New to AA

565 replies [Last post]
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

Anonymous
Not sure

Welcome

The personalities of AA groups and meetings vary as much as the those of the next one hundred people picked at random at the shopping mall. The same meeting next week may be quite different. Don't be afraid to ask. The rest of us are there looking for a solution, sometimes we get tunnel vision and don't notice a new member. The vast majority will do their best to be helpful, a few are too scared to know what to do and a few are just plain nuts. If you have had the guts to face a life with the pain of alcoholism just apply the same for recovery. Listen very closely to the readings that open the meeting. Good members live by those words so its easy to spot someone blowing smoke.

Let us know what happens.

andrea55
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Joined: 2014-06-30
not sure

Thanks to all who posted to my experience. I went to the same meeting place the next day....early and introduced myself. I met a few other women and got some phone numbers. I went to a different meeting yesterday and this group had greeters. I saw someone that I met at the previous group and had someone to sit with. I plan to continue to go to different meetings to see what other groups are like and find a sponsor. Onward and upward I go

clu1992
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Joined: 2012-05-30
re not sure

The program of AA offers a spiritual program that if practiced as a way of life can expel the compulsion to drink and usually makes you feel useful and happily whole. I suggest reading the book "alcoholics anonymous" at least the first 164 pages that describe the program and also there are many personal stories in the story section. I think you will find the "vicious cycle" fitting. The book is free at www.aa.org
Good luck!

andie
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Joined: 2014-06-29
Just home from rehab

Hello. I'm not driving and need to get to doctors appointments and shopping. How do I find a like-minded person in my town to help me?

Anonymous
just home

Our primary purpose is to stop drinking and help others recover from alcoholism. Join AA if that is what you want. If transportation is what you want, many of us have lost our license for a while and learned to use public transportation or paid for taxis. It's part of the high cost of drinking for us.

Anonymous
Not A Member Yet

I have been sober for over two years now after drinking on and off (mostly on) for 30 years (the last 15 years drinking to get drunk 3 -4 times a week). I have never been to an A.A meeting although I considered it many times.

Here is my dilemma. My husband of 17 years continues to drink every single day until drunkenness. He has always been an every day drinker but it has gotten worse. We once quit for a year together and it was an awesome year of sobriety. Then we fell off the wagon together and remained so for a couple of years. Since then the alcohol takes more and more of him and never gives anything back. He has taken to keeping a case of beer in the back seat of his vehicle to drink a few on the way home from work. I am tired of the drinking and having no sober adult in my house to count on or talk to.

I have tried to talk to him about his drinking and he just doesn't take it to heart. He says he can't sleep without alcohol. I tried talking to him this morning about giving up drinking and how it is affecting our marriage. By 2:30 PM he had popped the first can of beer. By supper time his eyes were rolling in his head, slurred speech, staggering, passed out by 8:00 PM.

He keeps beer in the house and it used to bother me, but I thank God I haven't had to struggle with an urge to drink in quite some time.

I don't know what to do. Would I benefit from A.A meetings?

Anonymous
A Drinking Partner

I would go to an AA meeting and share exactly what you posted, I too have a spouse that drinks which at times makes me go through the emotional side of my disease. I hang with my wife til the drunkenness gets irritating and kindly excuse myself and say a prayer for her. They have to want to stop and after seeing me working my sobriety she MAY cut back or just want to do something that does not include alcohol. Hang in there and work your sobriety,let Gods will handle the rest,others with your particular situation will give you much better advice then I will as I am 2 months sober, so AA meetings are a must plus fill your library with the books offered Bog book, 12 and 12 etc... It's not the most intelligent of the species that survives nor the strongest but but the ones most adapt to change. God bless

Anonymous
re: Not a member yet

Alcoholics Anonymous can help the alcoholic but those dealing or living with an alcoholic will benefit more by going to Al-anon meetings.

Reading the first 164 pages of the Big Book (especially chapters 2 & 3) will give you a very solid idea of the illness of alcoholism and our solution (cure).

Reading the Big Book you can determine for yourself if you are an alcoholic or not. Pages 20 (last paragraph) to page 26 are the qualifiers were we can self diagnose ourselves.

Hopefully your husband will also read the book so he can recognize if he is afflicted by alcoholism. Problem is, a person with alcoholism must determine that for themselves and decide whether they've past the point beyond human aide.

