New to AA

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Am I an alcoholic or not

I you crave alcohol on a every day bases then you might be an alcoholic. If you can say no to a drink then you might be an alcoholic. I had an asignment in one of my class to look up alcohol abuse this may help you to look it up. I found it on the internet.

Functioning alcoholic

I can pretty say "ditto" to your post. I drink (drank) every evening after work. Sometimes a bottle of wine a night. I wondered too if I were alcoholic. I am now 85 days sober. I knew when I started "craving" alcohol something was going on. I started revolving my evenings, weekends around it. I made sure I drank at home because I already had 2 DUI's. So I didn't go out much except to work, to the store to get wine and settle in at night. That got really old too after time. I realized this is not living at all. I fell into a rut. I feel free now to go anywhere, anytime, now that I do not revolve my life around alcohol.

Joined: 2012-05-30
r u an alcoholic

In our book alcoholics anonymous it says if when you honestly want to you cannot quit entirely or when drinking you cannot control the amount you take you are probably alcoholic.
Alcoholics have an obsession of the mind that compels you to drink and a physical alergy of the body that makes you continue to drink once you start.
So here is the test. try some controlled drinking. Drink and stop abruptly, try it more than once.
Also try leaving alcohol alone for a year.
If you can relate to thinking its pk to drink just before you drink regardless of the consequences you may have a problem.
In aa we don't diagnose anyone, we all have to diagnose ourselves. we are all members of aa if we say so.

Good luck

Am I an alcoholic or not

I would say that if you can walk away from it and not crave it then I would say that you don't have a problem. If you can't just stop with one or two drinks and you drink every day then I would say you need to take a hard look at it. I have not had a drink going on for the last 4 months and I don't miss it or crave it. It is not for me to say who is an alcoholic only you can truly answer that question. Either way I hope you find your answer to your question but if you do a gut check you may find your answer. Good luck.

just not a newcomer.... supposedly

I know i've never arrived but i am kinda lost at my new lunch meeting i go to (Bill W.'s luncheon) i just don't feel like sharing about jail experiences self pity is something im praying every morning to be divorced of and here i went but i just don't know if they would understand

working the steps

have heard this several times in meetings what exactly does this mean embarrased to ask

It is new for me, too. What if somebody is just there to gossip

I realize I cannot continue to worry about the roadblocks to my trusting that AA is the only hope I have of becoming free from fear, paranoia, embarassment, gossip. Just focus on the real WE are sharing the desire to stop drinking.

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Working the Steps

I take it you mean you don't understand what "working the steps" means?
I'll suggest to you what was suggested to me and has worked for many years: "Use your Big Book."
Notice I said 'use,' not 'read' or 'study' or 'discuss' or 'have someone read it to you. After you've read a certain number of pages you'll understand what "working the steps mean, and you'll find precise instructions on how to work them.

Joined: 2012-07-07
Words of Wisdom

I attended my 10th AA meeting tonight. I had a relapse and drank on my 7th day of sobriety but I had myself back at my meetings the next day. I know that if I had not gone right back that I would not be able to say today that I am sober. In my short ten meetings I have come to care for some of my fellow members very much. I look forward to seeing their faces and I even look forward to the hugs I receive when I walk in (I am not a hugger).

In tonight's meeting Chris (a quiet fellow) said that he was thankful that God had "chosen" him to be sober. I had never looked at it quite this way but from now on I will hear those words whenever I start to feel like I am not "normal" because of my disease. God has CHOSEN me to be sober and I accept this gift with all the love I have in my heart.


Living in hell...

Joined: 2012-09-13
I'm sorry - me too

I'm sorry - me too

Anonymous on the road...

although relapse is not a necessity to become recovered, im a strong believer in sometimes it is on the path to recoverry. sometimes you just havent hit the bottom youve needed to, even if it seems that u can. just come back. pick the book back up. dial the numbers. and get ur ass in that seat that youve earned. even if youre still out, you can always come back in. no judgement. only love.

