In order to stop drinking and stay stopped, we have a few simple suggestions used in A.A.’s program that can work for you as they have worked for countless others. These include:
Going to Meetings
There are meetings for you and for every alcoholic, who wants help. Our “Meeting List” is available through the Intergroup Office, at most meetings and online. There are meetings listed from Bordentown south to Millville. There are hundreds of meetings weekly in South Jersey. Try and take in as many meetings as you can and don’t drink in between.
Having a Home Group
Although you will want to attend other meetings, you will want to have a “Home Group”. At our home group we find the individual support and encouragement we need to meet life’s daily challenges. Other meetings provide the variety of people and ideas we need in our recovery.
Just as we are a member of A.A. by saying so, we join a home group by declaring ourselves a member. It is at the home group that we do our early service to A.A. and start giving back what we have been so freely given.
Getting a Sponsor
A sponsor is a member who has made progress in the recovery program and sober living. One-on-one sharing of our experience, strength and hope with our sponsor and others is a cornerstone of A.A. recovery. Though other people can’t solve your problems for you , they can help you deal with them by using the principles of the A.A. program.
Living One Day at a Time
We may stay sober one day at a time, or if necessary one hour at a time. We do our jobs, solve our problems and clean up our past, just one item at a time.
Getting Involved in ‘Service’
At meetings, you will frequently hear references to “Service” as a means of maintaining sobriety. Service means getting involved in those functions which directly carry the A.A. message or allow others to carry it. Some types of service are:
- Making Coffee
- Every A.A. meetings has coffee and someone has to see its gets made, on time! Making coffee or helping with the setting up and cleaning afterwards helps the group have the meeting and it also allows you to meet new people.
- Chairing Meetings
- Groups usually rotate the person who “opens” or chairs the meeting.
- Group Service
- Most groups have members designated to ensure that literature is available, to keep contact with Intergroup and to serve as a General Service Representative. Group conscience establishes sobriety requirements for these jobs.
- Many groups have members who stand by the door and greet people as they arrive, many times it is the first impression of A.A. for the newcomer and helps dispel anxiety.
- Answering Phones
- A.A. phones are answered by A.A. volunteers on two hour shifts. You should have one year sobriety to answer phones.
- Speaking at A.A. Meetings
- Speaking to other recovering A.A.’s is a good means of clarifying your “story”.
- Hospitals & Institutions
- Meetings also take place in jails, rehab centers, hospitals and mental institutions. These meetings need speakers and “hosts” who set up and open the meeting.
Reprinted from the pamphlet: “A Guide for the Beginner”
There are many books and pamphlets which deal with a wide variety of information useful to newcomers and oldtimers alike. Books can be purchased at many meetings as well as ordered directly from our Literature Committee. Pamphlets are free and made available at most meetings. Recommended Titles include:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- The “Big Book” is the basic text of our program and the chief source of discussion at the meetings.
- 12 Steps & 12 Traditions
- A supplement to the Big Book which expands on the steps and traditions of A.A.
- Living Sober
- Practical advice to the person in early sobriety.
- Came to Believe
- Is designed as an outlet for the rich diversity of convictions implied in “God as we understand him”.
- As Bill Sees It
- A collections of the writings of one of our Co-founders, on a wide variety of topics dealing with alcoholics.
- Daily Reflections
- Meditative thoughts from the membership presented in a daily format.
- A.A. Comes of Age
- A brief history of A.A.’s early days.
- Dr. Bob & the Good Oldtimers
- A biography of one of our Co-founders and a history of early A.A. in the Midwest.
- Pass It On
- The story of Bill W. and how the A.A. message reached the world.
- A.A. Grapevine
- Our monthly meeting in print.
A.A. pamphlets which may be particularly helpful to you:
- Is there an Alcoholic in Your Life?
- 44 Questions
- Is A.A. for You?
- Do You Think You’re Different?
- A.A. for the Woman
- Young People and A.A.
- Too Young?
- A Newcomer Asks…
PDF versions for many of these pamphlets can be found online at www.aa.org(Alcoholics Anonymous World Services).