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To Beginners

AA is said to be for people who want it, not for people who need it, but if you want what the program has to offer, here are some suggestions.
It may all seem overwhelming at the moment, but we have all been through early days in AA and we understand. Our experience is that if we follow some basic suggestions we can stop, stay stopped and lead happy lives.
The primary purpose of every AA meeting is to carry the AA message of hope and a happy sobriety to the suffering alcoholic. Whatever else might be going on in your life or however little else you may feel you are doing about your situation, even you are still drinking, there is a chance it will get better if you keep going to meetings. Sometimes it s not clear why, but it’s true. Certainly, we have not heard of many that regretted going to too many meetings in their early days.
Get a Big Book and read it. The book ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’, which is very often referred to in meetings as the Big Book contains the basic text for recovery. The first section, up to page 164, is the manual on getting well. It is an amalgamation of how the first 100 members recovered from their drinking problems.
Get a Sponsor. A sponsor is someone who has been through the 12-steps of recovery who will help you to do the same by passing on his or her experience. A.A. Suggest that men sponsor men and women sponsor women. This is to avoid any romantic relationship, which is best avoided in the early stages of recovery.
Once a person has crossed the line into addiction/alcoholism abstaining is the only answer. In A.A. you will hear: ‘if you don’t pick up the first drink you will not get drunk’. In the beginning it is advised to stay away from bars, there is an old saying if you visit the barber shop enough times, eventually you will get your hair cut.
Most of all live in today, don’t worry about a wedding you need to attend six months from now. Deal with it when it happens. As for holidays or birthdays, you might be with family and friends, most people will accept a “No thank you, just a soft drink please”. If some insist you drink, most likely they have their own issues to deal with. Remember that first things come first. Your well being and your life are at stake.
To thine own self be true.

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