What is AA all about ?

The information listed below describes AA and is intended to answer FAQ's

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District Six Business Meeting 

Time: Sunday May 1, 2022

1:30 PM Eastern Time

Location: Tri-Cities Alano Club (TCAC) 419 Fulton St., Grand Haven

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Why AA?
  2. What is Alcoholism ?
  3. What's an AA Meeting ?
  4. What is Sponsorship ?
  5. What is The Big Book ?
  6. Why a Study Guide ?

Why AA ? 

AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, has but ONE SOLUTION for the deadly disease of Alcoholism. To overcome and survive the disease and live happy, joyous and, we must study and learn what the solution is and what we have to do to obtain it.

"If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, your are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer." ("The Big Book" page 44)

"Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?

Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem." ("The Big Book" page 45)

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation." ("The Big Book" page 568)

~ Herbert Spencer

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What is Alcoholism ?

ALCOHOLISM is a two-fold disease, the PHYSICAL ALLERGY and the MENTAL OBSESSION. One must first understand what is the problem. If one learns what the problem is, it is simple to get a solution. If you don`t understand the problem, then the solution seems incomprehensible.

The "Doctor’s Opinion" was written by William D. Silkworth, M.D. To many recovered alcoholics, this section of the Big Book is considered to be the most important as it describes alcoholism in terms that make sense to the real alcoholic. From this description, the alcoholic learns the exact nature of the disease of alcoholism and how hopeless this condition of mind and body seems to be. We are told why we are unable to control the amount we drink once we have taken the first few drinks. But more important, we are told why it is that we cannot manage our decision to not take the first drink once we have made a firm decision, pledge, vow, promise, etc. to never drink again.

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What's an AA Meeting ?

What is the purpose of an AA meeting and what should we do?

We should help those still suffering from the deadly disease alcoholism, so that they can have a spiritual awakening and recover from alcoholism too!

Unfortunately, this is not obvious in many AA groups. It is due to lack or no knowledge at all, about what we should do. How do we remedy this? It´s easy, it starts with YOU! Do the 12 Steps with a real AA Sponsor (one who has had a spiritual awakening as the result of working the Steps and has recovered) quickly and become a recovered alcoholic you too! Before that it is impossible to understand what AA is all about! Study "The Big Book", where it is explained how the First Hundred (pioneers) did!

Tradition 5:
"Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose – that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers."

Step 12:
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and practice these principles in all our affairs."

It is well for all of us to remember at all times the words of Bill W., one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: "Sobriety – freedom from alcohol – through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an A.A. group."


Group members will in due time. Some have service duties before, during and after the meeting, like making coffee, sell "The Big Book", setup the meetingroom, greeters, chairperson, etc. Other members will take care of those who are new to the group and visitors.


ALL shall be greeted welcome! Anyone who is new will be asked why he/she is there to provide the right help and information to them. If the newcomer is seeking help for their alcohol problems, the Introduction Meeting is the right meeting, see further down on the meeting format!


Coffee, tea, etc. will be served in due time before the meeting. We do not eat at the meeting.



We introduce ourselves only ONCE per meeting, it´s enough, otherwise it becomes ridiculous, and we do NOT respond to the person which is introducing themself!


It is of course only the RECOVERED ALCOHOLICS who share at the meeting, no one else! How can I know something I don´t know?


A meeting format that invites and allows participants to deviate from the AA's message is destructive (where you talk about anything under the sun), while being disrespectful to those who really want and need AA's help. AA meetings is NOT therapy!



NOTE! All meetings are "Open Meetings", which means that anyone who is interested in AA are welcome! The meeting time is one hour, unless otherwise is stated! And we are sure to keep the time!


The introduction meeting takes place in parallel with the regular meeting in an adjacent room.

At this meeting we can help those who are new and/or are still suffering from the disease of alcoholism, with the following information:

What is our PROBLEM? (Alcoholism)
What is our SOLUTION? (A Power greater than ourselves)
What do we DO? (the 12 Steps with an AA Sponsor)
What is the RESULT? (happy, joyous and free)

Of course there is room for questions during the meeting! The participant must have enough information about what AA can do to help him/her with, in order to take a decision if AA is something for them. They'll also get the phone numbers to the group members leading the introduction meeting, with the promise that they can call at any time for additional information and help!

A TIP: Give the newcomer the pocketversion of "The Big Book"!

The Big Book Study Meeting

To study the "Big Book" with "The Big Book Study Guide" will enable us to better understand the vital knowledge that the authors of the book, "Alcoholics Anonymous" (also called "The Big Book"), gives us based on their experience and knowledge of alcoholism and their recovery program. "The Big Book Study Guide" helps us to examine the contents of virtually every sentence in the original text of "The Big Book". ➞ "http://www.aastudy.org/studyguide.html" Download "The Big Book Study Guide"!


A variation on a Step meeting is that an AA member goes through all the Twelve Steps, along "The Big Book", on 4 meetings (the whole meeting) in as many weeks.

Another variant is the 3-folded Step meeting, which lasts 1 1/2 hour:

  1. The chairperson speaks about the current step or steps, along "The Big Book" (about 40 min.)
  2. Time for those who have done ALL the 12 Steps and have recovered, to share their experience and knowledge of the current Step or Steps (about 20 min.)
  3. Q & A, an opportunity for those who haven´t done the Steps and recovered yet, to have their questions answered by those recovered alcoholics (about 20 min.)


An AA member tells about his history of alcoholism, how everything went wrong (gone to hell), how and when the turning point came, what happened and how he/she recovered from the seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. And of course describes how he/she, with Gods help, maintains her sobriety and growing spiritual by sponsoring (helping) other alcoholics.


It is obviously important to stay a few minutes after the meeting in order to assist, help and answer questions (sometimes in private) for those who wish to do so, and for a chat! Someone maybe are looking for a Sponsor!

"I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.”

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What is Sponsorship ?

Sponsor is a recovered alcoholic, who sponsors (helps) the suffering alcoholic, to do the 12-steps as soon as possible, so that the alcoholic will become a recovered alcoholic too!

From page 63 to 84 in the Big Book, the First One Hundred (the authors of the Big Book) show us exactly how to recover from the disease of Alcoholism.

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What is The Big Book ?

We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are many thousands of men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary. We think this account of our experiences will help everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all.  (“The Big Book” page xiii)

From page 63 to 84 in the Big Book, the First One Hundred (the authors of the Big Book) show us exactly how we go from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, to a state where we have been recovered and become happy, joyous and free!

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Why a Study Guide ?


The purpose of this Study Guide is to enable the student to better understand the information the authors of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, intended to impart to each of us based on their experience and knowledge of alcoholism and their Program of Recovery. It can be used by an individual or by a group. This Guide is intended to examine the content of virtually every sentence in the basic text of the Big Book.

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