Alcoholics Anonymous in Cornwall

 © AA Cornwall - Alcoholics Anonymous (Great Britain) Ltd

DO YOU HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM?

If you believe you have a problem with alcohol then this site will offer information and help and will answer any questions you may have about Alcoholics Anonymous in Cornwall.

Only you can decide whether you are an alcoholic and whether you want to give A.A. a try. Whether you think it can help you.
We who are in A.A. came because we finally gave up trying to control our drinking. We still hated to admit that we could never drink safely.


Then we heard from other A.A. members that we were sick.  (We thought so for years!) We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt and loneliness and hopelessness  that we did. We found out that we had these feelings because we were sick with alcoholism.


We decided to try to face up to what alcohol had done to us - Below are some of the questions we tried to answer honestly.

HAVE YOU EVER DECIDED TO STOP DRINKING FOR A WEEK OR SO, BUT ONLY LASTED FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS?


Most of us in A.A. made all kinds of promises to ourselves and to our families. We could not keep them. Then we came to A.A. and A.A. said: "Just try not to drink today." (If you do not drink today, you cannot get drunk today.)

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DO YOU WISH PEOPLE WOULD MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS ABOUT YOUR DRINKING- STOP TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO?


In A.A. we do not tell anyone to do anything. We just talk about our own drinking, the trouble we got into, and how we stopped. We will be glad to help you, if you want us to.

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HAVE YOU EVER SWITCHED FROM ONE KIND OF DRINK TO ANOTHER IN THE HOPE THAT THIS WOULD KEEP YOU FROM GETTING DRUNK?


We tried all kinds of ways. We made our drinks weak. Or just drank beer. Or we did not drink spirits. Or only drank on weekends.  You name it, we tried it. But if we drank anything with alcohol in it, we usually got drunk eventually.

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HAVE YOU HAD TO HAVE A DRINK IN THE MORNING DURING THE PAST YEAR?


Do you need a drink to get started, or to stop shaking? This is a pretty sure sign that you are not drinking socially.

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DO YOU ENVY PEOPLE WHO CAN DRINK WITHOUT GETTING INTO TROUBLE?


At one time or another, most of us have wondered why we were not like most people, who really can take it or leave it.

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HAVE YOU HAD PROBLEMS CONNECTED WITH DRINKING DURING THE PAST YEAR?


Be honest! Doctors say that if you have a problem with alcohol and keep on drinking, it will get worse - never better. Eventually, you will die, or end up in an institution for the rest of your life. The only hope is to stop drinking.

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HAS YOUR DRINKING CAUSED TROUBLE AT HOME?


Before we came into A.A., most of us said that it was the people or problems at home that made us drink. We could not see that our drinking just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere.

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DO YOU EVER TRY TO GET 'EXTRA' DRINKS AT A PARTY BECAUSE YOU DO NOT GET ENOUGH?


Most of us used to have a 'few' before we started out if we thought it was going to be that kind of party. If drinks were not served fast enough, we would go some place else to get more.

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DO YOU TELL YOURSELF YOU CAN STOP DRINKING ANY TIME YOU WANT TO, EVEN THOUGH YOU KEEP GETTING DRUNK WHEN YOU DON'T MEAN TO?


Many of us kidded ourselves into thinking that we drank because we wanted to. After we came to A.A., we found out that once we started to drink, we couldn't stop.

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HAVE YOU MISSED DAYS OF WORK BECAUSE OF DRINKING?


Many of us admit now that we called in sick lots of times when the truth was that we were hung over or on a drunk.

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DO YOU HAVE BLACKOUTS?


A blackout is when there are drinking hours or days we cannot remember. When we came into A.A., we found out that this is a pretty sure sign of alcoholic drinking.

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HAVE YOU EVER FELT THAT YOUR LIFE WOULD BE BETTER IF YOU DID NOT DRINK?


Many of us started to drink because drinking made life seem better, at least for a while. By the time we got into A.A., we felt trapped. We were drinking to live and living to drink. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired.


DID YOU ANSWER YES FOUR TIMES OR MORE? IF SO, YOU ARE PROBABLY IN TROUBLE WITH ALCOHOL.

