One of my "normal" friends asked me this once. The answer seemed pretty obvious to me at the time. "It saved my life! What's not to love about that?" "Yes", she said, "But, how? How does going to a bunch of meetings save your life?"
It was then that I realized that unless you have walked through the 12 steps yourself in AA, you really couldn't begin to see the value in it. Who knows how many active addicts, and the people who love them, are missing out on this golden opportunity to reclaim their lives?
So I am here to tell you that I love AA, because it works. It works for me and millions of other people every single day. Yes, every single day. Because it isn't something I've finished; it's an ongoing process. It's a whole new lifestyle. Embracing it has taken me from active addiction to recovery.
It starts with acknowledging the existence of a higher power and realizing that you don't have to keep carrying the heavy burden of addiction all by yourself. You can turn it over to your higher power and, in turn, receive the blueprint for peace and sobriety.
Sharing is encouraged
One of the biggest benefits AA has to offer is that it provides you with the opportunity to share your feelings with a group of people who all "get it". Every emotion that has isolated you fr the rest of the world at large is now being validated.
It also doesn't matter where you are in your sobriety journey. Each person's story is relevant to someone in attendance, whether you are still drinking or have been sober for years. It is an amazing feeling to realize that you are helping yourself and others at the same time.
Sometimes, you may have a vague feeling of unease, but you can't pinpoint the exact cause. Then someone else shares at a meeting, and it shines a light on what you have been feeling so that you can understand it and can take the necessary steps to deal with it.
It's all about self-help
No one does the work for you nor do they try to sell you any snake oil. Instead, they teach you 12 proven steps that help you regain strength and develop the self-esteem needed to stay that way. You learn to take full responsibility for your actions instead of blaming others. You develop healthy coping methods instead of engaging in reactionary behaviors that create feelings that you want to numb with alcohol.
As you learn and apply these steps in your daily life, you create the positive feelings that come with accomplishment instead of feeling helpless and blaming your actions on others.
You are truly free
AA meetings are everywhere. You are not tied down in your recovery. You can continue your education, accept that new promotion that requires you to move, or travel anywhere you like to visit friends or vacation with complete confidence.
If life throws you a curve ball on a holiday or even in the middle of the night, there is always a meeting in session somewhere. A simple internet search will connect you with times and locations of meetings wherever you are.
You'll also never meet a stranger at a meeting. We all share that special bond of understanding and unconditional acceptance. The opportunities for making new friends are endless.
AA not only helped me to break the chains of addiction. It also gave me a brand new life. What's not to love about that?
If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, you can talk to us about addiction treatment programs at our affordable drug and alcohol rehab that fit your needs, call us today at (844) 494-4939. The Anaheim Lighthouse is a modern and effective addiction treatment center in Southern California.