New to AA

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admin
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Joined: 2009-08-28

Welcome AA newcomers and beginners! This is your space to post questions, answers, solutions and generally express yourself. We'd like to hear from you!

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Kelley247
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Joined: 2014-06-29
There is a solution!!

Below is the process I use to reach out to the newcomer...and determine if they are ready to recover from this fatal illness. Recovery is possible regardless of any circumstance the person is going through!

Big Book 4th ED page 186-187

They said to me, “Do you want to quit drinking? It’s none of our business about your drinking. We’re not up here trying to take any of your rights or privileges away from you, but we have a program whereby we think we can stay sober.

Part of that program is that we take it to someone else who needs it and wants it. Now, if you don’t want it,
we’ll not take up your time, and we’ll be going and looking for someone else.”

The next thing they wanted to know was if I thought I could quit of my own accord, without any help, if I could just walk out of the hospital and never take another drink. If I could, that was wonderful, that was just fine, and they would very much appreciate a person who had that kind of power, but they were looking for a man who knew he had a problem and knew he couldn’t handle it himself and needed outside help.

The next thing they wanted to know was if I believed in a Higher Power. I had no trouble because I had never actually ceased to believe in God and had tried lots of times to get help but hadn’t succeeded.

Next they wanted to know would I be willing to go to this Higher Power and ask for help, calmly and without any reservations. They left this with me to think over, and I lay there on that hospital bed and went back over and reviewed my life.

I thought of what liquor had done to me, the
opportunities that I had discarded,
the abilities that had been given me and how I had wasted them, and
I finally came to the conclusion that if I didn’t want to quit,
I certainly ought to want to, and that I was
willing to do anything in the world to stop drinking.

Anonymous
Still Drinking, But Hopeful

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I'll give it a try.

I've been drinking alcoholically since I was 18, and I'm now 42, so almost 25 years. With the exception of my two pregnancies (during which I was what I guess is called a "dry drunk"), I've only had one real attempt at stopping. It was 2008, and I had just fallen off a stool in my home and broken a rib. My husband convinced me to go to an outpatient, twice a week recovery program, which I did. I remember telling the woman at the employee assistance program that I was working full-time, parenting 2 toddlers, and getting straight A-s in a masters program...all while drinking...so I couldn't wait to see what I could do while sober! She commented that I may already be trying to do too much. She was right.

I can see clearly now that I was not ready back then. I believed I had control, unlike the other people in my group who were court-ordered to be there. I felt superior to them. One of the counselors kept cautioning me that I hadn't gotten a DUI YET, a divorce YET, lost my job YET, etc. I see now that she was absolutely right. I went through the motions of some meetings, half-heartedly got a sponsor, and started drinking 8 months later.

Fast forward to today. Things have progressed very quickly recently. Several weeks ago, I was alone in my house for several days without my husband and kids. I've been day drinking on weekends and in the afternoons for a while, but the few days I was alone to drink as I pleased absolutely TERRIFIED me. I remember not even feeling hung over, but more like I was mentally ill and couldn't think straight (if that makes any sense). I absolutely believe that I am powerless over alcohol. The idea that there could actually be a day when I AM NOT MENTALLY OBSESSED with alcohol seems impossible now...but I am hopeful.

Yesterday, I had a few glasses of wine but waited until my friend came over to really start. I didn't feel drunk when I went to bed, which hasn't happened in forever. I am planning to gradually cut back and go to a meeting just as soon as I can work up the courage.

Sorry to ramble, and thanks for reading if you made it this far. :-)

andrea55
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Joined: 2014-06-30
Still drinking but hopeful

Get to a meeting as soon as possible. You will be welcomed there. Even if you just sit in the back row for your first few times. It's OK, just Go.....