 

 

 

CAN I TALK TO SOMEONE IN CONFIDENCE ABOUT MY DRINKING?


Yes, You can phone the Alcoholics Anonymous Helpline which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week manned by recovering alcoholics. The telephone responder can give you more information and help you make a decision about whether you an alcoholic (although only you can decide this) The responder will give you information about meetings and answer any  questions you may have. Remember we have all been where you are now and we will understand what you are going through.


ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS HELPLINE: 0845 7697555


WHAT DO I DO NOW? HOW DO I GET HELP?


PHONE THE HELPLINE : The telephone responder will be able to answer any questions you have, give advice and information. You can phone at any time for an informal chat - the lines are open 24 hours a day.  If you like the telephone responder will organise for you to meet with members of the fellowship - please see below.


ATTEND A MEETING : There are 50 meetings in Cornwall every week during the day and in the evenings. You can find the meetings near you on this website. Alternatively you could phone the helpline and the telephone responder can organise someone to meet you and take you to the meeting.


ASK US TO VISIT YOU : If you like a telephone responder will organise for you to meet with a member of the fellowship. This can be done completely anonymously as a place of your choosing or even at your home. This is known as a 12 Step call


E-MAIL : Alcoholics Anonymous at help@alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

CAN I TALK TO SOMEONE IN CONFIDENCE ABOUT MY DRINKING,

WHAT DO I DO NOW, WHAT SHALL I DO NEXT?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY NEWCOMERS TO AA

 

AM I AN ALCOHOLIC?

 

If you repeatedly drink more than you intend or want to, or if you get into trouble when you drink you may be an alcoholic.  Only you can decide. No one in A.A. will tell you whether you are or not.

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WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM WORRIED ABOUT MY DRINKING?

 

Seek help. Alcoholics Anonymous can help.

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WHAT IS ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS?

 

We are a Fellowship of men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking and have found ourselves in various sorts of trouble as a result of drink. We attempt - most of us successfully - to create a satisfactory way of life without alcohol. For this we find we need the help and support of other alcoholics in A.A.

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IF I GO TO AN A.A. MEETING, DOES THAT COMMIT ME TO ANYTHING?

 

No. A.A. keeps no membership files, or attendance records. You need disclose nothing about yourself. No one will bother you if you don’t want to come back.

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WHAT HAPPENS IF I MEET PEOPLE I KNOW IN A.A?

They will be there for the same reason you are there. They will not disclose your identity to outsiders. At A.A. you retain as much anonymity as you wish. That is one of the reasons we call ourselves Alcoholics Anonymous.

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WHAT HAPPENS AT AN A.A. MEETING?

 

An A.A. meeting may take one of several forms, but at any meeting you will find alcoholics talking about what drink did to their lives and personalities, what actions they took to deal with this, and how they are living their lives today.

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HOW CAN THIS HELP ME WITH MY DRINK PROBLEM?

 

We in A.A. know what it is like to be addicted to alcohol, and to be unable to keep promises made to others and ourselves that we will stop drinking. We are not professional therapists. Our only qualification for helping others to recover from alcoholism is that we have recovered ourselves. Problem drinkers coming to us know that recovery is possible because they see people who have done it.

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WHY DO A.A.S KEEP ON GOING TO MEETINGS AFTER THEY ARE CURED?

 

We in the fellowship of A.A. believe there is no such thing as a cure for alcoholism. We can never return to normal drinking, and our ability to stay away from alcohol depends on maintaining our physical, mental, and spiritual health. This we can achieve by going to meetings regularly and putting into practice what we learn there. In addition, we find it helps us to stay sober if we help other alcoholics.

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HOW DO I JOIN A.A.?

 

You are an A.A. member if and when you say so. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking, and many of us were not very wholehearted about that when we first approached A.A.

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HOW MUCH DOES A.A. MEMBERSHIP COST?

 

There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership. An A.A. group will usually have a collection during the meeting to cover running expenses, such as rent, coffee, etc., and to this all members are free to contribute as much or as little as they wish.

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IS A.A. A RELIGIOUS ORGANISATION?

 

No. Nor is it allied to any religious organisation.

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THERE’S A LOT OF TALK ABOUT GOD, THOUGH, ISN’T THERE?

