“Yes, I’m one of those people who is powerless over alcohol. My life has become unmanageable. I can’t stop drinking, and I want help.”
You are taking Step One when you decide you have a problem and want to get help. You have discovered, as it says in the Big Book, that alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful.
There are some simple directions which AA members follow in order to stop drinking – and stay stopped. These principles are AA’s program of recovery. They can work for you as effectively as they have worked for others. Here are some suggestions we feel will be of help to you on your path to recovery:
Find AA Meetings
All over New Hampshire there are meetings for you and for every alcoholic who wants help. In addition, virtual technologies make it possible to join online meetings and connect with other AA members from the next town, across the country, and around the world. Whenever you want to attend a meeting, AA is available.
As one AA member says, “The Big Book is your road map; the meetings are your filling stations.”
Here are two easy ways to find a meeting:
Find a meeting in New Hampshire on the NHAA Meetings listing.
You can also download the Meeting Guide App from the A.A. website for your smartphone.
Live “One Day at a Time”
Alcoholics Anonymous is a simple way to live life “one day at a time.” We try to break life into small pieces we can handle. We stay sober one day at a time – one hour at a time if necessary. We do our jobs one task at a time. We solve our problems one problem at a time. We clean up our past one mess at a time, and we conscientiously try to turn our will and lives over to the care of a Higher Power, as we understand Him.
In learning to apply the AA principles to our lives, we ask for help from other AA members, from our sponsors, and from our Higher Power, upon whom most of us come to depend for our recovery.
Get Phone Numbers
As you attend meetings, you will find people are willing to give you their phone numbers. They genuinely hope you will call – assisting newcomers helps them stay sober too. When you cannot easily get to a meeting, the phone numbers of AA friends are invaluable.
In emergencies you may want to call the NHAA hotline (800-593-3330) which is available 24 hours a day. There is help available when you need it.
Get a Sponsor
Our experience tells us that you will have a much better chance with a sponsor than without one. In AA you will probably find that your sponsor is a vital part of your program of recovery.
Your sponsor will listen to you and give you suggestions; tell you what works for him/ her; point out trouble spots and help you decide what to do about them. In other words, your sponsor helps you understand the AA program and guides you along the path of recovery. Sponsors can’t solve your problems, but they can help you to face up to them with honesty and courage. They will help you find ways to solve them by using the AA program.
Include the Family
It is said that the average practicing alcoholic affects the lives of at least five other people. Alcoholism is a family illness. We find that the family that gets sick together can often recover together. Share your program of recovery with them.
The following are some of the AA activities that you can share with your family:
OPEN MEETINGS – Take your spouse, friends, members of your family and others who care about you to hear the stories of AA speakers. Closed meetings are marked with a “C” in our meeting list; all other meetings are open.
SOCIAL EVENTS – Special dances, picnics, workshops and conferences as well as special social activities are sponsored by AA groups and districts for AA members and their families.
AI-Anon Family Groups are designed for members of the alcoholic’s family. They hold meetings just as AA groups do. They use AA’s twelve steps of recovery to help them understand the alcoholic and to adjust and improve their own lives. Al-Anon membership is available to the spouse of the alcoholic or other concerned persons. Al-Anon and Alateen (specifically for teens with alcoholic parents or loved ones) have their own organizations, separate from AA.
Read the Books
As soon as you can, we suggest you read these important books which explain the AA program of recovery:
Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book)
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
As Bill Sees It
Came To Believe
These books contain and explain the AA program. We suggest that you read and reread them. They can be a constant source of inspiration and understanding.
Many of us begin our day with “quiet time” and by reading a paragraph or chapter from one of them. They are the basic sources of our program of recovery.
AA literature is available for purchase at the Service Office in Hooksett, NH. We also offer an online store through our website. You will find that many AA meetings have pamphlet racks and a book table. Reading AA literature can be helpful to you as you travel the road to happy sobriety.
The AA Grapevine is our monthly magazine – many people refer to it as our “meeting in print.” Each issue is filled with helpful articles for the alcoholic who wants to get well and stay that way. Subscriptions are available at a minimal cost.
Get a Home Group
Feel free to visit various groups, but sooner or later you will want to settle down to a regular meeting that you will consider your “home group.” Having a home group should not keep you from going to other meetings. Attend as many meetings as you feel the need for, and then a couple more. There are many different types of groups available.
The home group you choose should be one in which you can get sober, stay sober and feel comfortable. Your home group ought to be the place you feel challenged to continue growing and where you feel you have so many friends that you can’t afford to stay away.
Be A Part Of
So now you’ve made a start. We think you will find these suggestions helpful to you on your journey into happy, comfortable sobriety.
Remember, you never have to be alone if you use the tools that AA has to offer you. Our very survival requires that we carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. We need you. Join us. Participate. Become a part of our program of recovery.