Anonymous
new to gv/ trying to

how do you join this site

Anonymous
New to sobriety

Going on 60 days now and feeling ready to work the steps and find myself a sponsor to help me. definitely taking it one day at a time as any further into the future still makes me feel sad about never drinking again. Feeling grateful that my heart and head are clear and I've made this vital step towards recovery. My drinking was leading me down a sad path of self medicating and numbing myself, my feelings....moving towards more mindful living and decision making instead of letting the alcohol "decide" for me.

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
New to Sobriety

Thank you for your post and welcome to a new way of living. I commend you on your Readiness to get a sponsor and beginning to work the steps.
Brad

Anonymous
Ngs and needing help

I am just now coming to AA. It has apbeen a difficult and painful journey.
I have hurt many people, most importantly, my wife and partner.
I know that I am not capable of drinking.
I drink one, and have another, and down I go.

I am hoping that AA will give me the strength to rest and to become a better person.

I look forward to joining the community.

Thank you!

Jeff

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
needing help

Welcome Jeff. During my first day of recovery, an older woman who had many years of sobriety looked at me with her twinkling bright blue eyes and said in a gravely voice, "you're in the right place, honey." I never forgot those bright blue eyes that were so full of life or the love in that gravelly voice. You know what, she was right.

Walck
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Joined: 2014-07-31
Downloading audio question

I just subscribed to Grapevine last week. I am 4 months sober at age 66...it's been a long time coming.
My questions are technical.
1) My I-PAD will not allow me to play or download audio tapes...why...normal? FYI, I don't have a smart cell phone, just the $10 a month model.

Anonymous
I've had the same problem and

I've had the same problem and suspect that the fact my phone will not support flash media as the culprit

Anonymous
downloads

X.A. Speakers...
then
Are the lights on.....
you will get some things from there and Recovery Emporium is good.

Walck
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Joined: 2014-07-31
ZIP

Thanks GV, downloaded a unzip app, works fine now.

Anonymous
Big Book Language

Is it just me or does anyone else have trouble with the language of the 1930's? I am having so much trouble relating to the book, some of what is written applies of course but I can't get over how dated the material seems to be. I am newly sober if you didn't already figure that out, but have not experienced much of what is written, no financial disasters or losing jobs etc, no skid row bridges in my past, I simply have a strong desire to stop drinking. I will keep plugging away at it and hope that at some point it will all come together.

Patty

VirginiaC
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Joined: 2014-09-04
Big Book Language

There are some more modern books out there. I just ordered "A Womans Guide to working the steps" and it's workbook. (I think that's what it's called). I'm expecting the delivery in a few days and I'm hoping it will be a good supplement along side the big book. I also ordered the "big book workbook" so I can go new school and old school. :) ~ Virginia

noduis
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Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: Big Book Language

Yeah, not enough "I'm like", "You know" and "He goes" in it.

Anonymous
big book language

It does seem outdated, huh? The ironic part is the experience, strength and hope it talks about is TIMELESS!!! My sponsor encouraged me to seek and embrace the SIMILARITIES, NOT the differences. That helped a lot! And not just the reading materials, but all aspects of recovery. And, of course, PRAY to see the sameness instead of the differences!! Don't give up!!

Anonymous
Concerning Big Book Lanquage

The Big Book is eloquently written in proper English
with correct grammar. It is a pleasure for me to read
it instead of reading such phrases as " moving forward",
"my bad", "no prob" and "been there, done that".
That being said I feel the content is more important
than the delivery.
Keep reading and consider obtaining the book on disc.
It is a pleasure to listen to.
You may also want to discuss your readings with your sponsor
or other alcholics.

Ray C

clu1992
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Joined: 2012-05-30
re ray

Well said ray, well said!

Anonymous
Remember it is about your

Remember it is about your sobriety and not others.Every day you do not drink it has come together. That is why you do it one day at a time.
Mac

Anonymous
You may have Big Book Study

You may have Big Book Study meetings in your area. Check one or more of these out. They may help, as they did for me. Repeated readings of the Book itself always gave me better insight. There were things that I read four or five times before I actually got what the writer(s) were saying.

