Overcoming Fear of Attending 12-Step Meetings

Many people may fear the idea of going to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. It is not a comfortable situation to show up at a new location to meet new people and share intimate information about your struggles. However, there are several benefits to attending AA meetings, and attendance in support groups is necessary for people to succeed in their recovery goals. 

Understanding AA

Alcoholics Anonymous has played an integral role in the recovery of people around the United States. Since its founding in the 1930s, it has provided a guide for turning life over to a higher power and includes 12 sequential steps that help you progress along your recovery journey.

AA is based on meeting attendance and participating in the 12 steps. As you do this, you continue to work with a sponsor who is there to help you with your progress, and you can choose to share with others so that they might learn from your experiences and you might learn from theirs.

Do You Fear AA? How to Tell

Many people fear going to Alcoholics Anonymous but may not recognize this emotion for what it is.

  • At the suggestion of attending a group meeting, do you get a pit in your stomach?
  • Do you start sweating when you think about driving to an unknown location by yourself to meet with people you don’t know?
  • Do your hands start to tremble when you consider openly sharing intimate details about your addiction?
  • Are you worried that people you know might see you come in or out of a meeting?

There are several reasons people fear Alcoholics Anonymous, but the program has helped millions of people and is the most widely attended support group for recovering alcoholics.

Overcoming Fear: Alcoholics Anonymous Support Groups

At Sequoia Recovery Centers’ drug and alcohol detox center in Spokane, a big part of your alcohol rehab in Washington State is attending support groups and group therapy. Our team works with you to help you overcome your fears by addressing some of the key elements behind those feelings.

Being Uncomfortable

For many people, the root of their concern is being uncomfortable. It is not a pleasant feeling to step out of your comfort zone, but there is no part of recovery that doesn’t involve some form of stepping out of your comfort zone.

Taking the first steps toward getting help for alcohol requires great bravery, and it requires the same type of courage that you need to attend support group meetings.

Tips for Dealing with Discomfort

  • Remember that meetings are going to be uncomfortable and that sometimes you might not be at your best, but everyone else in the meeting feels that as well.
  • Practicing mindfulness and yoga or meditation can help you learn to appreciate that discomfort is a temporary feeling. Understanding the temporary nature of discomfort makes it easier to sit with those feelings when they arise instead of judging them.
  • The more you work with emotional regulation, the better suited you will be to appreciate what it is you are feeling and why. Incorporating practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy into your treatment plan can help you identify the thoughts behind your fears. 

Overcoming Your Fear of Attending 12-Step Meetings with Sequoia Recovery Centers

People fear Alcoholics Anonymous for many reasons. If you recognize symptoms of trembling hands, difficulty breathing, sweating, or irritability at the thought of attending an AA meeting, take some time to figure out where those thoughts are coming from. Identifying your emotions can help you address them. Sequoia Recovery Centers can help you work through these feelings and recognize the many benefits that come with AA participation. Contact our team today to learn more about our outpatient rehab in Spokane and AA programs in your area.

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