Find AA Meetings in London
Almost everyone has heard of Alcoholics Anonymous. Whether they’ve accessed it for help or heard about it via pop culture, Alcoholics Anonymous is a well known tool for beating alcohol addiction.
Yet without knowing more about it – what the program entails, what is expected of participants, what happens at meetings – accessing Alcoholics Anonymous can seem daunting.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through some of the key queries that arise when considering attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and outline its history to give you a comprehensive overview.
AA Meetings London
Alcoholics Anonymous had meetings all around the country, and indeed across the globe. The best way to find AA London meetings is to visit the website and use the Find a Meeting page.
On this page you can simply select your preferred county, or time, and then the tool will search the database for relevant meetings. It should bring up an interactive map with a list of relevant locations of meetings for you to explore.
You will see that some are listed as Open Meetings and others as Closed Meetings. Open Meetings are available for those dealing with alcohol addiction, along with friends or family or anyone interested in AA. Closed Meetings are just for people dealing with alcohol abuse problems who have a desire to stop drinking alcohol.
While Alcoholics Anonymous tries to ensure the information is kept up to date, they ultimately rely on the individual groups to keep the details of individual meetings relevant.
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What Are AA Meetings?
Alcoholics Anonymous is dedicated to helping people struggling with alcohol addiction to find sobriety, this is achieved through their Twelve Step plan and meeting attendance. Alcoholics Anonymous is solely concerned with personal recovery and it is not engaged with alcoholism research, medical or psychiatric treatment, education or advocacy.
Half of the name, it’s no surprise that Alcoholics Anonymous takes anonymity very seriously and has always taken great care to preserve peoples anonymity. This is to remove one barrier to access and help more people get the help they need.
There are two kinds of meetings you can access, Open Meetings or Closed Meetings.
This meeting is open to people struggling with alcohol abuse along with their loved ones or anyone interested in helping someone solve a drinking problem. At these meetings there is a fairly set pattern, although variations are to be expected at different locations.
It typically begins with a chairperson who will describe the AA program for the benefit of any newcomers, before introducing a few speakers who will share their histories and their perspective on recovery and sobriety.
Generally, about halfway through, there will be a moment for local AA announcements and a treasurer will pass around a hat to collect any donations to cover the cost of running the meeting. The meeting will wrap up over coffee and sometimes a few snacks.
At this meeting, only people dealing with a drinking problem are able to attend. This provides a safe, secure space for them to relate with one another about their experiences pertaining to drinking patterns, sobriety attempts and an in-depth discussion of various parts of the recovery program.
What Is the Basic Premise of Alcoholics Anonymous?
At the heart of AA you’ll find the Twelve Steps. These steps outline the experience of the earliest members of AA and it continues to be an effective framework to this day.
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practise these principles in all our affairs.
While the Twelve Steps clearly has Christian origins, the program is open to everyone whether they follow a different religion or are atheist or agnostic.
People new to the meeting are not required to follow or even accept the Twelve Steps if they feel unable to do so.
Do I Have to Speak in an AA Meeting?
No. You absolutely do not have to talk in AA meetings. However in order to get the most out of the experience, you will want to work your way up to opening up and sharing your experience.
How Do I Know if Alcoholics Anonymous Is for Me?
If you think it could be for you, the best way to decide is to give it a go. You don’t need to commit to anything, you don’t even need to speak, just attend a meeting and get a feeling of whether it’s something you feel may benefit you.
If you’re looking for some concrete signs that you have a problem with alcohol and could benefit from attending Alcoholics Anonymous, see if you identify with any of the following statements.
- I have tried to stop drinking but I can’t keep it up for more than a few days at a time.
- I’m envious of people who can have a casual drink without getting into trouble or acting inappropriately.
- I sometimes drink alone or early in the morning.
- My drinking is causing problems with the people I love.
- Sometimes I drink to such an extent that I blackout and can’t remember certain events.
- I have missed days of work because I was drunk or hungover.
- I think that my life might be better without alcohol.
If any of those statements rang true to you, you could benefit from attending an AA meeting.
The History of AA
AA dates back to 1935, in Akron, Ohio when stockbroker, Bill W, met with Dr Bob S, a surgeon. Both of them were alcoholics.
Prior to their meeting, they had each been in contact with a non alcoholic fellowship. Bill had gotten sober, yet working with other alcoholics he realised none of them had recovered. Bob, on the other hand, had not achieved sobriety and meeting Bill was the first time he found himself with someone who had gone through the same thing as him, and found a way out.
After talking through their experiences of alcoholism and discussing what it actually was, Bob was able to get sober and never drunk again. And so, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded.
AA started slowly. It took four years for them to produce 100 sober alcoholics across the three founding groups. Bill later wrote a book which detailed AA philosophy and methods, known today as the Twelve Steps of recovery. This, coupled with case histories of recovered members, led to the rapid expansion of AA as we know it.
Who Founded AA
William Griffith Wilson, known as Bill Wilson, a stock broker and surgeon Robert Holbrook Smith known as Dr Bob co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous together, having both been alcoholics that found sobriety.
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AA Meetings Online
If you are looking for AA online meetings, London or otherwise, you can find them on the Find a Meeting portal previously discussed. These meetings take place online, not in a physical space and may be open or closed. Be sure to check the time carefully, in most places you can expect a start time of GMT/BST, so simply change your clocks accordingly. But do check as an online meeting could have a local time which isn’t GMT/BST.
Simply head to the Find a Meeting page, and search for ‘online’ to see all currently registered online meetings which will be updated daily.
If you are looking for AA zoom meetings, London or otherwise, simply look up the meeting and see if it shares details of a zoom ID. Some do and some don’t, so it’s worth checking. Again, be sure to pay attention to the specific start time.
“The contents of this page are not to replace the advice of a medical professional”