In this video, I talk about my first AA meeting and the misconceptions I had about AA before becoming a dedicated member.
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Today I want to talk about AA aka ‘Alcoholics Anonymous.’ and specifically about my first AA meeting. This was one of the first topics I wanted to address because I had so many misconceptions about this organization that really deterred me from actively seeking the help that I needed. For those of you who don’t know, making these videos is part of my 12th step, and I want to share my personal experience with AA in hopes that it may encourage someone out there, who may have a problem with alcohol or drugs, to have an open mind and not follow in my footsteps.
First, I want to give you guys a little background information on AA. AA was founded in 1935 and it has helped thousands of alcoholics recover. It is open to anyone and everyone as long as you have a desire to stop drinking. There are no membership dues, and contrary to what people think, it is not affiliated with any religious or political organization. With the internet, it is very easy to find AA meetings in your city, and if you live in a major city, you might be shocked at how many meetings are held each day. In my city, there is a meeting going on at almost every hour of the day with the first one starting at 6am and the last one at 8pm.
I’ll be honest. Before entering treatment I really looked down upon AA and it’s members which is crazy because I didn’t even go to a meeting before making these judgments. To me, people in AA had no control over their alcoholism and were losers and probably criminals. They were the weak ones that had no control over their addiction and let it take over their lives. What in the world could I possibly have in common with these people? Well, it turns out, a lot. We all suffer from the same brain disease and have the same allergy when it comes to alcohol.
When I first entered IOP, I was very hesitant to go to to AA, but knew that it was necessary if I was going to take my program seriously. I decided to go to an all women’s group in a nice part of town. My first meeting was incredibly awkward, and I told myself I would never go to that meeting again. The majority of the women were over 60 years old and white! I’ve never felt so out of place as a young Asian-American female. I avoided AA until I was 8 weeks into my treatment and had a very different experience. One of the best pieces of advice I got from IOP, in regards to AA, was to look for the similarities instead of the differences. I realized that we are all the same in that we are trying to and working towards staying sober. A common characteristic that a lot of alcoholics have in common is that we tend to isolate ourselves. By going to meetings and connecting with others, we are doing the opposite of what our disease wants us to do.
I am now an active member of AA and the group that I vowed never to go to again has become my home group. There are lots of years of sobriety in my home group. There was one woman who has not had alcohol in 40 years, yet she still actively goes to meetings! There is a lot I can learn from them and have learned from them. There is a reason why AA has been around for as long as it has and that’s because it works if you are willing and committed to working the steps. As far as my misconception about AA being full of criminals and losers, I’ll tell you that there are moms, doctors, lawyers and extremely successful people in my home group which proves that alcoholism and addiction does not discriminate.
If you think you might have a problem, I’m passing along the same advice I got which is to keep an open mind and always look for the similarities.
Thank you so much for watching today, and again, please leave me a comment or subscribe!