What to Expect from Your First AA Meeting
Attending your first AA meeting can set off high levels of anxiety. Rest assured it will not be as bad as you think. You will most likely leave feeling relieved that you took the first step. To make things easier on you, we broke down everything you might expect from your first meeting.
All meetings run a bit differently but this is what you can generally expect:
Specific Meeting Format
AA meetings open by reading AA literature: (The Preamble, How it Works, The Promises, The Principles, etc.)
However, there are many different meeting formats. Some common examples are:
· Open Discussion – The group will take turns sharing stories of their success and struggles in the recovery process.
· Steps and Traditions – The meeting is focused on a specific step or tradition of recovery allowing everyone a chance to share their thoughts.
· Examine Text – The group will read and discuss the main pieces of text in AA literature.
· Speaker – One member spends the hour sharing their experience strength and hope to the group.
First Step Meeting
The meeting’s designated leader, aka: chair person, will ask if anyone is attending their first AA meeting and a small group will likely take the newcomer into another room to share their experience and offer guidance for recovery. It is highly suggested that you announce your first time at a meeting to get the full experience of beginning recovery.
Warm Welcome and Phone Numbers
You can expect to leave with a phone full of new numbers and a warm welcome from people like you. Don’t be alarmed. Recovering people genuinely care because they have been where you are and want to help.
Open and Closed Meetings – What’s the Difference?
Open meetings are available to friends, family and loved ones of those who have a desire to stop drinking.
Closed meetings are available only to those who have a desire to stop drinking.
*You don’t have to be fully committed to not drink in order to attend a meeting – you just have to have a desire for today!
Now that you have a clear idea of what to expect from your first AA meeting, you can be confident that there is nothing to worry about. By reading this, you have already taken the first step of recovery and an AA meeting is exactly where you’ll want to be.
If you have other questions about recovery, call New Directions Addiction Recovery Services at (779) 220-0336. We are a nonprofit organization based in Crystal Lake, IL, that takes a comprehensive approach to helping individuals recover from addiction.
New Directions Addiction Recovery Services
93 E Berkshire Dr, Unit G
Crystal Lake, IL 60014