About AA

The official commencement date for this Fellowship is June 10 1935 when in Akron Ohio two men met out of a mutual need to recover from alcoholism.

The programme of recovery and the traditions by which AA is guided are given below. For fuller information go to Links and visit these sites.

(For a glimpse of the St Louis 3 July 1955 conference charter, which was unanimously accepted, click here)

The 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. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

(For a glimpse at a 1940's style preamble, click here)

12 STEPS

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol- that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Excerpts from the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous) on Recovery

… We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through!  We are going to know a new freedom and happiness.  We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.  We will comprehend the word serenity and know peace.  No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.  That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.  Self-seeking will slip away.  Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.  Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.  We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.  We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.  Are these extravagant promises?  We think not.  They will always materialize if we work for them.
… Yes there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that.  It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous.  There you will find release from care, boredom and worry.  Your imagination will be fired.  Life will mean something at last.  The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead.  Thus we find the fellowship and so will you.
.. Abandon yourself to God as you understand God.  Admit your faults to him and to your fellows.  Clear away the wreckage of your past.  Give freely of what you find and join us.  We shall be with you in the fellowship of the spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.  May God bless you and keep you – until then.

12 TRADITIONS

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  6. An AA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centres may employ special workers.
  9. AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

(Click on the links for a glimpse of the 12 traditions long form and the 12 concepts for world service long form.)

 

The Design for Living AA Group.co.uk has neither been approved or endorsed by and is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. or any AA Service entity of any country.