Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the most misunderstood programs on the face of this earth. First AA is not just a program, AA has a program it utilizes it is called the twelve step method. AA is more than a program it is a fellowship. What is a fellowship? Mutual support and a little bit more. Many AA members become great friends with other members. Often guys and gals meet each other when they begin to come to AA around the same time as each other.
Is AA forever?
The knock on AA is often the idea of going to meetings forever, some people will ask, “do I have to do this forever”? My question to them is, “do what forever”? Have friends that like you, trust you and care about you, that you like, trust and care about! Build lifelong relationships that are productive and fulfilling? The reason people ask these questions is simple, they simply do not know or understand the power of fellowship with like minded positive people that are heading in the same direction as we want to go.
What is all this talk about the twelve steps? Quite frankly the twelve step approach is a spiritual model of recovery that enables the participant to address the fact that they need help overcoming alcoholism and in many cases addiction, repairing the damage done to self, friends, family and others, developing a new strategy for living a moral, happy and free life, amending ones actions and living a renewed life free of guilt, remorse, shame and discontinuing the damaging cycle of drunkenness.
Results are all that matter
It is all about the results! AA in its early days boasted a 75% success ratio with what has been termed “low bottom drunks”. These were mostly men and some women that were physically and mentally addicted to alcohol. Many were considered hopeless cases by friends family and professionals. But when they began attending, fellow-shipping and working the AA program they were freed of the bondage tat alcohol had on their lives. Today although there is no real way to know what the recovery rate truly is, it is apparently lower than 75%. Some people state that it is approximately a 10% success rate.
Well that is not success if you are using my standards. So why has the success rate changed through the years so drastically? There are many theories, some people believe that because people are often coerced into treatment by family, employers, the courts; they are not really there for themselves and do not take the steps or the idea of the program or fellowship seriously. Other people believe that because people come to AA before they hit a deep enough bottom, they only stick their toes in the water to test it out and therefore do not take the process seriously.
Whatever your take may be on the failure rate, the truth is simple, if you want to get and stay sober you can if you take action. It is not AA that will fail you or your family, it is you that will fail you, but only if you allow yourself to fail. The honest fact is this, if you make a commitment to recover, you will recover. Change the way you think, stop asking why it does not work and start by asking, “how can it work for me”?
With AA you can recover!
Once you recover, continue to do the things that helped you to overcome alcoholism. Build a life that is filled with sober friends. Always be working on self improvement, setting goals to be the best you can possibly be, and keep helping others to do the same. Be a living example of positive recovery, AA works if you work it, so work it!!!