The Big Book is free online and will tell you everything you need to know about alcoholism and the cure. There is hope for you and your husband!!!

captdeep6
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Joined: 2012-09-30
Cure?

I'm not so sure you should be posting the word cure when posting about AA. AA is not a "Cure" for alcoholism. It's good to share our experience, strength and hope with other alcoholics. One is never cured until they reach the grave.

Anonymous
Your Dilimna

You would benefit from the shared experiences at AA. Your situation must be very challenging for you. To stay sober while your partner drinks is probably not an easy task. My heart goes out to you. I don't know if an ultimatum will work with your husband but it has worked for some in the past they call it Tough Love to be nice about it. My grandmother was in the same situation and AA helped her through it, she stayed sober too like you. Good luck to you and god bless.

Rebecca

Anonymous
benefit from AA?

Wow! That sounds really tough. AlAnon could help too. That is where the family and friends learn other ways of dealing with their problems with the alcoholic.
Only you can decide if you want to benefit from an AA meeting. I would suggest a woman's meeting if there is one available. You will probably hear someone else who has gone through the same thing and stayed sober.

I would suggest getting a copy of the Big Book of AA at a meeting. You could read it and maybe leave it out where he can see it. You already know he can't hear you and won't take advice. So quietly taking better care of yourself could plant a seed of an idea in his head. And, you might need some insurance for the day when the desire to drink hits you again.
If you are an alkie like me, it will.

clu1992
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Joined: 2012-05-30
re not yet

Go online and read the book "alcoholics anonymous"
Particularly the chapters more about alcoholism and to the wives. It answers your questions specifically.
Good luck and God bless!

Anonymous
Thank you

Thank you. I will read it ASAP

Anonymous
RE: re not yet

Bill wrote that we ought not underestimate the value
of the stories in the book. Whenever I give a new person
a copy, I recommend that they read some of the stories
and then begin reading the preface and the forewords.
About two thirds of the Big Book are the stories.
One thing I would NEVER do is to tell a newcomer to
open to Chapter Five and read How It Works". Bill concealed
this information (Truth) in chapter five for a special
timed effect. We want to offer the suffering alcoholic
approaching A.A. with an equal amount of Grace. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: Not a Member Yet

You may not be a member yet, but you certainly meet all
of the qualifications for A.A. and Alanon. Don't delay.
Call today. Don't give up until you get in touch with someone from both fellowships. Find meetings and attend.
Give A.A. a try. You have nothing to lose. No dues or fees,
no membership sign-up forms. I believe a great majority of
our members readily identify with you. Been there, Done that. Keep in mind that you cannot control his drinking.
Neither can he, by himself. Remember, he is very ill. Treat
him accordingly. I have a very positive feeling of hope
for both of you. Pick up the phone and call. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Not a Member Yet

Thank you. I am going to call to find a close meeting. I will go alone. Thank you for the reminder that he is ill. In my frustration, I sometimes forget.

jneedham2
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Joined: 2014-05-06
Living in a rural area

I recently moved to a very rural area. Because of my work schedule and location, the only meetings I can get to are on the weekends and 1 hr and 15 min away. I'm struggling with this drastic reduction in meetings. I'm at seven months and where I first started going to meetings I usually went to one just about every day. Plus, cell phone reception is super spotty in the area, so sometimes I have difficulty calling my sponsor or other AA friends. I know that when I pray, meditate, and do my step work that the days go a lot smoother than days I don't regardless of whether or not I get to a meeting or talk to my sponsor. I guess this whole living situation is just really new to me. Anyone get sober in a really remote place like this? What things helped you? (oh yeah, I'm also living in communal housing with 25 or so other field biologists so finding privacy to make calls, meditate, and such can be tricky). Thanks guys

Anonymous
Reply to Living in a rural area

There used to be a group in Alcoholics Anonymous called "Loners International". It was for people just like you that had a hard time getting to meetings for whatever reason. They would write and send letters to each other. I know in the time of technology, this might be a little outdated, but you might want to check into it. Hey, it can't hurt.

jneedham2
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Joined: 2014-05-06
thanks guys!

thanks so much guys, i really appreciate all the input. i've never known any others getting sober in remote areas, but now i do. once again, it's always good to know i'm not alone.

