Many people go into Alcoholics Anonymous with their minds already made up on what AA is about. But there are definitely some things about AA that no one tells you and you don’t find out until you get into the rooms.
5 Things No One Tells You about AA: You Don’t Have to Believe in God
This is a huge one. There is literally an entire chapter on this in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Believing in God is not a part of the program (We Agnostics), the only thing you need to believe to be able to recover from your alcoholism is that there is something greater than you out there. That can be science, or the ocean or even the presence of a loved one who has passed away. For me, when I first got sober I was definitely biased against the whole God idea and used my father who had passed away as my power greater than myself. As long as you know you’re not God, that’s what is most important.
5 Things No One Tells You about AA: It’s Not Your Whole Life
I have a lot of girls say to me that they want to be sober but they don’t want the program to be their whole life, well it’s not supposed to be. The program is supposed to give you a life; not become your life. When I got sober I didn’t understand this either so I realize why people think this. Yes, AA is a big part of my life today, but it’s not my whole life. I wouldn’t have a life today if it wasn’t for the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous but my life isn’t only about AA today. Don’t get me wrong though, my recovery does come first and without it I wouldn’t have the amazing life I do today.
5 Things No One Tells You about AA: Meetings Won’t Keep You Sober
Sorry to burst your bubble, but no meetings will not keep you sober. Yes, going to meetings does HELP to keep you sober but if you ONLY focus on meetings, there is still a chance you won’t stay sober. To stay sober you have to work a program which consists of: believing in a power greater than yourself, working the steps, taking others through the steps, going to meetings, abstaining from drugs and alcohol and helping others! Meetings are a big part of me staying sober today, but if that was all I did I know that I wouldn’t be sober right now. I have to have a good balance between all of the things I need to do to stay sober or I personally won’t stay sober.
5 Things No One Tells You about AA: It Is Not a Cult
I hear this one all the time; Alcoholics Anonymous is not a cult. AA is a group of people come together who are all very different with one common problem. We lean on each other for support and are strong enough to admit we need each other to stay sober. It’s not some sort of club or cult or secret society. Yes, we choose to remain anonymous, but for good reason. AA is about helping each other and staying sober; it’s our personal business and not for the whole world to know about.
5 Things No One Tells You about AA: You’re not required to attend a Certain Fellowship
This is one thing I never hear anyone talking about but should be mentioned, you can go to AA if you only had a drug problem and you can go to NA if you had an alcohol problem. Each one of these fellowships is different but in the end they have the same goal; to help us stay sober. The only thing that is a must if you attend any fellowship is to respect the house that you are in. For example: In AA they don’t like you to talk about drugs, so therefore you shouldn’t talk about drugs. All you have to do is substitute the word alcohol in the big book with your drug of choice and it’s all about recovery either way! If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.