 

The majority of A.A. members believe that we have found the solution to our drinking problem not through individual willpower, but through a power greater than ourselves. However, everyone defines this power as he or she wishes. Many people call it God, others think it is the collective therapy of A.A, still others don’t believe in it at all. There is room in A.A. for people of all shades of belief and non-belief.

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CAN I BRING MY FAMILY TO AN A.A. MEETING?

 

Family members or close friends are welcome at 'Open' A.A. meetings. Discuss this with your local contact.

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WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE NEW MEMBERS?

 

In our experience, the people who recover in A.A. are those who:
 (1) Stay away from the first drink;
 (2) Attend A.A. meetings regularly;
 (3) Seek out the people in A.A. who have successfully stayed sober for some time;
 (4) Try to put into practice the A.A. program of recovery.

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HOW CAN I CONTACT A.A.?

 

You can call us in complete confidence on 0800 9177650 or email us at help@alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

Remember that alcoholism is a progressive illness. Take it seriously, even if you think you are at an early stage of the illness. Alcoholism is a killer disease. If you are an alcoholic and if you continue to drink, in time you will get worse.

LITERATURE FOR NEWCOMERS TO AA

WHAT TO EXPECT AT AN AA MEETING

These are some of the worries we had before we went to our first meeting. What actually happens in a meeting is an informal gathering of people who have the same problem with alcohol as you yourself have.


A lot of people before they go to their first meeting have a lot of thoughts and misgivings going through their head.


You may think that :


I will have to stand up in front of the whole room and declare that "I am an alcoholic."


I will have to tell my whole story about my alcohol problems.


I will have to participate in group hugs.


I will have to pray.


I will be joining a cult.


I will see people I recognize.


These are some of the worries we had before we went to our first meeting. What actually happens in a meeting is an informal gathering of people who have the same problem with alcohol as you yourself have.


The meeting is opened by the chairperson and short readings from AA literature are read. The meeting is the opened to the members of the room to share their experiences about their drinking and their subsequent life in recovery. You will hear many things that you can relate to and some things you may not.

 

You do not have to say anything at all during the meeting, not even introduce yourself if you do not want to.  People will not gather around you offering advice that you have not asked for. If you would like advice and information we will be pleased to give you it. If you see people you recognise then remember they are there for the same reason you are.

 

Nothing you say in a meeting will be repeated or discussed outside the meeting.

The yellow card at all AA meetings protect your anonymity


Who you see here
What you hear here
When you leave here
Let it stay here


AA is not a cult and we do not pray as such ( a short prayer at the end which closes the meeting - the Serenity Prayer.)
Just listen to the similarities and not the differences in peoples experiences and you will find a lot that you can relate to.
At your first meeting you will find Experience, Strength and Hope.
 

ABOUT A.A. MEETINGS
The two most common kinds of A.A. meetings are:


OPEN MEETINGS


As the term suggests, meetings of this type are open to alcoholics and their families and to anyone interested in solving a personal drinking problem or helping someone else to solve such a problem.


Most open meetings follow a more or less set pattern, although distinctive variations have developed in some areas. A chairperson describes the A.A. program briefly for the benefit of any newcomers to A.A. in the audience and introduces one, two or three speakers who relate their personal drinking histories and may give their personal interpretation of A.A.


 Midway through the meeting there is usually a period for local A.A. announcements, and a treasurer passes the hat to defray costs of the meeting hall, literature, and incidental expenses. The meeting adjourns, often followed by informal visiting over coffee or other light refreshments.


Guests at A.A. open meetings are reminded that any opinions or interpretations they may hear are solely those of the speaker involved. All members are free to interpret the recovery program in their own terms, but none can speak for the local group or for A.A. as a whole.
 

CLOSED MEETINGS


These meetings are limited to alcoholics and those who think or know they have a problem with drinking. They provide an opportunity for members to relate their experiences with one another on problems related to drinking patterns and attempts to achieve stable sobriety. They also permit detailed discussion of various elements in the recovery program.

WHAT IS ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS? - WHO WE ARE

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 A.A. MEMBERSHIP; WE ARE SELF-SUPPORTING THROUGH OUR OWN CONTRIBUTIONS. A.A. IS NOT ALLIED WITH ANY SECT, DENOMINATION, POLITICS, ORGANISATION 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.


