Did you know that there an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group in Blantyre, Malawi. Yes, AA is available in Blantyre. Its only available on demand. this means that one has to call and then get invited to access the the support group.
AA is “a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.”
Internationally, it is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere worldwide. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem. Therefore, the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership. AA gives people in recovery an opportunity to meet and connect with others on a similar journey.
Alcoholics Anonymous, while originally designed to support people with alcoholism, has seen more and more members with a variety of substance habits including narcotics and cannabis among others.
The 12 Steps of AA are:
- WE ADMITTED WE WERE POWERLESS OVER ALCOHOL — THAT OUR LIVES HAD BECOME UNMANAGEABLE. The first step encourages people with alcoholism to admit that they cannot control their addictive behaviours.
- CAME TO BELIEVE THAT A POWER GREATER THAN OURSELVES COULD RESTORE US TO SANITY. The second step presents hope, faith and realisation. AA believes that people with alcoholism must look to a higher power to recover from addiction.
- MADE A DECISION TO TURN OUR WILL AND OUR LIVES OVER TO THE CARE OF GOD AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM. Through the third step, individuals with alcoholism turn their lives over to their higher-power. The individual puts his or her trust in this superior being to eliminate addiction.
- MADE A SEARCHING AND FEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY OF OURSELVES. People with alcoholism take an honest look at their lives. AA believes the identification of past regret, embarrassment or guilt can help individuals through the recovery process.
- ADMITTED TO GOD, TO OURSELVES, AND TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING THE EXACT NATURE OF OUR WRONGS. This step also incorporates self-evaluation. Sharing past mistakes with their higher power, themselves and another person can help people with alcoholism build addiction-free lives.
- WE ARE ENTIRELY READY TO HAVE GOD REMOVE ALL THESE DEFECTS OF CHARACTER. This is a step of preparation and reflection. Individuals admit they are willing to have their higher power remove their addictive behaviours.
- HUMBLY ASKED HIM TO REMOVE OUR SHORTCOMINGS. Now that they know the root of their addiction, people with alcoholism ask their higher power to help eliminate their character flaws. These individuals must also do their part to separate themselves from influences that build addictive behaviours.
- MADE A LIST OF ALL PERSONS WE HAD HARMED, AND BECAME WILLING TO MAKE AMENDS TO THEM ALL. People with alcoholism should make a list of the people they harmed while battling addiction. This strategy allows them to repair the damages done in the past.
- MADE DIRECT AMENDS TO SUCH PEOPLE WHEREVER POSSIBLE, EXCEPT WHEN TO DO SO WOULD INJURE THEM OR OTHERS. Through this step, people with alcoholism make amends with those on their list. Making amends could mean sitting down face-to-face with those they’ve wronged or writing a letter to them.
- CONTINUED TO TAKE PERSONAL INVENTORY AND WHEN WE WERE WRONG PROMPTLY ADMITTED IT. Monitoring your recovery is integral in sustaining sobriety. This step requires individuals with alcoholism to be vigilant against triggers and addictive behaviours.
- 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. Prayer and meditation could help stave off addictive behaviours. Individuals with alcoholism maintain conscious contact with their higher power.
- 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. The final step encourages people to help others overcome alcoholism. This step signifies the completion of the cycle of life.
It should be noted that AA 12 steps is not a substitute for a traditional drug rehabilitation
What to Expect at Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
Thousands of AA meetings are held around the world weekly. Sessions can be open or closed to the public. Open meetings allow friends and loved ones of individuals with alcohol addiction to attend, while closed sessions are reserved just for people with drinking problems.
Meetings last about 60 to 90 minutes and are typically held in public forums, such as schools, churches or community centres. They often involve meditating, praying, reading AA literature and sharing personal stories. A member or the entire group will read the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions of AA out loud.
AA meetings are anonymous. During meetings, people introduce themselves to the group using only their first names. They can share their stories from the past week, such as alcohol-related challenges they faced or positive experiences dealing with triggers. But participants are discouraged from giving advice to one another, and crosstalk is not permitted. During meetings, members make announcements and pass a hat or basket around for donations. Because AA does not charge for attendance, these donations help pay for costs such as literature and incidental expenses.
There you go.
Please contact QECH, MH Clinic on how to contact AA in Blantyre on +265 (0) 992 717 232/880 234 250