Anonymous
rural sobriety

I worked in a remote area and couldn't get to meetings either.
I read my Big Book every day. I made sure to pray through the steps every day and whenever I got frustrated. I prayed for the folks around me and always someone in particular that I know is having trouble getting sober. When agitated or bored, I made monster gratitude lists with every small detail of what is right in my world. I had tapes then, but now we have CD's, the Grapevine, and online meetings. If you can get online, you can search AA online and find a lot of resources including meetings and sites where you can download speaker's at various conventions and meetings... usually free. Headphones and an MP3 could give you privacy to listen to the big book or speakers. Even a half hour a day will feed your spirit.

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
rural sobriety

At one year sober I moved from Chicago to a very small town in the Pacific Northwest. It was different. I learned that a "meeting" didn't have to be a huge hall with coffee and snacks. People dropped in on each other or met for coffee. There was one lady in town and another out in the country who were housebound due to illness. People regularly dropped in on them and it was understood the door was open pretty much 24x7.

Other guys I knew went off on fire duty or fished during the summer where meetings were non-existent. They'd take a BB, writing materials and their HP and always seemed to return in good shape.

I also learned that I had a few recovering guys on my work crew. We'd have mini meetings during lunch or breaks on the side of a mountain. It was awesome.

Good luck out there and remember that if you are willing, solutions will appear.

noduis
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Joined: 2013-09-05
RE: Living in a Rural Area

I got sober while on active duty with the US Navy, before the advent of cell phones and computers. At three and a half months I was sent on temporary duty at a station in New England. As soon as I got checked in I did what I had been told, looked up AA in the phone book and called to find out about local meetings. I was told that there were no meetings anywhere near my location, that there were't even any known AA members nearby. The answer to my question, "How do I stay sober?" was, "Use your Big Book and a Higher Power." It took nearly a week to remember I was told to use the book, not to read it or study it or memorize it.
I have used the Big Book and a Higher Power since then without having to drink.
Please don't fall for the urban legend that says an alcoholic can't get sober without regular meetings, a home group and a sponsor to hand carry him (her) through the steps. The foreword to the First Edition states, "To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary."

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
rural living

Some online AA meetings suggestions:
www.staycyber.org forum type of AA with lots of postings by it's members.
wwwintherooms.com has video AA/NA/CA meetings all thru the day & night.
If you just listening would work for you www.xa-speakers.org has over 1000 AA Speakers telling their stories, sharing their experiences and there are some Big Book Studies and Workshops also there.
Brad
PS I live in a small town with only night meetings and I work nights.

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
rural living

There are many online AA Groups, some are in the form of email, there are some that are forum type such as www.stayingcyber.org. www.intherooms.com has video meetings during day and night times. Some meeting members listen to the meeting with head/earphones and cover their camera if they share.

I'm sure if you google online AA meetings you'll find some that fit your needs.

If you can download or just listen to AA speakers or AA Step workshops these can be found at www.xa-speakers.org over 1000 AA speakers to listen to or download.
Youtube also has AA speakers also.
Brad

PS
Like you I live in a small town with only night time AA meetings and I work nights.

Anonymous
fresh out

I've just gotten out of prison after 12 years. I've been sober for almost 9 of those years (yes, we sometimes have relapse in prison, too). I've been locked up almost my entire life because of my alcoholism. I took a bus from Little Rock, AR. to Portland, OR. to get to my halfway house. On the way, there were plenty of opportunities to drink one or one hundred w/o anyone knowing but me (or so I told myself). I decided not to take a drink each time I passed the aisle or store w/the alcohol there. I know this program works because it continues to whether I'm inside or outside. I'm so grateful to God and AA for showing me this new way of life....I've got a feeling the best is yet to come if I keep coming back.

Anonymous
Freshening

I am so grateful that you stayed sober. I want to share with you that every time I see a liquor store or the booze isle in the grocery etc, I talk to HP and say "Thank you that with your help I don't have to drink today."

