5 Ways to Share Effectively at Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
When you’re a recovering alcoholic, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings can be your safe haven when you feel the need to talk about your struggles and experiences with overcoming alcohol addiction. Sharing your personal story in an AA meeting is a healthy, therapeutic way to relieve stress associated with addiction, and even allows you to inspire others who are facing similar challenges.
At an AA meeting, you’re allowed to say nearly anything that’s on your mind, given you respect the anonymity of other individuals. If you need help finding treatment programs and resources associated with overcoming alcohol addiction, call our helpline at 800-839-1686 to speak to an experienced counselor who can offer guidance.
If you’ve recently started attending AA meetings, or want help learning how to get more out of AA meetings, here are 5 suggestions on how to effectively share your story.
1. Be Honest and Candid at All Times
Lying or exaggerating about your experiences with alcohol offers no benefit to you, or to other AA members listening to your story. When it’s your turn to speak, be as honest and heartfelt as you can to receive the support you need from others to help you conquer your addiction. Seasoned AA members and those who listen intently can often tell when you’re stretching the truth; plus, honest stories are more beneficial to other members who are looking to you for their own sources of inspiration and guidance.
2. Respect the Time of Others
Though sharing at AA meetings can be highly therapeutic, keep in mind that other AA members in attendance are also working toward recovering from alcohol addiction. When you’re ready to share, put your hand up, and wait to be selected by the group leader or chairperson. Try to limit your time sharing when appropriate, and understand that there may be other individuals struggling with addiction who may have a strong need to share that week.
3. Focus on the Positive
Recovering from alcohol addiction is difficult and not without its roadblocks, meaning it’s realistic that you’ll have negative things to say from time to time. However, when it’s your turn to share, try focusing on the positives about your journey, even when they seem few and far between. For AA meetings to be successful, there must be a healthy balance of positive versus negative stories to keep everyone on track with recovery.
4. Limit Sharing When Necessary
If you feel as if you don’t have much to share during a particular AA meeting, it’s perfectly okay to keep your sharing brief, since there may be others who have a strong urge to speak up. Keep in mind that AA meetings exist to support you during recovery, and that you’re under no obligation to share for a set amount of time at every meeting.
5. Stick to the Topic
Some AA meetings you attend may be devoted to specific topics, such as dealing with cravings, facing denial, or changing your daily routine to avoid being around alcohol. When attending AA meetings devoted to certain topics, do your best to stay on topic when sharing. This can make certain sessions more beneficial to members who may need extra help and guidance in regards to the assigned topic.
If you feel a strong urge to share something, but don’t feel comfortable discussing your story in front of everyone at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, consider sharing it exclusively with a sponsor you trust. A trusted AA sponsor can offer you the support and feedback you need in a more private setting to propel your journey toward recovery.
Do you need help overcoming alcohol addiction? Attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings is an ideal first step toward achieving lifelong sobriety. Call our helpline at 800-839-1686 today to learn more about recovery and your available treatment options.