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Hoe ziet een AA-meeting eruit?

When you go to an AA meeting for the first time, you usually have no idea what it is like there. That was the same for me. Once I had registered for my first meeting, I started to read more about AA. I read about the twelve steps to start a life without alcohol. But how would it be? Did I have to stand up and say, "I am Klazina and I am an alcoholic", just like in movies? It was true, of course, but it also seemed very intense.

During that first meeting I learned that we were indeed going through the twelve steps. One step every week. And at the end of the cycle, we just start over and over again.

These are the twelve steps:

1. I acknowledge my addiction: I am powerless to alcohol.

2. I admit I need help.

3. I accept help and am fully open to it.

4. I make up the balance of my life.

5. I confess my mistakes to myself and others.

6. I get to know my weaknesses and failings.

7. I express my willingness to actually work on my weaknesses and failings.

8. I express my willingness to repair the damage I have caused.

9. I try -where possible- to compensate my loved ones.

10. I look at myself critically and recognize my weaknesses and failings.

11. I regularly take a moment of rest for silence, mediation or prayer.

12. I share my experiences with others who need it.

Many people think that the AA is a clearly defined program: you go through those twelve steps and after about three months it will be ready. However, it doesn't work that way. The meetings always go on and believe me, after those three months you don't want to leave. Doesn't it get boring to deal with the same subject over and over again? No, definitely not. There is always something to link to the step that is being dealt with. Moreover, you can also support others with your story. There is always someting that you can think back to in the days that follow.

The meetings I attend are not as traditional as in the movies, although there are groups that are very attached to such an interpretation. Fortunately, in our group, you don't have to stand to introduce yourself and label yourself as an alcoholic, although we all are. There is a lot of room to share our lives and to talk to each other. One of the steps is always the central point. But we are also just having a good time and besides the serious subjects that come up, there is also enough humor.

In a future blog I will tell you more about the anonymity of AA and what that means in daily life. Do you have a question about AA or do you want to know something else about me? Then use the contact form or mail to

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