The efficacy of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings can sometimes be undermined when the focus shifts from solutions to mere discussions that resemble a therapy session. This deviation from the central goal of AA can be counterproductive for newcomers seeking real solutions.
The Risk of Unfocused Discussions
Without effective leadership, AA meetings often resemble local versions of Oprah or Dr. Phil episodes, sounding more like therapy sessions than platforms for recovery. It’s important to understand that while discussing problems and opinions might provide temporary relief, it does not equate to a solution. For AA participants, the key to recovery lies in taking action, not merely voicing feelings.
Misguided Meeting Experience
I recently attended a meeting where the topic was “one day at a time,” but instead of focusing on its practical application, the discussion veered towards feelings and opinions. The room was filled with newcomers, seeking actionable guidance, yet the narrative offered little of that.
None of the participants touched upon the real-world implementation of this concept—one that is so integral to the AA program that it’s synonymous with it.
The “One Day at a Time” Principle
The essence of the “one day at a time” idea is simple: if you feel like drinking, try to abstain for just today. Instead of worrying about tomorrow or the far-off future, just focus on making it through the day.
The notion of abstaining for one day seems far more manageable than the overwhelming prospect of abstaining forever. It’s a rational proposition. With the right help and support, it’s entirely achievable to go one day without a drink. And when tomorrow arrives, you repeat the process. Before you know it, one sober day becomes weeks, then months, and eventually, years.
Adding the 12 Steps
Pair this approach with the 12 steps of AA, and you lay the foundation for an incredible life transformation—all achieved “one day at a time.”
The power of AA meetings lies in their ability to offer real, practical solutions, steering members towards actionable steps for recovery rather than abstract discussions of feelings. By maintaining this focus, AA can continue to be an effective tool for those seeking to overcome addiction.