We in A.A. are men and women who have discovered, and admitted, that we cannot control alcohol. We have learned that we must live without it if we are to avoid disaster for ourselves and those close to us.


With local groups in thousands of communities, we are part of an informal international fellowship with members in more than 100 countries.

 

We have but one primary purpose: to stay sober ourselves and to help others who may turn to us for help in achieving sobriety.


We are not reformers and we are not allied with any group, cause, religious denomination or ethnic background. We have no wish to dry up the world. We do not recruit members. We avoid imposing our viewpoint on problem drinking on others, even if asked.


Within our membership may be found men and women of varying age groups and many different social, economic and cultural backgrounds. Some of us drank for many years before coming to the realisation we could not handle alcohol. Others were fortunate enough to appreciate, early in life or in our drinking careers, that alcohol had become unmanageable.


The consequences of our alcoholic drinking (and thinking) have also varied. Some of our members had become derelicts before turning to A.A. for help. They had lost family, possessions and self-respect. they had been in the gutter. They had been hospitalised and jailed. They had committed many grave offences - against society, their families, their employers and themselves.


Others among us have never been jailed or hospitalised. Nor have they lost jobs through drinking. But even those men and women finally came to the point where they realised that alcohol was interfering with normal living. When they discovered that they could not seem to live without alcohol, they too sought help through A.A. rather than prolong their irresponsible drinking.


All the great faiths are represented in our fellowship and many religious leaders have encouraged our growth. There are even atheists and agnostics among us. Belief in, or adherence to, a formal creed is not a condition of membership.


We are united by a common problem; - alcohol. Through meetings and talking with other alcoholics we are somehow able to stay sober. We lose the compulsion to drink which was once the dominant force in our lives.


While there may be other solutions to problem drinking, we know that the A.A. programme works for us and we have seen it work for every newcomer, almost without exception, who honestly and sincerely wanted to quit drinking.


Through A.A. we have learned a number of things about alcoholism and about ourselves. We try to keep these facts uppermost in our minds at all times because they seem to be the key to our sobriety. For us sobriety must always be our first concern.

YOUNG PEOPLE AND AA

HOW TO TELL WHEN DRINKING IS BECOMING A PROBLEM


'Alcoholism' is a rough word to deal with, yet nobody is too young (or too old) to have trouble with drink. That's because alcoholism is an illness. It can hit anyone; young, old, rich, poor, black, white and it doesn't matter how long you've been drinking or what you've been drinking. It's what drinking does to you that counts.


To help you decide whether you might have a problem with your own drinking, we've prepared these 12 questions. The answers are nobody's business but your own. If you can answer yes to any one of these questions, maybe it's time you took a serious look at what your drinking might be doing to you.
 
A SIMPLE 12-QUESTION QUIZ DESIGNED TO HELP YOU DECIDE


1. Do you drink because you have problems? To face up to stressful situations?


2. Do you drink when you get mad at other people, your friends or parents?


3. Do you often prefer to drink alone, rather than with others?


4. Are you starting to get low marks? Are you skiving off work/School?


5. Do you ever try to stop or drink less - and fail?


6. Have you begun to drink in the morning, before school or work?


7. Do you gulp your drinks as if to satisfy a great thirst?


8. Do you ever have loss of memory due to your drinking?


9. Do you avoid being honest with others about your drinking?


10. Do you ever get into trouble when you are drinking?


11. Do you often get drunk when you drink, even when you do not mean to?


12. Do you think you're big to be able to hold your drink?


Are you worried about how ‘drink’ is affecting your life? Maybe other people have said your drinking is a problem for them,

or has affected their relationship with you in a way they don't like.


In Alcoholics Anonymous, we know how easy it is to see a problem in other people while having a massive blind spot

when we look at ourselves!


You might not notice alcohol becoming a problem without people telling you. because it's hard to see it the effect it has

when we're in the middle of it.


We also know that other people can worry too much! Or that they might be making a drama out of nothing for

reasons only they understand!


BUT...
It's hardest to hear someone when we know they are right!!!
So if we can't see the problem in ourselves
or hear it when other people tell us...
Is there a problem?