One of the biggest advantages of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program is that it is a safe space where individuals can talk about their addiction experiences, their recovery and any bumps along the way. Sharing of this type can be very therapeutic and it is one of the main reasons why individuals continue going to AA, even after being sober for many years.
Sharing at AA Meetings
Most of the time at AA meetings is devoted to sharing. All members usually get an opportunity to speak and discuss personal concerns. However there are some guidelines about how this sharing happens.
Step meetings are for discussing the one of the 12 steps and members are encouraged to share their experience of that step.
Big Book meetings are conducted around a section of the AA text and this is what members are asked to share about.
At Discussion Groups, a topic is chosen ahead of time for members to discuss.
In General Meetings there is usually a member who talks about their life before and after AA. After they have finished sharing, the rest of the group is free to share about things related to what the speaker talked about.
Benefits of Sharing at AA Meetings
There are numerous benefits to sharing at AA meetings, such as:
When individuals talk about things going on in their life, it releases some of the pent up stress and tension. One can’t always talk to family or friends about their concerns, but an AA meeting is ideal place to share burdens and experiences and ask for advice.
While most members have gone through similar experiences, each individual will have gone through it in their own way and have a different perspective. Someone else may be able to suggest something that the individual hasn’t considered on their own.
Sharing makes the individual feel more a part of the meeting and the group, because they are contributing.
For long term members, sharing could be a sort of service in recovery. Especially when these members share inspiring stories or provide advice to those members who are struggling with their recovery.
Sharing at meetings can clarify matters for those individuals who are unsure about what is bothering them.
Opening up at meetings usually means that the individual will feel less alone after, as there are likely to be other people in the room who have had similar experiences.
There may be some topics that are very personal in nature, and the individual may not be comfortable sharing them with a larger audience. In this case they can always talk to their sponsor. All AA members have a sponsor that they trust and rely on, and the individual may feel more at ease revealing their problems to their sponsor.
At Blueprints we provide support for young adults struggling with addiction. We offer individualized programs to help resolve addictive behaviors. Call us now to find out how we can help you.