A FEW WORDS TO THE NEWCOMER . . .
"If alcohol is causing a problem in your life, you may have a problem with alcohol."
Those of us who have been where you may be, feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired, feeling helpless and hopeless, were just as frightened, first of all, at the thought of admitting to our innermost selves that we might be an alcoholic, and second, walking into a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous for the first time. We knew nothing about the 12 Steps, the 12 Traditions (found on the "About AA" page of this website), nothing about the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous (the first 164 pages being the basic text containing our program, and the rest, stories from long-timers AND late-comers about why and how they got sober)
We knew nothing about sponsorship, nothing about the rules and regulations (there aren't any, only suggestions), nothing about the kinds of people we'd meet there (they were just like us, wanting to learn how to live a happy life, one day at a time, without alcohol). They were people of all ages, sexes, all colors and nationalities, all religions (even some with none at all).
Almost everyone in that room realized that we were new, remembering the first time they walked through those doors, how scared they were, and they went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We listened to many of them share their experience, strength and hope, and their words gave us a sense of peace, a sense of relief, and a sense of belonging. There was a lot of laughter, even at some of the dire, and sometimes tragic situations that they shared.
The one extremely important thing we learned, that has helped us through many tough situations, particularly in early sobriety, was the Serenity Prayer: "God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference". As we were leaving they told us to "let them love us until we could love ourselves", and to "keep comin' back". And, we did! Day by day, meeting by meeting, we began to feel at home with the people around us . . . and to make some friends. We began to learn the answers to the many questions that we had about AA, and we stayed sober. Meetings became our "safe place", the "power greater than ourselves", and we wanted to feel that security again, so we "kept comin'back". Join us when you're ready. We welcome you.