Answer the questions in South African Languages
Am I an alcoholic?
If you repeatedly drink more than you intend or want to, if you get into trouble, or if you have memory lapses when you drink, you may be an alcoholic. It’s a matter of whether your drinking is stopping you from leading the sort of life you want to lead. If you want to control your drinking but can’t, then alcoholism is a definite possibility. But as far as AA is concerned whether you’re an alcoholic is for you to decide. It’s not up to anyone in AA to tell you whether you are or not.
We would recommend you come to an AA meeting or at least contact someone in AA and talk them about your problem.
What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
We are a Fellowship of men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking and have found ourselves in various kinds of trouble as a result of drinking. We attempt—most of us successfully—to create a satisfying way of life without alcohol. For this we find we need the help and support of other alcoholics in AA.
If I go to an AA meeting, does that commit me to anything?
No. AA does not keep membership files, or attendance records. You do not have to reveal anything about yourself. No one will bother you if you don’t want to come back.
What happens if I meet people I know?
They will be there for the same reason you are. AA does not disclose your identity even to outsiders or even others inside our fellowship. You retain as much anonymity as you wish. That is one of the reasons we call ourselves Alcoholics Anonymous.
What happens at an AA meeting?
An AA meeting may take one of several forms, but at any meeting you will find alcoholics talking about what drinking did to their lives and personalities, what actions they took to help themselves, and how they are living their lives today.
How does going to a meeting help me with my drinking problem?
We in AA know what it is like to be addicted to alcohol, and to be unable to keep promises made to others and ourselves that we will stop drinking. We are not professional therapists. Our only qualification for helping others to recover from alcoholism is that we have stopped drinking ourselves. We have the ability to help problem drinkers because we are living proof that recovery is possible – we’ve done it.
Why do AAs keep going to meetings after they are cured?
We in AA believe there is no such thing as a cure for alcoholism. We can never return to normal drinking, and our ability to stay away from alcohol depends on maintaining our physical, mental, and spiritual health. This we can achieve by going to meetings regularly and putting into practice what we learn there. In addition, we find it helps us to stay sober if we help other alcoholics.
How do I join AA?
You are an AA member if and when you say you are. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking (and many of us were not very wholehearted about that when we first approached AA).
How much does AA membership cost?
There are no dues or fees for AA membership. An AA group will usually have a collection during the meeting to cover expenses, such as rent, coffee etc, Members are free to contribute as much or as little as they wish.
Is AA a religious organization?
No. Nor is it affiliated with any religious or other organization.
There’s a lot of talk about God, though, isn’t there?
The majority of AA members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves. However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes. Many people call it God, others think it is the AA group, still others don’t believe in it at all. There is room in AA for people of all shades of belief and nonbelief.
Can I bring a family member or friend to an AA meeting?
Family members or close friends are welcome at “open” AA meetings.
What if I have problems other than Alcohol?
Perhaps there is no suffering more horrible than drug addiction, especially that kind which is produced by morphine, heroin, and other narcotics. Such drugs twist the mind, and the awful process of withdrawal racks the sufferer’s body. Compared with the addict and his woes, we alcoholics are pikers. Barbiturates, carried to extremes, can be almost as bad. In A.A. we have members who have made great recoveries from both the bottle and the needle. We also have a great many others who were — or still are — victimized by “goofballs” and even by the new tranquilizers. read more...
What advice do you give new members?
In our experience, the people who recover in AA are those who:
attend AA meetings regularly
seek out the people in AA they like who have successfully stayed sober for some time
put into practice the simple principles of AA’s program of recovery
stay away from the first drink one day at a time.
How can I contact AA?
Call 0861 435 722 These telephones are answered by AA volunteers who will be happy to answer your questions, or put you in touch with those who can.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.