Do you have a problem with Alcohol? AA newcomer information

Newcomer Information

Do you have a problem with alcohol? Are others telling you that you have a problem with alcohol, ie...spouse, boss, or judge? Do you want to stop drinking?  Are you thinking about going to an AA meeting? Do you live in Oklahoma City or plan to visit?  If so ... we want to welcome you to The Rockwell A.A. group.


Are you unsure if you are an alcoholic? If so Click here to do some self-assessment.

If you have decided you have a problem with alcohol and want help, we have some suggestions for you.

First you need to find an AA Group meeting to attend, you are welcome at the Rockwell, and we hope to see you!  The Rockwell Group hosts  27 AA (click here) meetings a week to choose from.  If the Rockwell Group is not a convenient location for you, there are also 100's of AA Meetings throughout the OKC Metro and OK State, Click here to find a meeting close to you.

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The 5 Suggestions given to newcomers.


1)  Make  90 meetings in 90 days before you decide if AA is for you.

Alcoholism is a disease that thrives on denial. It is a disease that tells us we don't have a disease. 

"I don't need all those meetings" 

"One or two a week ought to be enough" 

"I don't know anyone there why should I go?" 


Meetings are key, they show us thru others, HOW to live sober, and live life on "life's terms". One hour can be borrowed from a days events that would probably not exist for us with out meetings. 


WE know we spent at least an hour each day on figuring out: 


* how to drink 

* how not to drink 

* how to hide our drinking 

* who or what to blame our drinking on 

* how to fix our lives from the wreckage of drinking 


The suggestion to attend a meeting a day, in an effort to save our lives is not unreasonable. 90 meetings in 90 days, also allows our body chemistry to begin restoring itself providing more clarity to understand the nature of the disease. 


2)  Get a Big Book of Aloholics Anonymous and read the first 164 pages. 
This is our basic text book on how to get sober, live sober, and enjoy a life of meaning  and purpose. We usually have these for sale at the Rockwell Group, or you can buy one online, or if you do not have the money to buy one, you can read it for free by clicking here.


3)  Get a Sponsor! 

Find someone in local AA meetings who is living sober and that you relate to, talk to them after the meeting, if you find someone you especially relate to, and think you would like to one day have the life in sobriety they do, ask them to Sponsor you. Even if they only temporarily sponsor you. It is ok to make changes later on, the key here is being willing and in it NOW. 


4)  Pray

Ask God in the morning to help you stay sober, and thank him at night. Don't freak out over this one, we are not a religious organization, we are simply suggesting you pray to a power greater than yourself, as you understand him/her/it, to help you stay sober. After all had we not done the same thing (turned our life over to a power greater than ourselves) with alcohol and drugs, a force bend on destroying us?


5) Last but not least: Don't Drink. 

WE know this is a hard thing, after all, you are proably at a AA meeting because you cannot stop drinking, if you follow the first 4 suggestions this will be much easier.


You might be asklng "why", why so many meetings, why join AA, or any 12 step program?

The truth is that people in recovery need people. Ending isolation is essential to breaking the self-destructive patterns of behavior you’ve come to see as part of who you are. But you are a human being who happens to be an alcoholic. You’re not an alcoholic who happens to be a human being. And human beings need contact with other human beings in order to achieve the core goals. There’s no better place to end your isolation than participating in 12-step fellowship groups like AA or NA.


Alcoholism / Addiction, as you may or may not know, is an equal-opportunity disease. People from every socioeconomic, educational, religious or cultural background are addicts. It strikes men, women and children of all ages.


In the rooms of AA, you’ll find others who – although they may come from different backgrounds – have one thing in common with you: they’re committed to living a life free of drugs and alcohol. You’ll never have to be alone again. In the rooms, there’s always a member ready to listen and offer encouragement and support.





Here are some frequently asked questions about AA meetings:


Q. What does "Open meeting:", "Closed meeting" mean?


A.  Open meetings are for anyone interested in coming to a meeting.

A   Closed meetings are generally for AA members only; "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking" People who think they may have a problem with alcohol and may want to stop drinking are also welcome at closed meetings.


Q. What are meetings like?

A. Meetings other than speaker meetings usually have a chairperson who opens the meeting, shares on the subject for a few minutes and then calls on other attendees to share on the subject. Some people share and others simply say they would rather listen.


Q.  How long do meetings last?

A.  Meetings last for one hour.


Q.  What do people wear.

A. There is no dress code.


Q.  What about "Drug Addicts"

A.  The Club is for alcoholics only. Experience has shown that many people are dually addicted to drugs and alcohol. Anyone is welcome who "Has a desire to stop drinking".




What are AA Meeting Like

A.A. meetings vary depending on the type of meeting, the group and even vary by geographical location. Much of what occurs is a matter of local custom.

Very generally meetings go something like this:
People begin showing up at the meeting place about half an hour before the meeting begins. The earliest to arrive are usually there to help set up for the meeting by making coffee, setting up chairs and putting out A.A. related books.

Closer to the meeting time more people show up and will be talking and joking about all sorts of things. It is quite possible a newcomer may feel left out and even ignored or the opposite may happen and people will go out of their way to welcome you and introduce themselves. The newcomer wanting to be left alone can simply shake any hands offered and say hi. A newcomer feeling ignored and wanting help is always encouraged to introduce themselves to anyone setting up for the meeting. If a person walks up to an A.A. member and says they are new and want help they will almost without exception be greeted warmly and be given all the attention and help they might want. Asking for help can be profoundly difficult but most of us have found that we couldn't get sober without help.

Because A.A. does not want to force our fellowship on anyone people might seem unwelcoming. We also know from experience that many newcomers just want to be left alone to check it out and are typically left to do that if they want.

When the time to start the meeting arrives someone will speak up and attempt to get everyone to be quiet. Then there will likely be some combination of a moment of silence, a voluntary prayer, readings and announcements. Before speaking people will usually say "My name is whatever and I'm an alcoholic (link)" or something similar. 

A common custom is to ask if there is anyone new to A.A. who would like to introduce themselves. A newcomer that doesn't want to introduce themselves doesn't have to. If a person does introduce themselves they don't have to say the typical "and I'm an alcoholic" part. It is quite alright to just say your name and that it is your first time to A.A. There is never an obligation to discuss anything at a meeting. Even if in the course of the meeting a person is asked if they want to talk, a simple reply of "I just want to listen today" will be respected. 

Depending on the meeting the beginning part will be followed by some combination of people telling stories, people taking turns talking or people reading from books. 

At some point a money collection may be taken, there is never an obligation to give money and donations are only accepted from group members.

Meetings usually end with everyone standing, holding hands and then saying  The Lord's Prayer. Participating in this is entirely voluntary. A person is welcome to join hands and say nothing, leave before the prayer or quietly move away from those who do join in the prayer until it is over. 

After the meeting people stand around and talk and frequently a group of regular attendees will get together at a coffee shop or restaurant to just hang out. For a newcomer serious about getting sober, staying after the meeting and introducing themselves to others is usually a very helpful thing to do. A.A. is a fellowship and meetings are only a small part of that fellowship. Many find that more is gained in the casual hanging out part than in the actual meetings.


Next we will talk about working the 12 Steps of AA Recovery