by Joseph Ryan
If you have decided to join Alcoholics Anonymous, first I would like to commend you. It is very difficult to say goodbye to something you have grown so accustomed to. You probably can’t imagine your life without booze (or having one with it for that matter) however it could prove to be the most important decision of your life.
Now that you have decided to join AA, there is a lot of information you should know before you venture out to your first meeting. I say this because everything we will cover, I wish I knew before I joined Alcoholics Anonymous. The hope is that you can learn from my mistakes and frustrations before you have to experience them for yourself, hopefully making the likelihood of your success that much higher.
The various contradictions, inconsistencies, misconceptions, social traps, and hypocritical behaviors I will mention in the following pages are fact. If you attend AA meetings, you WILL encounter them and you WILL experience some level of frustration. That being said, I offer some suggestions on how to deal with these issues. I would like to stress that these are just suggestions, and in no way am I making an attempt to “tell” anyone what to do. In many of these situations, knowing is half of the battle, and just being aware of what to expect will assist you in overcoming your frustrations.
That being said, let’s get started!
- Joseph Ryan, March 2012
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