Is AA Flexible?
Many wonder if they can take part in AA without fully committing to the proposed 90 meetings in 90 days that most groups encourage. While there are flexible options in AA and other 12 step programs, it’s vital to remember the importance of commitment when you enter treatment or support for your recovery. Without commitment, the options for continued healing and growth are minimized and you could be jeopardizing your very ability to heal.
Flexibility or Not so Flexible?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “People can attend MHGs (mutual-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous) as frequently and for as long as they want without insurance and without divulging personal information.” This is part of what draws so many individuals to the program. Meetings are usually placed at “convenient times, like evenings and weekends” so working individuals can attend as well as to give people something to turn to at the times where they are likely to be at a “higher risk of a relapse to drinking.”
But it is important to remember that attendance is a huge part of the program and its ability to be helpful to you. If you only attend one meeting a month, it will likely be much harder for you to meet others in the program, stick to the 12 steps, feel comfortable getting to know the other members and speaking in meetings, and doing many of the other things that make AA so successful for most people.
Many people who attend AA or spread its teachings attest to the fact that the program can only give you back as much as you put in. Therefore, in some ways, it can be much less likely that you’ll get what you need from the program if you become too flexible with your AA attendance.
If you or someone you love is interested in getting the help of an AA program, or for assistance in choosing the right treatment, call our helpline toll free at800-839-1686Who Answers?. We realize how confusing it can be, and how challenging the idea of lifelong commitment is.
We’re not asking you to commit forever—not even for a whole month. AA meetings are one day at a time, one meeting at a time. So if you can commit to just one meeting, you’ve already taken the first step towards healing and recovery that can last a lifetime.