There are two kinds of AA Meetings. Open Meetings and Closed Meetings.
These meetings seek to reach the suffering alcoholic Through a third party and will very often be attended by a group of doctors, nurses,social workers, teachers, prison officers, Gardai/police, public media etc. These people in their daily work are frequently in contact with the suffering alcoholic and by their very presence at our meeting have shown their concern and willingness to help
From the earliest beginnings of AA when Henrietta Sieberling introduced Dr Bob to Bill W many thousands of alcoholics who found sobriety in AA were first put in contact with AA by a non-alcoholic third party, be it a concerned doctor, policeman, social worker etc. These good friends of AA knew AA existed, where it could be found and what help AA offered to the problem drinker.
These meetings are strictly for those who have a drink problem or think they have a drink problem.
The Meetings are “Sharing Meetings”, where Members talk about their drinking, how they came to AA and how AA has helped them to stay sober. There is a 12 Step programme for recovery within AA to help Members stay sober, but you will find out more about this in time.
Meetings are for anyone with a drink problem. Our Meetings last approximately one hour. You can go ten to fifteen minutes before the Meeting begins if you would like to talk to a Member on your own, if you so wish, or you can just take a seat and listen at the Meeting itself. When the Meeting is over the Members usually have a coffee or tea and this would give you the chance to talk to someone on your own, having listened at the Meeting. It is just a matter of introducing yourself to any of the Members, by your first name only, because of anonymity. Let them know that it is your first time at a Meeting and they will take it from there.
What you need to remember is that these Members have been at the stage that you are at now and they will understand what you are going through.