What is AA? AA is an acronym for AlcoholicsAnonymous.
Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and womenwho have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting,multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age oreducation requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do somethingabout his or her drinking problem. (What is A.A? 2018) The primary purpose of A.
A. is to sustain theirsobriety and help other alcoholics to achieve theirs. It is a free of cost membership.The only requirement for members is to stop drinking.
(This is A.A., 2017) AlcoholicsAnonymous is funded through the members contributions. Alcoholics Anonymous beganin 1935 in Akron, Ohio, by two men, Bill Watson and Dr.
Bob Smith. They foundedA.A. to help others who suffered from alcoholism and to help and sustain theirown sobriety. In 1939, a group of a sober members wrote and published the bookAlcoholics Anonymous, which they mention to now as the “Big Book.” This AlcoholicsAnonymous book includes a creed which is consists of twelve steps and twelvetraditions that is followed to help reach sobriety.
Alcoholics Anonymous hasbecome the top treatment for people that have the disease of Alcoholism.On January 10, I attendedan Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for the first time to better understand the program and how it functioned.The meeting was held at 8:30 am in Hayward, CA, at a place called Triangle Fellowship.I arrived to the meeting 15 minutes early to let one of members know that I wasthere for observation and I was a student from Unitek College. As soon as steppedinto the building I was greeted immediately. I was greeted by one members namedTomas. I asked if I can stay for observation.
He gave me the permission to observe.He offered me donuts and coffee. Later I was greeted by the chairman of the meetingnamed Laurie. She was also an alcoholic. She told me I was welcomed to stay fortheir meeting and observation. I was greeted by another member named Jim.
I toldhim that it was my first time being at an A.A. meeting. He gave a brief descriptionon how the meetings were conducted. He gave me pamphlet showing the different locationsthe meetings are held and what days and the times they are held.
He also showedme the Alcoholics Anonymous book that they read and follow during their meetings.The meeting began with the Serenity Prayer. There was total of 15 people at themeeting. There were 13 males and 2 females including the chairman. Most them werein their 30s and 40s. After the Serenity prayer, the Twelve Steps was read aloudby an A.A. member.
After the Twelve Steps was recited, a different member recitedthe Twelve Traditions. After the Twelve Traditions was read aloud, each member readaloud parts of the A.A. book on a chapter that talked about employees and employers.After a member recited a part of the chapter, they were thanked by the othermembers in unison. Each member went around and introduced themselves by theirfirst name and then stated that they were an alcoholic. After the chapter was finished,sharing was next that followed.
This was the time in the meeting where members canshare their experiences related to the chapter they have read or personal storieson how this program affected their lives. A member stated that if it wasn’t forthis program they wouldn’t know where they would be today. Another member shareda story about his anniversary with his wife. They spent their anniversary at a restaurantand it was their first time going out not having a drink. He stated that not oncedid they thought about having a drink and they felt normal. He also he starts hisdays off right by going to these meetings and how these meetings changed his lifeand help keep him sober.
Another member named Ellen shared her story and how thisprogram saved her life. She stated she has been sober for almost three years. Shestated that going to these meetings and praying to God helps maintain her sobrietyand help others to stay sober. She states that alcoholism is a disease in whichit can play with your mind and how the disease can tell you to have a drink if yousee one. She also shared that if wasn’t for this program, she would still be drinkingand doing drugs.
Not every member at the meeting shared their story, but it wasgreat getting a chance to hear their personal experiences. After hearing these stories,it changed my whole perception on alcoholism and how much affect it can put on aperson. After everybody got a chance to share what they wanted to share, the chairmangave announcements.
A basket was passed around for contributions. The meeting endedwith everyone came together holding hands in a circle reciting aloud the Our Father’sPrayer. The meeting was well organized and held in a clean environment. Every memberwas nice and respectful. The chairman, along with a few other members, were allwilling to answer any questions that we wanted to ask. Everyone seemed as ifthey really wanted to be there and to stay sober. After the meeting the was over,I thanked the chairman for letting me stay for observation.
She told me I am alwayswelcomed to come to their meeting or refer anyone for treatment of alcoholism. Itold her that before attending the meeting, I had no knowledge about A.A. and afterobserving It changed my whole perception on alcoholism. In conclusion, AlcoholicsAnonymous has proven to be the most effective way of helpingalcoholics stay sober. Anyone canbe helped by Alcoholics Anonymous but they must have the desire to quitdrinking. Alcoholism is an illness which cannot be cured but which can be stopped.
Although it is difficult, more research should be done to determine under what situationsand what types of alcoholics will benefit from Alcoholics Anonymous. Once moreresearch is done defining the hole of men and women, and young and old alcoholicswill be clearer.