‘Reflections on my AA experiences’ by Maddie

P1010174_3At my very first AA meeting, I was carried in by strangers who found me crying, shaking and rocking in the doorway. And I promise I am not exaggerating. Gosh, I had forgotten about that, an event that took place four or five years ago. 

I would pop in and out of AA for years before I was really desperate enough to let the rooms help me. I used to have to have a drink to get in the door, and I used to go with vodka in my bag. However, I just keep going back.

It’s hard to explain, but you are carried and held when you are in the rooms in those early days. Without AA and the people I have met there I would have busted on Friday night on my nine months birthday. I have been experiencing incredible stress because of the very long hours I have been working, the intensity of a new project, and a boss who is trying to make my project fail! At times, it’s been too much.

The love and support I was shown after walking back in the room on Friday saved me. I was on the way to my dealer in the ‘mist’ of a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe, my heart was pounding, and I was shaking and blurry-eyed. That’s when people need AA.

For those of you thinking whether or not to go to AA, just go no matter what. It may take months for you to fully appreciate what AA can do for you (and you may only pop in from time to time). It took me years, but when you’re really, really ready to let people help you – listening to people and accepting they may know more – you’ll be so grateful for AA.

In my opinion, those early days of the recovery journey can’t be done solo. And as supportive as your family may be, you need to be heard by like-minded people who have walked the same path and actually do understand where you are.


  1. Angie Sparrowhawk says:

    It was good to hear that you are doing well and that you found the right help with AA. I wonder if you feel that the only people that understand and can help have to have been problem drinkers themselves. I have worked in this field for over 30 years and I do feel that my experience has given me a huge understanding and insight into the nature of this problem. I would never pretend that I understand completely what it is like to be a problem substance user as everyone is different and I always took this into consideration during my work. I suspended judgement, empathised and listened, and worked hard to establish a trusting, safe and boundaried relationship with my clients, but, I remained realistic, genuine and honest in my work and this so often worked. I would never discourage people attending AA and many of my clients did so and also worked with me at the same time. Whatever works is my mantra! I still work in this field as a clinical supervisor to counsellors working with this group of people and always encourage them to inform their clients that there are other support services – AA, NA, SMART etc.

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