Anonymous
Prison of the Mind

Welcome back to the world. AA is privileged to have you here. Halfway houses can be a challenge so, you probably already know, surround yourself with those who are IN the middle of the boat. That's what I have to do.
I'm back after three years of my own self-imposed prison. After a long period of sobriety I am back and beaten into desperation to get this for once and for all. I see now how selfish and egotistical I have been even before I drank the first time.
I say I was in a self-imposed prison which doesn't compare to your experience, I'm sure. I'd like to say it was worse because it happened to ME! lol But I respect anyone who can maintain a day of sobriety in such a difficult situation.
I'm just so grateful I have a God of my understanding who believes, even celebrates, second, third, fourth chances. We are His people and he needs us to carry his message of hope, love and forgiveness.
Portland AA is amazing. You have no reason to stray. But if you're a real alcoholic like me, we don't need one. It's God's grace that follows me through each day and the result is that I crave more of this program every day. I'm excited for you. Be well and hope to cross your path one day. Pamela, LasVegas

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
fresh out

Thank you for your share and your honesty and for passing on "taking that drink" Like you I too had to avoid going near or down the Beer Isle even when it was calling my name or pulling me in that direction.
Lots of meetings in Portland and some good AA Clubs also. We do hope you do Keep Coming Back.
Brad

Anonymous
This is not going to be easy.

Over the past 12 months I've quit for 3-4 weeks at a time, inevitably becoming complacent with my control, and then starting to drink again, whether openly or otherwise. If alcoholism is a disease or an illness, I have it. It's kills me to admit it, but if I don't quit drinking I'm going to lose everything that matters to me.

Anonymous
Hang in There

I am not a member of AA yet but I will be by the end of next week. I am going to join mostly for my husband who continues to drink. I have been sober two years.

Like you I started short term. Three days, a week, two weeks. In 2012 I gave up alcohol for lent. It was a struggle at first but doing it for a higher power gave me motivation. At the end of lent I told myself the lie that I could have one or two and stop. I drank a six pack, and a bottle of wine. I woke up with a brutal hangover and that is when I realized I was done.

I took it one day at a time. I look at alcohol as a substance I am allergic to. One drink and the cravings will return and great harm will come to me and the relationships I hold dear.

I pray that you will find what motivates you to abstain. Alcohol can add nothing to our lives. It only takes and it will never give anything positive back.

Blessings

VA1919
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Joined: 2014-05-03
Getting Started

I was lucky in connecting with my sponsor and getting a homegroup almost immediately. So far so good. I hear it all the time and suspect it must be true. Sponsor. Steps. Homegroup.

Anonymous
This is not going to be easy

Admit it. It's WAY easier before you've lost everything than after. Don't be stupid like I've been. I didn't listen to what the world was telling me, and I've lost most everything. No friends, lost job, losing house. Wake up and get help.

Anonymous
Step Zero: This has

Step Zero: This has gotta stop.

Anonymous
Step Zero

Before I made a sincere step one I was at step zero. Step zero was a place of reflection which I see as the beginning of self honesty where my alcohol consumption was concerned. This has got to stop reminds me of the defeat I felt after another bout of drinking. Doubt is precious to me. It produces thoughts which lead me out of my own limited beliefs.I am grateful to a Higher Power for my sobriety.

karen1
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Joined: 2012-02-23
This is not going to be easy

I have been wandering in and out of AA for 4 years. Today I have 131 days of sobriety- the most I have had in the last 4 years. Not sure why this time is feels differerent but it does. I have been told to keep trying because you never know which time you will be successful.

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
Easy

AA is the easy way. If there were an easier way to quit and stay quit and live a good sober life, I'd be doing it.

Remember that AA is not just about quitting drinking (only the first half of the first mentions alcohol), it is also about building a satisfactory sober life

You say you become complacent with your control. The problem for alcoholics is they have no control. That is the disease of alcoholism. Normal drinkers DO NOT TRY TO CONTROL their drinking. They just do it. A line from "We Agnostics" in the AA Big Book summarizes the situation succinctly.

"If when you honestly want to you can not quit entirely OR if when drinking you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic."

AA gave me a life that I could never have imagined. It is the easier softer way to stay sober.

Anonymous
re: not easy

I could not quit on my own, even though I was starting to lose everything. I went to an AA meeting, where I met a bunch of folks who also had been unable to quit on their own, but who by going to meetings regularly and not drinking between them, had been able to not drink for a while. At m first meeting, someone announced they had gone a whole month, another person 6 months. I was also told, however, that we only live a day at a time, and therefore only have to stay sober a day at a time. Maybe if you start going to AA meetings,listen to what others have done and are doing to not drink, you'll find something that works for you. I did.

Anonymous
Easy?

No, it likely won't be easy but neither is dying from alcoholism. I've seen it.

You described my alcoholism perfectly. To find out how to stop and stay stopped I attend Alcoholics Anonymous and read the Big Book and other AA literature.

It has been working without interruption for over thirty four years now as it does for millions.

