For achieving lifelong recovery, nothing has a success rate as high as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and AA Ventura County has some of the best groups and meetings available in the country. AA Ventura County encompasses all of the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in and around Ventura County.
I love AA, and it has become something I absolutely want to do just as much as I must do it if I want to stay sober. It is the most enjoyable treatment to the disease of addiction, and after detox and inpatient treatment, it is absolutely mandatory, at least for me, if I want to live happy, healthy, and substance free.
My life was so unmanageable at one point in time, I didn’t know how I was going to thrive, let alone survive for the next 24 hours. I have detoxed hundreds of times, but would inevitably go back to drugs and alcohol, because I didn’t continue to treat my addiction. What I didn’t realize is that through AA, I am promised a daily reprieve from my addictions.
I have been sober now for almost 6 years, and am happier than I have ever been in my life. I owe so much of this to AA Ventura County for welcoming me into their groups with open arms and showing me how to live a productive, sober life in recovery.
What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
Many people ask, just what is Alcoholics Anonymous? Well according to the AA preamble, “Alcoholics Anonymous 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. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
The beauty of this ever-expanding fellowship is that it has become the blueprint for programs that tackle addictions of every type. There now exists many different fellowships including Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and Al Anon, or a program for the loved ones of alcoholics and addicts. All of the programs share the 12-step format that originated with AA. Hopefully now you have a general understanding of just what is Alcoholics Anonymous.
What to Expect at an AA Meeting?
Walking in to a room of strangers can be intimidating, as many people don’t know what to expect at an AA meeting. The truth of the matter is that there is no reason to feel intimidated at all, as most of the people in that room have been exactly in your position at one time or another. The kindest, most selfless people I have ever met are the members of AA Ventura County.
I’ll tell you precisely what to expect at an AA meeting, especially AA Ventura County. First, they will do some readings, and then in a typical meeting people will share for two or three minutes at a time about their program, their lives, and what is keeping them sober today. This the typical format, but there are other formats as well such as a speaker meeting which will have one person share for anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, usually telling their life story. A welcoming, friendly attitude is what to expect at an AA meeting, as the newcomer is the most important person at any meeting according to their literature.
Who can Attend AA?
Another frequently asked question that is addressed directly in the 12 traditions of AA is who can attend AA? Anyone who desires to stop drinking is who can attend AA. The tradition states, “Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence, we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity.
Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. There are some meetings labeled closed, and some labeled open, where who can attend AA when it is a closed meeting is only people who identify as alcoholics. On the other hand, who can attend AA when it is open is anyone and everyone. I have found that almost anyone who is respectful and quiet is who can attend AA and I have never seen anyone get denied entry, ever.
What is the Cost of Attending AA?
The cost of AA is nothing. Again, referring to the 12 traditions, number 7 states, “Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.”
Number 8 states, “AA should remain forever non-professional.” Although some jobs regarding the AA central office may be paid positions. The long version of the tradition ends with, “But our usual A.A. “12th Step” work is never to be paid for. They do pass a donation basket around, but it is not mandatory to pay, I have found that meetings I like, especially AA Ventura County, I want to donate to, because they have taken care of me so well.
Structure of Alcoholics Anonymous
The structure of Alcoholics Anonymous can vary from meeting to meeting. Discussion meetings are the most common structure of Alcoholics Anonymous, where a topic is discussed and people share on it for 2-3 minutes each. The next most common structure of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings is a speaker meeting. In these meetings, one person will share for a longer period of time, usually sharing their experience, strength, and hope.
Every meeting shares the fundamental structure of Alcoholics Anonymous, with a secretary, treasurer, and a leader to run the meeting and keep it relatively organized. In all the AA Ventura County meetings I have gone to, they read some selected readings, and then proceed from there to follow either a discussion format or speaker format. No matter the structure of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings I go to, I always feel connected and less likely to drink after attending one.
Examples of 12 Steps of AA
The examples of 12 steps of AA include admitting I have a drinking problem, turning my life over to the care of a higher power, making a list of people we have harmed, making amends to those people, and eventually working with new alcoholics in order to spread the gift that was so freely given to me. They are designed to help a person have what they describe as a spiritual awakening that is powerful enough to keep us from drinking again.
This psychic change is dependent upon continuing to improve our spiritual condition and become better people. The examples of the 12 steps of AA I included are the main aspects of the steps. They are in a specific order for a reason, and a sponsor will gladly take you through them, greatly increasing your chances of staying sober.
AA Meetings in Ventura County
There are a ton of AA meetings in Ventura County, whether you want to do meetings in person or attend them online through Zoom. During the beginning of the pandemic, meetings had to continue, so they found a way to persevere utilizing the Zoom platform.
Meetings have begun to open up in person again, but are mostly becoming a sort of hybrid between online and in person. I urge anyone to go to multiple different meetings throughout AA Ventura County in order to find one that suits you best.
Choosing Ventura County for Sobriety
Choosing Ventura County for sobriety is a decision you will not regret making. There is so many different groups, all with individual vibes to them, that will allow you to find one that works best for you.
After attending Divine Detox’s inpatient, it would suit you well to get connected with AA Ventura County, because choosing Ventura County for sobriety means you can attend detox, inpatient, after-care, and find meetings all in the same place. This becomes extremely convenient, tremendously helpful, and will increase you chances of staying sober immensely.
Long Term Sobriety in Ventura County
If you are like me, and substances were controlling your entire life, then it may be a good idea to pack up and move out to Ventura County in order to get a start at a new life. Going to Divine, then getting right in the middle of the pack in AA Ventura County has given me a chance at long term sobriety in Ventura County.
The statistics all point to a much higher success rate, or achieving long term sobriety in Ventura County if you do a program and then end up staying in the same area. So please, give yourself a break, and call Divine Detox today. That simple call can make all the difference, it certainly did for me!