For more contemporary stories, the Grapevine, both in-print
and on-line, gives more up-to-date stories of the path to recovery. I also very much enjoyed a book called "Chicken Soup For The Recovering Soul". It's probably not AA Approved, whatever that means, and I skipped some of the stories, but overall it's a good read.

And I'll probably get blasted for this, but a friend with 15 years sobriety had me pick up the NA Basic Text. It was written in the 70's and is much easier to comprehend. And for me at least, the message is almost exactly the same.

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
BB Language

I agree Patty, the book is dated, especially in some of the wording, cultural issues and treatment of women. However, it is the basic text of AA that captured how the founders and early AAs stayed sober and brought new hope for alcoholics into the world.

There are great tools and much wisdom in the book. Like other revolutionary documents, there is great hesitancy among those who owe their lives to AA to change it.

In addition to the main text of the BB, there are the stories in the back of the book and in the GV that are more up to date. There is also the sharing of AA members in meetings each of whom shares their personal story and experience. That is where the principles of AA are brought to life and made real.

We have learned a lot about alcoholism since the book was written and we've seen a proliferation of treatment programs. But, I still don't see a better way than AA for a person to get sober, stay sober and live a happy, joyous and free sober life.

Anonymous
RE: Big Book Language

Keep that plug in the jug! That is what some of the old-
timers used to tell me. Stay close to us and you will be
OK. After four decades, yes I am still OK. Not perfect but
OK is good enough for me today.
Check page 164 in the Big Book. "Our book is meant to be
suggestive only. We realize that we know only a little."
More has certainly been disclosed. I find very few AA
members today who understand what suggestive means. They
will recite the story of the parachute. Pull the cord is
not a suggestion. That is a direction. We offer the BB
and the 12 steps in a suggestive manner. Directions was
changed to PATH, just before the BB went to print.
I was never arrested, never been in a detox except for
AA meetings. I had the best job of my life when I stopped
drinking and was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous. I
kept that job for 32 years and had perfect attendance for
the last 15 years. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
The book is old, that is

The book is old, that is true. It is a spiritual work, not a "read only" affair. One needs to "study" it" letting it's message go down deep. Makes no difference whether a high or low bottom alcoholic, the message is the same. Sadly it takes "time" to fully appreciate it's full depth.

Anonymous
Newly Sober and having rapid mood swings!

I am 27 days sober, the longest clean time I have had in 16 years. I went to treatment and came home a few days ago, began working the steps, am working my 90 and 90. and found a wonderful sponsor. I am excited about my recovery because I am doing it for myself, my family, and to give back...except for the tact that my mood swings are awful. I can be reading or cooking or walking and feeling good, and out of nowhere for no reason (no triggers, etc.) my mind says, this isn't

Anonymous
Nagging

Too many posts here sound like my mother-in-law's program of recovery:
You do this...
You need to...
You ought to...

Thank God I found Alcoholics Anonymous where I heard
I went to meetings regularly,
I read the Big Book,
I got a sponsor,
I worked the steps,
I started doing service work.

Isn't that what Ebbie shared with Bill
and Bill passed on to Dr Bob? Experience, not advice.

They had had all the advice in the world.
When they saw the result of actual experience before their
eyes, their lives changed.

Just like mine changed when I
I went to meetings regularly,
I read the Big Book,
I got a sponsor,
I worked the steps,
I started doing service work.

Anonymous
Alone and Had Relapse Looking for some help

Been struggling for quite some with alcohol. Have been to AA, Been to emergency room 1 1/2 years ago and did rehab over the winter. Right now just coming off another relapse, and I am scared to leave my home for anything. As you know your friends disappear slowly and I was advised to seek help from other alcoholics. anyone else out there that needs to talk, and may want to help me?

Anonymous
RE: Alone and Had Relapse...

You may be happy to hear you are NOT alone anymore. Can you call your local AA line and see if someone will come to your home and give you a meeting? If you can find the courage to do this I think it will help you.