Many of us have found "Our liquor is only a symptom..." like it says in the Big Book. Stopping the drinking does not stop the disease and the disease will always tell us it will be different next time.

Anonymous
Time to quit

It hasn't even been 24 hours since my last drink yet. But I guess its a good place to start. I haven't been to a meeting yet, but I've been looking into it. Where and when. I started reading the Big Book online. I've wanted to quit for a while, but its so much easier to find an excuse to go and buy another bottle of wine. I don't know how much support I can get from family and friends. Should I mention I think I might have a problem, they all say "No". It sure would help, though. I do realize I've let it take over my life. Not every day, but any day is one too many days. Its up to nearly every other day. A bottle and half of wine. I've blacked out and done things I don't remember the next day. Its a problem. I simply don't think I can do it alone. I'm going to need someone to talk to. Someone who'll understand.

Anonymous
me 2

I am literally in the same boat as u right now

Anonymous
I understand

Tell you family and friends, chances are they know you have a problem and even if they don't, most people support friends and family who are seeking to live a healthy live. Unless they're your drinking buddies...Good luck!

Anonymous
This is almost exactly my

This is almost exactly my situation. I also am up to drinking every other day. I feel lost when it comes to controlling this bad habit.

Anonymous
Re: this is exactly my situation...

If you read a few of the posts of people under this topic, you will see that every single person who has found their way into AA had the same problem -- they simply could not stop drinking on their own no matter what the consequences were to themselves. I came into AA and learned how not to drink one day at a time from folks who had learned to do just that. No magic, just support and encouragement that gave me hope that I could stop and the courage to try.

lb2013
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Joined: 2014-03-31
Time to Quit

If you think you have a problem with alcohol, you probably do. I hung out with a group of big drinkers and alcohol was one of the food groups in my home. I wasn't going to get much support for recovery there. But I knew I had a problem and I got help and ended up in treatment and AA.

It really didn't matter how much I drank or how often. It was that when I drank, I couldn't always control the amount I took. I often drank more than I'd intended and drank to inebriation. Because of the consequences from that (blackouts, hangovers, sickness, embarrassment,health & legal problems...), I'd try to quit and could not stay quit. That, I learned, is alcoholic.

Many years later I look back and realize that getting sober was the beginning of real life for me. I sometimes say that if I'd known how good life could be sober, I'd have sobered up much sooner. BUT and it's a big but, a good sober life for me was founded on the POWER I found in AA and the people and tools that helped me live one day at a time happy, sober and free.

There are many types and flavors of AA meetings around today. Hit a few different meetings and see what you think.

aabrad
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Joined: 2011-05-01
Time to Quit

You are taking the 1st steps to living one day at a time sober. Reading the Big Book will provide some insight and answers to Who is or What is an Alcoholic, The Solution ( Read the Chapter There is a Solution ) and the Steps we took in the Chapter How It Works.

You mentioned talking to/with someone who will understand, you will find that person or persons in an AA meeting. If you live in a medium to large sized city, there might be an AA Hotline that you can call 24/7 and speak with another recovered alcoholic about wanting to drink or thinking of drinking. Many AA members have another AA member that is their Sponsor, the Sponsor listens, shares their experiences relating to your problem or questions. They can help you with the Steps.

If you have insurance you might consider going to a treatment center or alcoholism. I went thru a treatment center and it gave me a good start into a life of sobriety, helped me with my family--getting reintegrated with them on a sober basis.

Your family, do they drink like you? or are they "take it or leave it" type of drinkers. Is there a family member you really trust? tell that person you are going to quit. If you are uncomfortable around family when they are drinking. Don't be around them or leave when the drinking begins. Being around relatives or friends that drink heavily, get drunk I think you'll be in for an eye opener or family reality show, I know I was.
Brad

Anonymous
Re: time to quit

I managed to put off going to AA for a while by printing off schedule of meetings I found online from local AA website. Names of meetings were odd since I didn't know what "the Big Book" was (sounded like a cutesy name for the Christian Bible), who Bill was ("As Bill Sees It" was name of one meeting), etc. I was also just afraid of losing my primary coping mechanism: alcohol. At my first meeting I discovered I was not alone, there was hope, and that all the support I needed to stop and stay stopped was right there in the rooms of AA. Thus began a new chapter in my life, one full of hope and promise. I am glad I didn't wait any longer to get help, as I might not have made it in if I had.

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