Type of AA meeting

I have an unusual need/request. I am a nursing student, and one of our requirements is to attend a 12-step meeting. AA or NA are probably some of the most common and probably are the ones that will give me the best information for my assignment, as compared to overeaters anonymous, for example. What kind of meeting should I look for, and how can I contact the group to be sure they're okay with an outsider coming to visit and observe?

open meetings

there are open meetings and closed meetings. as long as its an open meeting, youre mor than welcomed. i would go to a few different ones, find the ones that spea solution. and i, personally, would suggest going to an AA or CA meeting (cocaine anonymous)...NA has there own book. AA and CA go bythe Big Book. the same book thats been working since 1939. ive had some students come to my home group, were always glad to have em.

meeting types

Try fa. They are more focused and structured with lots of success.

vistiting AA meeting

Hi - it is really simple. You do not state what state/community you live in.

But in general - go to your telephone book and look under Alcoholism, AA usually has a number. Or just go to the AA web site. and look up the area where you live. If there is an AA office (or NA), just call them; they are used to graduate/helping profession students attending open meetings.

You might want to read the AA web site to get a better idea of AA history and how members help each other.

Good luck in your studies and profession.

Finding an NA meeting

to Find an NA meeting, go to; click on Find a Meeting, then use one of the two options. Look for a Speaker meeting, or ask the Intergroup office if there is a Speaker Jam coming up - that's a meeting where several speakers share and these usually last for several hours, so you are more likely to hear a lot of Experience, Strength and Hope.

South Jersey

Meetings for non-AA members to attend

To find a meeting in your state, click - then click on your state. It will show you links for areas – click on your local area. You are looking for OPEN meetings – anyone may attend an OPEN meeting (CLOSED meetings are ONLY for people who think they may have a problem with alcohol).

THE BEST MEETING TO LOOK FOR is a Big Book or Step meeting; this is where you'll hear the best info about the Program.

No, it is not an unusual request. One of our local high schools sends students two-by-two throughout the school year to one of our open meetings - that's why the meetings are open - for the purpose of people finding out about AA.

South Jersey

Student Nurse needs AA meeting for assignment.

I am a retired nurse and member of AA.
Google "AA, city" but put in your city and don't use quotes... You are looking for the local meeting schedule which more districts now have online. For instance
Napa Valley has and that Web site has a meeting schedule saying which meetings are Open Meeting or Closed... if it is closed, only AA members can attend... If it doesn't say Closed, it is probably Open, as not all meetings will say open or closed, but the Closed ones will definitly say Closed. If you have to take notes, ask the secretary to ask the group if they are ok with that, since you are a visitor, but don't record names... as that has to remain anonymous and if you know someone who is at the meeting for AA, you cannot reveal that anonymity, leave it at the meeting and don't gossip about it later.

Alanon is a 12-step meeting and can be Googled the same way and ask when you get there if you can stay, if the meeting is open to visitors, or if not, could they give you a meeting schedule..

You can also ask at AA meeting if they have a schedule printed, or if you need to download one online... Googling has always helped me find meetings when I am out of town. is the national site, and might have a "meeting finder" link.

open meetings

Thnak you for your interest in our beloved fellowship, we would suggest you contact your local A.A. "Intergroup" office,you will find them in most white pages, they will give you a list of meetings that are "open" to the public where interested persons may attend as observers. Thanks again and best wishes. Mike

Joined: 2012-06-04

If you feel like drinking wait a short distance. Princess before personality. Meetings makers make it. You lose if you use. and open meatings are open to just you.

Open Meeting

That is not unusual at all. I recommend going to the AA website ( and selecting your state. You want an "Open" rather than closed meeting. There is no need to contact the group, all are welcome to open meetings. If it is a custom of the group to introduce themselves when it comes to be your turn just say "Hi my name is Jane and I'm here for information."
AA is geared toward the newcomer, so you will be welcomed. As was said a speaker meeting would be the best, followed by a big-book meeting. Personally I don't like open-discussion meetings, but that is just me. Hope you enjoy the experience.

Jason M.

Nursing student.