Ray C

Anonymous
Alone & had Relapse

Are you doing ok? I went to detox a month ago for Alcohol and opioids and feel much like you do. I just got off the phone with rehab and got the names & dates of meetings. I too have lost friends and afraid of everything. Have you had any luck?

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
Alone & Relapse looking For Some Help

I can relate to much of what you posted. When newly sober just out of treatment and now living in what seemed liked a Whole New World without drink & drugs. Going to work and being around the guys I used to drink & party with, what would I do after work since that is when I did my "serious" drinking.
Even going to the grocery store was a panic induced eevent, it took me months before I could even get near a beer isle--where the milk was.
On page xxvii in The Doctor's Opinion in the Big Book there is a line that says " and unless this person (the alkie) can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery."
My psychic change happened just out of the treatment center, I did have 1 slip, but the psychic change was Meetings Meetings Meetings, 2 a night, 3-5 on the weekends, I read AA books and yes I prayed, the compulsion & daily thoughts about drink & drugs left. I did get a sponsor and worked the steps as best as I could. Did I make some mistakes? yes, but I stayed sober soon I had 1 month, then 6 months and then 1 yr.
Brad

Anonymous
relapse

I have been going to AA meetings for almost a year,at first not for me my problem was admitting I was an alcoholic. I had been drinking so long (35 yrs)that i didnt realize there was a whole different world out there outside of drinking, Ive always been on the edge looking down and as the years went by the problems from drinking increased to the point were i absolutely must make a decision to stop or lose everything what little i have not a uncommon story anyway I started going AA was welcomed with open arms and told keep coming back I was sober for 3 months before i consumed alcohol again it wasnt the same i felt so guilty I admitted it at a meeting and apologized to several people by my surprise they said t happens were human keep coming back I did but found my self relapsing again a short time later i need to endulge into the program more and just let go, just let go life is much better when I dont drink Im starting again and im learning by my mistakes But one day at a time Thanks AA I feel a change coming on.

andrea55
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Joined: 2014-06-30
relapse

That's it....one day at a time. Hang in there and keep coming back!

Anonymous
relapse

I've been AA for over 3 years and have had 3 relapses, my last 7 months ago. I was angry at myself, felt guilty, ashamed, etc and couldn't figure out why I kept relapsing. An old timer took me to the side and told me until I really BELIEVED I had a problem and that I couldn't fight it ALONE, I'd never have long term sobriety. Maybe sounds pretty simple but I finally realized even after I'd admitted I had "a problem", down deep, I thought I could handle it alone. I now utilize EVERY aspect of AA and surrendered my will 7 months ago. Life is good and getting better.

Anonymous
Being Alone

I just moved to a new town and I'm going to meetings every day. I had to do something because I couldn't get much sober time together where I came from. I'm starting to meet people in the program but still have lots of down time to sit in my head. I have five months now.
I wish it was like the old days when sponsors essentially spent time with newbys on a regular basis. I've asked three women to sponsor me and one was nuts and barely acknowledged me, the other just didn't have it (nice lady but not ready to sponsor - we are still friends) and now this one has only met with me one time in a month. I am so restless and starting to think that my drunk friends might be out for themselves only, but they're easier to pin down! lol I live alone for the first time and lately I've started actually thinking about giving up. It scares me. I know I want to be sober.. I had 20 years once! But now I'm struggling to stay sober and I NEVER thought that would be me. NEVER. Anyway, I'm staying sober today and I want to thank AA very much. Pam

Anonymous
Alone

Of the 201 words in the twelve steps alcohol is mentioned twice God or a Higher Power six times. Your post included the word I seven times in the first paragraph alone . What would a good sponsor do besides telling you that they found the answer to their problem in the Big Book. We're good a picking out what we want, not so with what we need.

Anonymous
12 steps?

I'm new to AA although I have been sober for over 14 years on my own. I enjoy the meetings but I don't know how to follow the 12 steps. I have a deep rooted hatred of Religion but I am a spiritual person. Am I supposed to just read the 12 steps and figure it out for myself or are there people or resources to guide me? Thanks.

