Information for newcomers to AA
20 Questions – Could I be an Alcoholic?
If you are new to Alcoholics Anonymous (“AA”), we would like to welcome you. Most of us were shy and full of questions when we first came to AA. “What am I doing here?” We understand your fears and hope that this information will help in answering some of your questions, or tell you how to get other questions answered. To speak to someone personally, you can call the Central Office 24 hour Hotline at (435) 674-4791. Use our contact form for email questions. A volunteer will answer your questions as quickly as possible.
We use the book Alcoholics Anonymous as a basic text to show other alcoholics “precisely how we have recovered” “from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.” (Reprinted from Alcoholics Anonymous, p, xiii, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.) We refer to this text as “the Big Book.” It is suggested that you get this book. This book, as well as other A.A. literature, is sold at a nominal price at the Central Office or can be purchased on the AA World Services (AAWS) website. Free PDF versions of the Big Book and the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions are also available on the AAWS website. Click here for links to AA Literature.
How do we stop drinking? We stay away from drinking, one day at a time. Total abstinence is necessary to work the A.A. program. This may seem impossible, but remember you are not doing this by yourself. Others have done it, so you can too. Many of us who we considered to be hopeless have found recovery and new meaning in life in working the 12 step program.
There are A.A. meetings all over the city, state, country and world. As an A.A. member you may attend any meeting you wish. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. If you don’t feel comfortable at one group, go to another. There are plenty from which to choose. Local meetings in Southwest Utah are listed on the meeting and online meeting calendars.
You have nothing to fear about meetings. People who go to meetings are people who have a desire to stop drinking. Go to the meeting early. Generally members of A.A. are there making coffee, setting up the room and the display of literature, and sharing. Stay after the meeting to continue to talk and share. Ask for telephone numbers at every meeting you attend.
There are several types of AA meetings.
- Open Meeting Anyone who wishes to may attend this including alcoholics, family and friends and other interested persons
- Closed Meeting Only people with a desire to stop drinking, or people who think they may have problem with drinking, may attend.
- Discussion Meeting This is a general round-the-table discussion.
- Speaker Meeting A speaker tells his or her story for the entire meeting,
- Step Study This meeting would concentrate on studying the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the core of the program. This is a good meeting for members who are new to the program
- Big Book Study This meeting is specifically designed to help us to improve our understanding of the book, “Alcoholics Anonymous”.
- Tradition Study This meeting would concentrate on studying the 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, which are meant to safeguard the program from outside influeneces and preserve its original intent.
- Men’s/Women’s Meetings Some meetings are open for only men or only women.
What is a Sponsor?
Sponsorship is key to the 12 step program. A sponsor is a person you select who will answer your questions about Alcoholics Anonymous and guide you through the 12 steps. Look around and ask someone you can relate to. Make sure they have some sobriety yet are not as new to the program as you are. It is not only good for you to ask someone, but it is also good for them. We like to be helpful. Too, as you learn in the program, you cannot keep what you don’t give away. It is in helping others that we help ourselves.
“We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you – until then.” (Reprinted from Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164 with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.)