to go to AA because I might need to leave

Postby Shoreline » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:01 pm

In my experience people walk in and out of meetings all the time to smoke, take phone calls, use the bathroom etc. It's probably ok to walk in and out once in a while and most people will not care. I would suggest going to larger meetings with a lot of people and try to sit in the back.
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Re: Afraid to go to AA because I might need to leave

Postby Spirit Flower » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:29 pm

Everybody was new once. We love newcomers. We know how you feel.
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Re: Afraid to go to AA because I might need to leave

Postby Blue Moon » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:32 pm

I have never been in a meeting where anyone was unable to walk in or out at-will. I have known of some meetings which had the opposite problem - encouraging people to stay seated for long enough to hear about recovery (a meeting with very high proportion of attendees from a local rehab).
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