Anonymous
12 steps

we do not travel this journey alone . Go to Big Book Meeting and if u can say u would need and want a sponsor to take you thru the steps as written in the BB.

captdeep6
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Joined: 2012-09-30
12 steps

Hi, It is a suggestion that you get a sponsor, ( another Alcoholic), who has experience in helping others with the steps. You don't have to go it alone. I worked them with a really good sponsor and now live and work with others to achieve sobriety. I understand that you may hate religion. AA is not about any particular religion. AA is about clearing the wreckage away of your past. Finding a new way to live in service of others. Getting outside yourself for the sake of another sick person.
This thought occurred to me in AA about finding a power greater than myself to help take the obsession and the compulsion for alcohol.
If a man is drowning, does he try to analyze the life line thrown to him? Does he say: "I don't like that rope. Throw me another". Or turn his back on the life line and continue to drown? No. I think he grabs the line and holds on to it for dear life and gets pulled safely back. After being pulled to safety, might the man show gratitude to the source that saved him?. How might he show his thanks for being saved?
Your self will is strong if you have been sober for 14 years. But is your self will letting you be happy? I'll let you think about that and cheerfully await your reply.

Anonymous
12 Steps

I found a person in AA who had worked the steps and seemed to have his life together and asked him to guide me. How did I know he worked the steps? He talked about them when he shared.

My first group met in the library of a recovery house. Whenever this guy was asked to share, he'd walk across the room and pull a pamphlet off the bookshelf. I thought he was looney but later learned he was grabbing a Grapevine which had the steps on the back cover. He always liked to have the steps in his hands when he shared so he could refer to his solution.

He helped me build a SOLID AA foundation based on the steps that has carried me through many years. There are many wonderful people and groups in AA that can help with the steps.

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
12 Steps

If you can get a AA meeting guide or call your local AA Central office and ask if there is a Step Study Meeting or look for 1 in the AA Meeting schedule.
www.xa-speakers.org has Big Book study workshops and guides such as Joe & Charlie, Chris & Dave also laced thru the list of speakers at the site some Big Book studies are laced in, I like the 1 by Paul F ?
Brad

Anonymous
12 steps

Start going to meetings, if you haven't already, and find someone that you feel you can connect with, someone who really inspires you, or someone with whom you feel you could share easily with and ask them to be your sponser. I am new to this too and I just got a sponser last week. You need a sponser of the same gender as you and he or she will help you and guide you throughout your 12 step process. Good luck in your journey friend:)

Anonymous
re 12 steps

Welcome.

I had the good fortune of attending a group that had step meetings 1 2 3 in rotation. The big kids were in other rooms. We read from the 12 & 12 and people talked about how they had or were taking the steps. I didn't get anything out of religion either but I did some outside reading on spiritual matters. That helped a great deal with Step Two. Read closely, Step Three is simply "made a decision" about a hundred words later in the Big Book explains exactly how to turn our will over to the CARE (not control) of a Higher Power by doing four through twelve.

They are in the Big Book but I prefer the 12 & 12. There are some audio speaker "tapes" online about the steps. No affiliation, just individual members sharing their experience.

Just search for aa talks and a number of sites should come up.

noduis
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Joined: 2013-09-05
Re: 12 steps?

"Am I supposed to just read the 12 steps and figure it out for myself or are there people or resources to guide me? Thanks."
I'll pass on a suggestion I got when I was new. "Use your Big Book and a Higher Power."
Nothing was said about going to church or praying to any particular higher power, just use whatever Higher Power I might trust.
Notice, I was told to USE the Big Book, not just read it or study it or discuss it, but use it. Beginning with Chapter Five it contains simple details of what the founders did and what many thousands still do to get and stay sober.

Anonymous
Not Sure About AA,,,

Hi,

I have been thinking about AA for the last 6 months know. I know I have a problem...but I am very much against any sort of religious aspect or teachings (at least what I have read).

