For more than eighty years, Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) has been a program that has provided hope, comradery, accountability, and recovery for millions of people throughout the world.
When an individual grapples with alcoholism, he or she is often doing so not simply because he or she has developed a physical dependency to this substance, but also because there are underlying triggers, causes, pain, and/or emotional distress that is fueling the continuance of this negative coping behavior. Once an alcoholic decides that enough is enough, or if he or she has hit rock bottom, the idea of getting sober and developing a long-lasting recovery can be quite overwhelming, especially knowing that all of the hidden issues beneath the surface of his or her alcoholism will finally need to be faced. However, many people reclaim their wellbeing through inpatient programs, outpatient programs, and by attending A.A. meetings on a regular basis. Every recovering alcoholic is different, and so is his or her plan for recovery and continuing care. However, the majority of individuals battling a problem with alcohol would agree that A.A. is a common thread that has played a vital, life-saving role in not just getting them sober, but keeping them sober.
One of the most powerful and effective benefits that come from attending A.A. meetings includes developing a sense of belonging amongst like-minded individuals. For someone who attends A.A., he or she might be going for a number of reasons. For example, some go to listen quietly in the back of the room and absorb the stories and philosophies of others who have walked in similar shoes. Others go to vocally and publically share their testimonies, thoughts, and emotions surrounding the experience of being addicted to alcohol and staying sober. Whatever the role the individual plays within the group, the overwhelming sense of partnership and brotherhood/sisterhood surrounding such a vital aspect of one’s life is why many people “keep coming back.”
A.A. has also been known to help its participants prevent relapse for many years into their recovery. Having somewhere to show up to where there are familiar, understanding faces to see is often the number one driver in what keeps individuals from picking up “just one drink.” It is the accountability that is instilled within members of the A.A. community that keep them working together on the same path and going through all 12 steps over and over again with a new lens as they continue to show up to meetings. Possessing that community feeling is incredibly powerful, especially when connections are forged outside of the meetings. A.A. groups worldwide will encourage participants to talk outside of the meetings, exchange numbers, and call each other for support when needed. Through hard work and support, all who engage in A.A. can reap the many benefits that keep them feeling empowered to continue on their path towards sustaining a solidified recovery.
Within South Carolina and the greater Lancaster area, alcoholism is a massive problem that is impacting people of all ages. However, there is hope. To find local meetings in the area where you, too, can obtain the many benefits of A.A., consider visiting the following sites for times and locations: