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Do You Think AA Meetings Will Make a Difference – Even After Seven Years of Sobriety?

by Lauren

I’ve been sober and in recovery from alcoholism for just over seven years now. I actually had my 7th birthday last week. I’ve pretty much done my whole recovery on my own. I didn’t go to rehab and I’ve basically been working the 12 steps as my recovery program, but doing it by myself without going to meetings.

Thing is I’m pretty much a loner and that’s why I’ve preferred working the steps myself. I don’t like the idea of large groups because they make me uncomfortable. But recently I’ve started wondering if I shouldn’t maybe face my fears and try attending AA meetings if they will help enhance my recovery process. What do you think or do you think I’m doing okay as I am?



Hi Lauren

Congratulations on your recent birthday! You’ve come this far so your approach is obviously working. Some people just naturally are more solitary and prefer working or doing things by themselves. There is nothing wrong with that so give yourself a pat on the back for having come as far as you have.

There is a 'but' however:-) I do think AA meetings could definitely enhance your addiction recovery process. A huge benefit to meetings is the interaction you get with people going through exactly what you are. Experiencing a sense of fellowship and belonging from people who understand alcoholism and what successful recovery is all about is tremendously powerful.

Also, even as a loner you're likely to meet people you can relate to and I'm sure you could quite easily make a friend or two just by going to a meeting you like regularly. Because the path of sobriety and recovery can be a very lonely one - most of the world don’t really get addiction - making it hard to meet people who can relate to the journey you’re on. So by attending meetings you suddenly have a room full of people who can pretty much relate exactly to what you’re going through and that creates a very powerful bond.

Now I’m going to throw in another 'but' (just to confuse the issue even further) - having said all that, some people still prefer to follow their own path, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that if it works for you.

So in your scenario why don’t you try a few meetings and see how it goes? You may be pleasantly surprised, but if you don’t like it at least you’ll know either way.

All the Best.

Comments for Do You Think AA Meetings Will Make a Difference – Even After Seven Years of Sobriety?

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by: Sober in S.B.

In my area we have over 250 meetings per week. We have a wrench for every nut it is said. Some (many) meetings are for fellowship, some are more program focused. Although I attend both types, I have found that the smaller groups, mostly same sex book studies provide me more support and there, I have found people I can relate to and share my experiences comfortably. I also have found retreats to be a great place to discover these serious folks. Many of these groups are not listed in schedules but are not intended to be exclusive. "We attend meetings frequently so that newcomers may find the fellowship they seek" Then at some point, many of us need a deeper understanding. Good luck.

by: Anonymous

I am coming up on my 7th birthday in AA and I have made enormous material gains since I joined AA but I recently found myself absolutely spiritually bankrupt and have turned to AA in a manner like I have not before. I have come to see that there are levels of recovery (this was written anonymously in a publication in 76) and to gain the most benefit from AA and recovery we must work the 12 steps and the 12th step is working with others. Fellowship is fine but it is not a replacement for working with another alcoholic. I think it might be a good idea for someone who does not like meetings (as I rarely do because most people do not really work a strong program in recover and settle for a selective working of the steps) and find some one there that is on the edge and speak to them directly and help them directly.
It was said by a founder of AA that until you have listened to a 5th step you are not yet a fully participating member of the show.
People say and do many things that seem to work for them and definitely keep themselves sober but I have experienced that until I worked vigorously on all the steps, especially the steps I did not know what the founders spoke of when they said of the 4th dimension.

Maybe I Should
by: Lauren

Maybe I should try going to a few meetings and seeing if I enjoy them and whether they'll make much of a difference for me. You're right, what I'm doing obviously works, and knowing that is comforting, but who says things couldn't even be better? Only one way to find out ...

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