These things you may think happen at 12-step meetings, but may by myths rather than typical occurrences.
You will be surrounded and by “helpful” alcoholics.
You have to stand up and say, “I am an alcoholic.”
You have to tell all of your secrets surrounding my addiction to alcohol.
You have to participate in group hugs.
You have to pray.
You are joining a cult.
You might see people you recognize.
The meeting might be held in a building connected with a church or a community center. You arrive to find most of the people you see are there for the meeting Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Outside of the room are a few folks making coffee and talking.
Inside the room, there are people sitting here and there; some talking together, some sitting alone. You take a seat by the door (just in case you want to make a quick exit) and as people passed by, some say hello, some nod, some stop and introduce themselves, and some keep to themselves.
After about 10 minutes, there are 50 people who are seated in a semi-circle of chairs. One person sits in the middle of the circle. She is the meeting chairperson for that particular day.
The meeting begins with the chairperson reading the AA Preamble, then leading a group prayer, the Serenity Prayer (short version) in which about 80 percent of the people recited.
Afterward, different members of the meeting read brief AA literature, “How it Works,” the “Twelve Traditions” and “The Promises.”
The chairperson asks if there are any newcomers, or first-timers, attending the meeting who would like to introduce themselves by their first name. A few raise their hands, You may or may not be one of them, as this is an option and not mandatory.