Some AA members are uneasy with outsiders in attendance. So
please get all the information you can when you call. We
have an unusual number (perhaps 15) students who have
attended our Monday 5:30 meeting, in a two year period. possibly because it is early evening and the beginning of the week. There are two nursing
schools in the area. Usually they attend in pairs. One
nursing student identified herself initially as a nursing
student. During the discussion she took the first step
and admitted she is an alcoholic. No one yelled: Hi Sue!
We have done away with that nonsense. We simply listened
as she shared her problems with alcohol.
A speaker discussion meeting would probably be best.
Don't limit yourself to the one meeting. Spend the time
and effort to go to six meetings, at least one N/A and
an Overeaters Anonymous. We have an epidemic of obesity
in our country and you need all the information you can
gather for your profession. I believe this is equally
important to reading vital signs. ANONYMOUS

Type of Meeting

Not an unusual request at all and as a nursing student and caring individual I believe it's great that you want to learn more about the disease of addiction. Meetings that you can attend are open meetings. You can look in the phone book for Alcoholics Anonymouse (AA) make the call and explain that you are looking for an open meeting and why.
I'm confident the person you talk to will be more than helpful. God's Grace.

Type of AA meeting

If you choose AA rather than NA I strongly recommend you find a speaker meeting rather than a discussion or a book study. The best thing to do is call your local Intergroup/Central Office. They can point you to the best meeting for you.

We are chosen

When I came to this program I couldn't believe that my God could have chosen me to be sober. He has for many years, around these tables and mtg. rooms, for his own reasons not mine. Keep coming and the miracle will happen for you, also.

Joined: 2012-02-25
Potential Alcoholics

I have been going to AA now since January 4 of this year - almost 5 months ago. I have not had a drink since then which is pretty amazing since I was a daily wine drinker for the last 20 or so years. If I didn't have any wine in the house, I would go & buy some or go to a restaurant & order a glass or drink a beer instead - if I had any. I always had a nagging voice telling me that I might be an alcoholic but because I could stop after a few glasses, I concluded that I could not be an alcoholic - that only people who cannot stop drinking until they pass out are alcoholics. I became more aware of alcoholism about 10 years ago when I started going to Al Anon. Sometimes I wonder how much I would be drinking if I had not become involved in AlAnon. I have decided to continue going to aa because I do have a desire to not drink again and my life has been better without the daily wine.

Joined: 2012-07-01
In the same boat

I am only on day 2 of not drinking, but did also drink wine every night.. From 1-4 glasses. Some days I did only have one... But I did feel like I needed at least 1. Are you thinking that this means I may not be a an alcoholic?

Joined: 2012-05-30
re in the same boat

Alhcoholics have a mental obsession coupled with a physical allergy to alcohol.

to see if you are an alcoholic our big book of experience suggests you try some controlled drinking. Have a drink or two then stop abrubtly. Try it more than once. If you find you cant stop that means you have the physical allergy to alcohol, the inability to stop once you start.

Our big book also suggest leavinig alcohol alone for one year. If you can leave booze alone for one year you may only be a hard drinker or a potential alcoholic. the experiment of leaving alcohol alone for a year tempts our mental obbsession with booze. I think its when I think it's ok to drink just before I drind regardless of what the consequences might be.

I would suggest purchasing the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" and reading to see if you are one of us. If not, go about your business, is you are, then welcome.

Joined: 2012-04-21
Finding the right fit

I have been in the program of AA for about nine months and during this time I have had three sponsors. None have been the right one. My first sponsor and I did well until our schedules did not match up anymore. She suggested a different woman to sponsor me and that did not work out. I then was continuing to go to meetings and try to get another sponsor. I have had trouble with staying sober. I would be sober for a week or two then go and drink again then I would do good for longer and then bam, back to the bottle. I abtained another sponsor and she stayed with me for almost three months but she said that me going back out and messing up again and again was afecting her serenity. So we decided it would be best to go seperate ways. I then picked up a male sponsor who I looked up to and had a connection with. This did not work out because my husband wants to take the steps with me. I am fine with this idea and actually excited about it since he has done a 180 degree turn from when this all started. I have been with him for tweleve years and he is my best friend. So my dilema is that I am having trouble finding a sponsor that understands. My husband wants to come to meetings with me, he wants to work the steps with me,( he even bought himslef a big book of his own ), and he reads my daily reading with me and even without me. I don't know how to find a sponsor that is for me and I am getting frustrated because I am ready to work the steps. I am working them on my own though and I will continue to do so. If anyone has any advice I would love to hear any. I am lost and trying to stay sober one day at a time. Help please.

