Conquering an addiction is an empowering experience. It solidifies your beliefs and strengthens both mind and body. When I listen to people speak of their journey, it brings tears of every kind to my eyes. Those who suffer from alcohol addiction reach the bottom by falling hard. As they scratch their way to the top, some succeed and some don’t. I can’t help but notice that the ones who succeed view their path with positive eyes and an “I can” attitude. However, how do you maximize your AA experience to achieve this success?
How to Get the Most Out of Your AA Experience
Here are 7 ways to improve your AA experience and change your perspective on recovery.
Throw Statistics Out the Window
Don’t worry about the statistics. Don’t worry about what other people have to say. Don’t read about the ways you can fail or the chances for you to succeed based on age, race, and income. Statistics mean nothing because statistics don’t know you. As you create your own goals with the confidence of success, you will see AA in a new light.
Change Your Attitude
You are going to hate every single moment of AA if you bring along a bad attitude, and I can guarantee failure if that happens. There are going to be moments when you feel natural emotions, and that is okay, but continually strive for positivity. AA is only there to help you, and accepting it as a tool and not a stumbling stone will help you use it to its full advantage.
Embrace the Experiences that Come from Sobriety
When you choose to set the alcohol aside, you can either be miserable or you can enjoy the freedom. Take a moment to breathe in the air, laugh with friends, and run with strength you never had before. Life is so much better with a sober mind and a healthy body; embrace the new you and the benefits of AA.
Make AA Friends
AA was designed as a support group to help hold you accountable for your actions and to give you the strength to reach your goals. As you climb the 12 steps, do it with friends. As you get to know others, you will feel an excitement for meetings that you probably didn’t know you could have. AA friends will support you when you feel weak and celebrate your moments of success.
Technology has amazing tools designed specifically for AA. Download phone apps that include a count of your sober days, words of affirmation, the 12 steps, and success stories. Use technology to connect with others and as a way to hold yourself accountable.
Chart Your Success
Writing down the little moments was one of the best ways I could see my upward path. Write down everything that feels and tastes better without a drink in your hand. Did you go to a party and decline a drink? Write it down! Did you wake up feeling strong with a clear mind? Write it down! Did you go for a walk and not once think about alcohol? Write it down! It is the little moments that make the biggest impact, so don’t let them slip by unnoticed. When an AA meeting comes up, share your successes and use AA as a way to feel rewarded. Those little moments won’t slip by when you get to share them with others.
Help Someone Else
AA is a great way to get connected with others going through the exact same struggle. It is also a way to lift others up. When your mind is focused only on yourself, it is easy to let it wander to painful thoughts and regrets. Your AA experience can be completely different if you use your energy to support someone else. When someone needs a helping hand, be there. When someone needs words of comfort, give them. As you give to others, you will feel strengthened and confident. AA is a wonderful tool to use as a way to become sober for life. With the right attitude, you can enjoy your entire AA experience.
By Michelle Conway
Photo by: Francisco Osorio (Flickr)