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Attending an AA or a NA meeting for the first time can be intimidating. Regardless of whether you have attended meetings in the past, it is understandable that walking into a new place with new people can feel overwhelming.
One of the great things about AA or NA meetings is the fact that they are available around the clock. Did you have a bad day and you feel yourself on edge? You can go to a meeting directly after work or you can attend one before you settle down for the night. Did you have a bad night of sleep and you want to start your day off with a fresh perspective? There are often meetings available at six or seven o’clock in the morning.
It’s important to remember that meetings take place in different forms. For example, there are certain meetings that are specific just to men or just to women. There are also other meetings that are closed to any person that is not or has not struggled with addiction. Some meetings may only focus on certain steps while others may have topics associated with the various traditions that NA and AA attendees follow.
There are many venues around the Tampa area that offer options for NA and AA meetings. More often than not, you will find that these meetings take place at a church. Although the premise of NA and AA is not specifically tied to one religion or another, there is an element of spirituality associated with the ethos of the group. Attending meetings at a church location may inspire you to explore your own sense of spirituality. Once you break free of the hold that drugs or alcohol have one you, it is not uncommon to want to turn to a higher power to find inner peace.
AA 101 Group
If you are looking to ease into attending meetings, the AA 101 Group may be an ideal place to start. The meeting takes place at the Apostle’s Lutheran Church. It is an open meeting that focuses on the 12 steps. It is held at 6:30 AM every Tuesday.
Many people in recovery plan to attend a meeting in the middle of their day during their lunch break. The Arise & Build Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale is home to the Hide-A-Way Group. This meeting is an open discussion meeting and takes place at 12 PM on Tuesdays.
Mustard Seed Group
The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church hosts the Mustard Seed Group every Friday night between 7 PM and 8 PM. This is an open speaker meeting.
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A common theme that you will find in any NA or AA meeting is the study and understanding of the 12 Steps. The steps were put in place as a roadmap to recovery. They start off with admitting that you are powerless over your addiction and that your life has become chaotic because of it. The steps go on to give you clear guidance as to how struggling with an addiction does not mean that your life is worthless. The steps encourage you to turn to your higher power for direction, admit your shortcomings, and continue to be open to the awakening associated with recovery.
There are also traditions that are associated with NA which can also be found in AA. The traditions provide you with a baseline of understanding what takes place during a meeting. For example, tradition three dictates that the only requirement for membership in NA or AA is the fact that you want to stop using drugs or alcohol. The other traditions dictate how a group should be organized. It’s important to remember that if you opt to attend different meetings, you will likely notice that each one is unique and autonomous. Although you may find one group that you want to designate as your “homegroup”, we encourage you to explore different groups in your area as you are sure to pick up on different useful information.
Similar to an NA meeting, an AA meeting gives those that are struggling or have struggled with an addiction to alcohol a place to talk about their addiction. Most AA meetings are done in an open discussion format. This means that the designated chairperson of the group opens the meeting with a thought or a personal experience. He or she will then open the floor for other people to share how they are feeling or what they are thinking. Each participant is asked to be conscious of the time that they speak so everyone that would like to speak has time.
There are other AA meetings that are speaker meetings. This style of meetings provides attendees with the opportunity to listen to the story of a person who has achieved sobriety. Once the speaker is done sharing, they usually open the floor to questions so that you have the chance to gain a better understanding of the changes that that person made in their life.
When you are ready to leave the influence of drugs and alcohol in your past, you should always reach out to the professionals at the Legacy Healing Center in South Florida. We understand the struggles associated with addiction and provide you with the tools you need to begin to put the pieces of your life back together. The first step is to reach out to us by speaking to one of our trained intake specialists. Our intake counselors are ready to speak with you about your experiences with addiction and offer you options for different forms of treatment. Every call is 100% confidential so you can rest assured that you are speaking with someone that has your best interests at heart.
Call us today at (888) 534-2295.