Finding the Right Fit

You've got a lot going on, but Keep on Keeping On! I did my 12 steps with my first Sponsor, then we parted company and I had to get a new sponsor; she said, "We're going to do Steps 1 thru 12 in order." I replied, "I already did that." She said, "You didn't do it with me." So we did the Steps.

She got her hours changed. I got a new Sponsor; she said, "We're going to do Steps 1 thru 12." I replied, "I already did that." She said, "You didn't do it with me." So we did the Steps.

She moved. I got a new Sponsor; she said, "We're going to do Steps 1 thru 12." I replied, "I already did that." She said, "You didn't do it with me." So we did the Steps.

It was good, very good. Would your husband be equally willing to go to Al-Anon? If not, why not? Is he controlling in other areas of your life? Have you earned his trust? I got sober going to six to eleven meetings a week for the first 7 years. Then I cut back a little to go to college. If you make a lot of meetings (being on time means being 15 minutes early - you deserve to get the "meeting before the meeting" AND "the meeting after the meeting") you'll have more opportunity to hear a woman who has what you want. Every potential sponsor is not necessarily available to sponsor, but maybe she has a sponsee who is capable and available that she would suggest to you. If a woman says "no", realize that is about HER, not about YOU.

Your husband can take a parallel journey - it's great to get sober together! But he cannot take YOUR journey. The Steps are an intimate experience - between you, your HP, and your Sponsor; no room for 4th parties. You would never get thru a 4th step with Husband looking over your shoulder; it violates the DO NO HARM principle of Step 9.

25 Years Sober in South Jersey

RE: finding the right fit

Is it not obvious that what you are doing is just not
working? Stop trying to find a sponsor. Step away from those
AA members who tell you to "get a sponsor and work those
steps!" Find an open step meeting where the steps are read
and talked about. Not a "step study" where the steps are
"worked". Attend with your husband each week.
Find an open Big Book meeting where the book is
read and discussed, not where it is being "taught" by
a self-appointed guru. Attend with your husband. It
is wonderful that he has such an interest.
Keep it simple. When you state your name at an
AA group, admitting that you are an alcoholic, that is
the first step. Admitting that to others is the fifth
step. Eventually you may want to practice the rest of
the steps as you learn about them in the step group.
Stay away from liquor in any form. Do not take that
first drink. If there is liquor in the house, get rid of
it. If you have parties to go to, cancel them for now.
Stay away from "friends" who do not understand and may
try to encourage you to drink. Examine the events leading
to the relapses. These things may not be easy. You can
be one of the few who stay in AA and stay sober.
In the meetings I went to in the 1970's (mostly speaker
meetings) many spouses attended with the alcoholic. What
better way to spend an evening out. ANONYMOUS


EXCELLENT ADVICE ! Thank you . Steve in Boston

Caution! Danger Ahead!!

First things first, you need to be willing to do this for yourself. Not for your sponsors approval of your husbands or anyone else. If you can find Dr. Bob’s article concerning the nature of slips it might be a big help to you. Secondly you didn’t say if your husband was an Alcoholic or not, just that he wanted to go to meetings with you and to do a set of steps with you. If he is not an alcoholic he should (and maybe you should too) check out Al anon. Either way I think you both should do your first set of steps alone with your separate sponsors or closed mouth friend. Maybe go to a step study together but keep your own separate, private journals and do your 5th step separately and read chapter 6 (Into Action) carefully and repeatedly. Then and only then, after having cleared away the wreckage of your singular pass, should you attempt a set of steps as a couple (and even then there is great danger). If you decide to go ahead with it I would advise you to find another AA couple to work with, meeting together and separately male to male and female to female as needed.
Good Luck and Keep Coming Back
Dennis D



I am 6 days sober and I am going to my first AA meeting this week, but I am very young and don't really know what to expect. I know I need to go, but every time I think about it, I have this irrational image of what the meetings are and who is there, which scares me. I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance and some guidance from people who have actually been about what the meetings are like. I'm afraid of being the only 19 year old college student there. Any advice would be very helpful. I know I can't go on in the direction I'm going.

Joined: 2013-07-01
Don't wait another day !

I started drinking at age 15, really heavy from 16 to 20. I'am 49 now wish I had the courage at 19 that you have. Started going to AA 6 weeks ago, on July 13 I'll be sober for 2 months, going to meetings makes me feel better than anything. My regret is that I didn't go to AA at 19 or so like you are about to do. You will be amazed how much your life will change in all areas, and the goals you will be able to reach. Best of luck on your new life!

To Scared

I came in very young (14 the first time I got sober), as well. Some colleges have meetings for students (mine didn't, but my grad school did), and some larger cities have young people's meetings, where many people are young like you. There are still times that I feel a little awkward about my age when I'm the youngest in a meeting, but it goes away pretty quickly when I realize that we're all in it together and have the same disease--whether 20 or 40.

Hi, I am also a newcomer to


I am also a newcomer to AA and went to my first meeting last friday. I promise you - it's not as scary as our minds can make it up to be. Everyone is there for the same reason and I personally felt welcomed. There wasn't pressure to speak up or explain yourself - I just listened but I could relate to a lot of what people were saying.
The hardest part for me was just getting myself there - anticipation always gives me anxiety - but once I got there all you do is sit down and listen. They go over some rules (confidentiality) and eventually they ask if anyone is new so you just raise your hand, tell them your name, everyone says "hi" and the meeting goes on.
I was told by a friend of my Mom's that if the first meeting isn't a good fit, just try another one. I don't know where you're located but I believe some AA groups are held on college campuses. Maybe ask Student Life at your school? I promise you're not the first or only one.
I commend you for your bravery and strength. You'll feel clearer and better about yourself/stronger once you just go, get it over with, and reflect on what you thought/felt during the meeting.

I wish you have a great experience.

re scared

I sobered up 20years ago at the age of 18. i was surpised that there were other young people at meetings. if you dont meet people you can relate to at your first meeting, try other groups until you find one right for you.
Good luck and God bless you.

Joined: 2012-05-26
New again

I do not need that first drink, but God if I have it, wreckage follows.
I've had periods of not drinking up to 5 years.
Stopped after my 2nd dui.
Thought I was in the clear, thought I was safe.
Alcoholics have such short memories,
Started drinking again and was fine for about a year drinking, never got out of control, then something snapped and I was back where I started.
Maybe worse
Just got my 3rd DUI last night.
I have to figure this out, I have no desire to drink, can take it or leave it, till I have the first one, then I cannot control it.
Going to my first meeting tonight in like 9 years.
I'm really going to try this time.

Scared of myself!

I Quit drinking for three years. It was the best most productive three years of my life. I did it with the help of AA. I met a man who knew I was an alcoholic without much arm twisting on his part I was back to drinking with him. Our relationship fell apart and I was hardcore drinking again. I had a DUI before I went to AA and quit drinking the first time and I had another DUI felt remorse went back to AA quit for a month that time. I am in a very dark scary place right now I feel frightened of myself and when I drink I am a completely crazy lunatic I never know what I will do next one drink never is enough hell one bottle isnt enough... I need help and I know it.

Similar experience

I just got my 3rd DUI last Saturday not. I convinced myself I was not an alcoholic and despite p
Easing from my wife and kids I kept on. I really have screwed up and am scared to death, not for me, but more for what I have done to my family. I hope God helps us. The pain in my souls is unbelievable, but I have a weir feeling that is goo about finally admitting I am an alcoholic.Maybe I can now heal. I feel like crap.