Please do not think I am selfish, but I do believe that change has to come from within a person without spiritual guidance.

Just asking and looking for some guidance...thank you.

Anonymous
The word "spiritual" can be

The word "spiritual" can be tricky and has different meanings for different people.

One fall day while riding my bike up a canyon in Idaho I stopped at a particularly beautiful spot to look at the changing trees and the leaves floating down to a small stream. My "spirit" soared and I felt like the day and the world could not be more perfect. I remembered a poem I'd read on the Hemingway memorial in Sun Valley that he'd written for a friend who had been killed in a hunting accident...

Best of all he loved the fall
The leaves yellow on the cottonwoods
Leaves floating on the trout streams
And above the hills
The high blue windless skies
…Now he will be a part of them forever

It suddenly hit me that I was a part of this forever. It was another step in my ongoing "spiritual" awakening that was made possible and is nurtured in AA.

Anonymous
Re: The word "spiritual" can be

The word Spiritual is OK. It is when a group of people or organization says that Spirituality is a prerequisite for becoming sober.

I have been sober for years and years and I am not Spiritual, religious or believe in magic. I have not died a alcoholic death.

Anonymous
Not sure

Many of us come to AA with similar reservations. Some groups and individuals lean more to spirituality than others. You are not required to believe or do anything and many of us attend meetings for a while before seeing what is working for others before we take action. Some never take any action and simply attend meetings.

Our literature spells out "God as you understand Him". That leave a lot of latitude. For some - Good Orderly Direction for others Group Of Drunks. Personally I have God of my understanding who wants nothing but helps me improve my life if asked. If my life is good, I don't want to screw it up by drinking. It's been good for over thirty years so far.

I just can't swallow the idea that God needs or wants anything from me. What, God's going to feel disappointed if I break some rule. Is he going kick some of his furniture like we do and mope around for days? He's God for God's sake. He doesn't put me in charge of his happiness.

I think you are the first drunk in history to include the words "thank you" in your first post. Thank you! I hope you test an AA meeting. I've never heard anyone say "It's exactly what I expected".

andrea55
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Joined: 2014-06-30
Not sure

I went to my first meeting today. My last drink was May 30. It wasn't what I expected. I do have a faith in God and I am a practicing Catholic. I was a bit late as I went to the wrong door. Nobody talked to me and I didn't initiate any conversation either. I sat in the back so i didn't have to crawl over people. I just sat and listened....took it all in.
The fact that nobody talked to me was a bit surprising and unexpected.

Anonymous
took it all in...

Hi my name is Sanjeev.I am an alcoholic.I love the way you say"took it all in".After many attempts to stay sober I recently realised that a soaked sponge doesnt absorb much however the contrary applies if its dry.So dont worry about conversations with others some of the best you will have is with yourself and your Higher power that I believe exists within us all.Just keep at the meetings and the magic will duly unfold.God strength.

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
not sure

Andrea, glad you made it to a meeting. I remember it being difficult to head in to my first meetings. I felt like I needed a drink to calm my nerves.

In my home group, if you introduced as a newcomer, you would definitely receive special attention which includes a newcomers packet of AA literature, a meeting schedule and phone numbers. YOu would be asked to share during the meeting and would be surrounded after the meeting by those offering support and help.

However,if you arrived late, folks might not know you are new and you might get lost in the shuffle as group members socialized with their friends. Our group is very social and we tend to gravitate to those we know.

Keep coming back, try different meetings and arrive early to introduce yourself. Also, if you volunteer put away chairs, clean cups or whatever after a meeting, I can guarantee you will meet people and make friends. There is nothing like getting in to service to break down social barriers.

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
Not Sure

Andrea 55

Some AA meetings have greeters, some have newcomer packets and some as you experienced just have a meeting. My suggestion is to try going to another meeting or go to just a women's meeting. If you want some attention, raise your hand if they ask " are there any people here for their 1st meeting/"
The Gift of Desperation opens doors to meeting new people.
Brad

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