If you have decided you want what we have, and are willing to go to any lengths to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps.
“Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience,
strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help
others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire
to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-
Millions of people have found recovery through AA, including many who were sent by courts or their employers. There are AA meetings in virtually every country in the world, from Australia to Zambia, and from Ireland to Russia. While some who are sent to AA attend the required number of meetings and never return, others keep coming back because they find that AA helps them live comfortably without alcohol.
Alcoholics Anonymous is not part of the judicial system. We do not work with the
courts or the police department. We do not ask the courts to send people to us. When
people do show up with court papers, we are not responsible for making sure the people
are sober. If a judge, court, school, or employer has sent you to AA meetings, it
is because they believe there is evidence that you have a drinking problem. We had
nothing to do with their decision-
If, however, you want to stop drinking, AA has a solution. No one in AA can tell you that you are an alcoholic. Some people can point out indications that are symptomatic of a drinking problem: loss of control, drunk driving, arrests, lost jobs, broken marriages or relationships, blackouts, etc. But only you can decide if you actually are an alcoholic, and if that’s your decision, we invite you to keep coming back. You are not alone.
A sponsor is someone who has been where we want to go in our twelve step program and knows how we can best get there. Their primary responsibility is to help us work the 12 steps by applying the principles of the program to our lives. They lead us by example as we see how the program works in their lives through sharing their personal experiences and stories of where they were and where they are now. We start to learn how to become sober by listening and doing the footwork that our sponsor shows us on a daily basis. In time we make these new changes a habit which helps us to remain sober one day at a time.
The first thing we have learned about alcoholism is that it is one of the oldest problems in history. Only recently have we begun to benefit from new approaches to the problem. Doctors today, for example, know a great deal more about alcoholism than their predecessors did only two generations ago. They are beginning to define the problem and study it in detail. While there is no formal "AA definition" of alcoholism, most of us agree that, for us, it could be described as a physical compulsion, coupled with a mental obsession. We mean that we had a distinct physical desire to consume alcohol. We did not know when to stop drinking. Often, we did not seem to have the sense enough to know when not to begin.
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