Good luck to you. Hope all is ok

day 1

i drink everday.i need to got the shakes

Joined: 2012-05-31

I understand what you are going through. I got my first DUI 2 months ago. I didnt stop drinking until a month later. Now being 32 days not drinking, I am thinking I can conquer this. I am in control of everything. I am scared my alcoholic mind will forget. I know what will happen if I take that first drink. So I think I will not drink today. Or this hour. And I will remember that I am not in control of any of this. Only God is in control. I am powerless over alcohol. I too have no desire to drink. I can take it or leave it, until that first one...I think this is a really scarey place to be. We get a false sense of control. All we can do is pray, and live one day at a time, or one minute at a time. Thank you for sharing your feelings with me. I know I am not alone. And you are not alone.

RE: RE: Spiritual Help

On page 252 in Language of the Heart, Bill writes about the high cost
of spiritual pride. Bill Writes. "So we AAs failed them. Perhaps more
often than we think, we still make no contact at depth with those suffering
the dilemma of no faith." Bill has previously written that although
300,000 have recovered in AA in twenty five years, maybe half a million
more have walked into our midst, and then out again.
Perhaps someone could "copy and paste" more of that page in Lang.
I believe that is what we are doing in AA today. Enough alcoholics
stay to support the belief that AA is "alive and well". Sure 30-40
new members a day is good. But I am convinced that it is not the
best we can do. If every group in the US and Canada helped and held one
new member PER YEAR this would be increased to 120-160 per day. I
believe that is the minimum we ought to accept at this time, this
period in the life of Alcoholics Anonymous. ANONYMOUS

"The Dilemma of No Faith"

The language you quote is from an April 1961 Grapevine article by Bill, in which he describes his own spiritual arrogance and how it had turned many a drunk away from AA. It should be required reading for anyone before they attempt to "carry the message." Google "The Dilemma of No Faith By Bill Wilson, AA Grapevine, April 1961" and you will have access to the original article printed on a number of different sites. If there are 5 million sober people in AA, there are 5 million and one ways to get and stay sober in AA. I keep coming back because what I am doing today to stay sober may not be enough tomorrow when whatever malady, real or imagined, besets me - thus I always have to be on the lookout for the 5,000,001st way to stay sober.

i agree with you it gets better

While I only have 41 days sober I go to meetings 5 days a week I take weekends off to try to spend time rebuilding my marriage of 32 years I have lost 2 out of 3 children du to drinking and a lot of friends who still drink and want no part of me and at 60 years old it is hard to relate to the people that are much younger wish they had a over 50 group . Dave in Michigan

God, Booze and Food

I stopped drinking ten days ago, attended a couple of meetings, and now I'm feeling depressed and frustrated. I'm attending a meeting tonight, but at this point, I'm just listening and trying to get my bearings and the right kind of meeting. I realize that more than one group can help, but I'm reluctant to embrace a strong religious approach. I understand the idea of a higher power and I know I'm powerless over alcohol, but falling on my knees and praying to Jesus (and I'm sorry if I'm insulting some of you) isn't for me.

Any advice?

And, unfortunately, I've been replacing booze with food, but that's just adding to my plummeting self esteem. Please advise and many thanks.

Joined: 2012-05-25
god, booze and food

I was the same. it takes time, you didn't get sick over night , so you won't get well over night. this too shall pass. IT JUST TAKES TIME i reckon. i also am not into the god stuff, but find the serenity "prayer" great a difficult times as a newbie. sort the god stuff out later, meetings and meditation breathing are the road to go. as for food, we didn't worry about it when drinking, did we? natural response. check out . your are doing well, asking for help. hope i didn't add to the confusion. all the best, harry

Joined: 2012-05-25
god, booze and food

I was the same. it takes time, you didn't get sick over night , so you won't get well over night. this too shall pass. IT JUST TAKES TIME i reckon. i also am not into the god stuff, but find the serenity "prayer" great a difficult times as a newbie. sort the god stuff out later, meetings and meditation breathing are the road to go. as for food, we didn't worry about it when drinking, did we? natural response. check out . your are doing well, asking for help. hope i didn't add to the confusion. all the best, harry

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