My first time to an AA meeting

I enter the place where it’s held at the starting time of the meeting. I like the vibe of the building and the common room, get offered a cup of coffee by a girl and sit around for 10 minutes. I finally dare to ask if I missed the meeting or if there is a meeting or something. Girl goes owwww, rushes me through a corridor while I’m trying to back out, saying I’ll be back later. Girl assures me they love newcomers and love it when they enter late too.

A guy behind a desk, three others there and a guy on a video screen. They all look at me like they are happy to see me. What is that supposed to mean. They don’t know me. One is reading from a book. I can’t hear clearly what he’s saying. Then another guy reads some text I cannot understand either. WTF is this. Two banners on the wall with the twelve steps and the twelve traditions. A whole lot of the word God in ‘m. OMG. I have walked into a religious cult.

Then the guy on the video screen is invited to speak. The theme is the Higher Power. Of course. I don’t pick up much from what he’s saying. He’s telling of his alcoholism and how AA saved him I guess. I don’t pick up much from it. There’s a knot in my stomach. What am I doing here. I hope I don’t have to share or something.

The video guy speaks beyond his allotted time and has to be stopped by the chair. The chair invites to attendees to share. Oh no. They all tell something but I don’t really register what it is. Actually I do, now I think of it. I’m close to tears and I have no idea why.

The three guys all have said something. It’s my turn, even though I know it’s OK not to say anything I do speak. I blurt out something about me not believing in a God, my sober journey so far, my non sober life before and how I feel now I need something more than just being sober. That I doubt this is the place for me. I get understanding nods and smiles. The chair shares himself, again I hardly register what he is saying. Something about seeing god as you yourself see him I think. Then the meeting ends.

Immediately after it ends I’m approached by two of the guys. They seem very happy to talk to me. Again the feeling of this being a cult creeps up on me. But I do like the conversation that follows. A lot. A guy gives me his phone number and asks me for mine. Surprisingly I give it. I’m asked to join the others for an aftertalk, it is their habit that they share a simple bread meal after the meeting.
I like it. It feels right. I like this place. I like this guys. Again I feel tears stinging and I don’t know why. They sting now that I’m writing this and I don’t know why. I’m going to find out. I will be back here. Will try another group, might try NA. I will be back.

I just read a leaflet one of the guys gave me called ‘the “GOD” word, agnostics and atheists in AA’. Meaningful shares and insights to me. I should be in bed and will be shortly but I needed to process this a bit. Thanks for reading if you made it here. And big thanks to @aircircle and @NewPerspective for taking the time and effort to encourage me to actually get inside tonight. And to Dennis from Montana who I met somewhere else on the net, who has been a member of AA for decades and has inspired me to go where I went tonight. Love from Amsterdam.


It’s great to see this Menno. Really is. I must admit the same “cult” thoughts went through my head as well.
Keep coming back mate. It gets better.

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I felt the same my first meeting… I went a couple of times after then relapsed… ended up in a rehab place and that was 12 step and big book based… got a really good foundation and been going since… I learned it’s about a higher power you can believe in and doesn’t have to necessarily be God


Menno, I’m so so happy you got there and were moved. I know it’s strange and confusing. I’m SO happy that you shared and talked about your reservations and doubts. Keep coming back and keep sharing from your heart, doubts and all. And use those phone numbers!! You have made my day, my friend. So proud of you. :bird::v:


This is a GREAT post. I think so many of us had these back and forth feelings for many movies. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the organization and meetings in general, all I knew was how great I felt as I drove home after them. That was all that mattered to me. In time I learned how to fit the whole “God thing” into my recovery…which is NOT traditional God. In fact, in my personal experience there are very few AAers st my meetings that actually use a traditional God in their program.

You’re good. I hope you use that phone number and that you keep going back.



It sure can be quite cult like, they’re pretty big on anonymity. But there are no cups of koolaid, just coffee usually, and they don’t demand you give them money.

Glad you made it, glad it moved something in you.

Good share bud.

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I like your detailed message, it will help others who are still doubting if they will go and try AA or not. Good that you went! You grow the most out of your comfortzone! :facepunch:


I’m happy for you Menno, those tears you felt coming must mean something good.
Have a fabulous sober day.

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This is inspiring. I am intimidated by AA being an atheist, and the atheist meeting I went to was pretty lame.

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Wowzers, thanks for sharing, keep us posted when you go back I would love to hear how you get on. :hugs:


Same story here Brad. Not at all sure AA is for me yet, but I’m really happy I went and will go again. It’s given me hope.


@Mno well done, I too went to my first meeting tonight and was also moved, I cried alot, as when the others were sharing they were looking directly at me, being the new face I suppose, being from a small town in New Zealand there were only 6 of us so it was really friendly, I also got given a phone number from the one other woman there, and hugs from everyone, I will be going back also as it have me hope, hope I never knew was there to actually get sober, this app is also fantastic, keep it up, I know I will be :grin: