The AA Home Group – The heartbeat of AA.

Bill W at a meeting This Group, Design for Living (an expression found in the Big Book) – advocates and endorses to the fullest possible extent the 12 Steps of Recovery and the 12 Traditions. As recovered alcoholics we are dedicated to the primary purpose of a Group, to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers and, brimming with enthusiasm and gratitude for our recovery, wish to share this with all who attend our Group. AA is for alcoholics.

In support of AA’s singleness of purpose our weekly meetings are “closed”* and therefore limited to alcoholics or those who think they may have a drinking problem only. When sharing at our meetings you are requested to confine that sharing to your alcoholism.

*the Group will use its discretion of course where it is appropriate for a non AA to attend to make the meeting 'open'.



Excerpts from Tradition 1

.. He finds he cannot keep this priceless gift unless he gives it away. Neither he nor anybody else can survive unless he carries the AA message. The moment this 12th step work forms a group, another discovery is made – that most individuals cannot recover unless there is a group. Realization dawns that he is but a small part of a great whole; that no personal sacrifice is too great for preservation of the Fellowship. He learns that the clamour of desires and ambitions within him must be silenced whenever these could damage the Group. It becomes plain that the Group must survive or the individual cannot…

Excerpts from the Grapevine September 1986

… Now I know that it is the wonderful people sitting around the table in my hometown who loved me when I could not love, who waited for me to quit lying, who tolerated me when I would be part of nothing, and who never asked me to leave when I was obnoxious. Because of their love and patience, I was able finally to get outside of myself and make some sort of commitment to the Group.
It seems to me that, in the beginning, a home group is all most of us can possibly handle. It’s where we first find a sponsor; where someone first sees that we get a Big Book, where we first see the steps on the wall, where we learn again to pray, and where we first begin to recover. But most of all because of the trust that develops through the meetings of a home group, it is where we might first begin to care about someone else so that we might eventually begin to love again, both in AA and among our friends and family. It is where we first learn to take responsibility so that we might eventually take responsibility for our lives. In my case that began with the simple chore of washing up the mugs (how wise that they knew I could do no more). It was there we learned to do Twelfth Step work so that we could eventually pass onto others what was so freely given to us, thereby assuring the very future and survival of the Fellowship. It was there that someone began answering the questions about all the mysteries of what makes the whole thing work.
Oh yes, the home group is the heartbeat of the Fellowship. There are many reasons why the groups need each and every member running through their life veins, but most important we need our home groups. That’s where it all began, and it is where it will all end for us….

The AA Home Group – The heartbeat of AA.


Bill W Dr Bob

The Design for Living AA 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.