Whether you are a newcomer to the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program or you are a long time “friend of Bill,” you may have some questions about the program. For example, you may find yourself wondering if a person can outgrow Alcoholics Anonymous.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a self supporting and unaffiliated worldwide organization designed to help alcoholics and the people who care about them. The AA 12 step plan for recovery involves admitting powerlessness, accepting a higher power, making amends, and carrying the AA message, among other steps. There is no requirement to attend AA meetings except for the desire to stop drinking.
Addiction is Only Treated, Not Cured
You cannot outgrow the Alcoholics Anonymous program because it is designed with constant maintenance in mind. The AA program is designed to help people get sober but it is also designed to help people maintain sobriety and recovery in the long term. Unlike detox and rehab programs, you do not graduate from AA once you achieve success with recovery. In fact, it can even be fun to pick up an annual chip and speak at a birthday meeting each year to celebrate the anniversary of your recovery.
There are symptoms related to addiction that can show even when people are sober. AA does not just help people quit drinking alcohol. It also encourages them to acknowledge and work on their character defects, take responsibility for wrongdoing, and do right by others.
Alcoholics Anonymous is Your Platform to Help Others
If you managed to get sober with the help of the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, then you should also take a turn to give back. Carrying the AA message at meetings and in every day life can inspire others toward recovery and positive living. Detox and rehab programs can be costly. Because AA is free, it is a good idea to find a way to give back to others in order to show gratitude. One of the three pillars of Alcoholics Anonymous is service. Being of service means being of service to the AA program, to your fellow alcoholics, and to all people.
Sponsoring a newcomer is another important part of the AA program. You can never grow out of sponsorship. When you are living in active addiction, it can be difficult to understand why you have to go through all of the pain and hardship that you do. Once you find out that these painful experiences only occurred so that you could help others who struggle, it becomes less difficult to understand. There will always be people in need of help, and through AA you have a unique ability to help them.
Needing Additional Resources is Normal
If you feel like you have outgrown Alcoholics Anonymous because it is just not doing enough for you anymore, then you may need additional resources in addition to the program. For example, many people who attend AA also go to individual or group therapy. Speaking to a licensed mental health professional can help you to get medication, therapy, and other treatments that you might need.
There are also other sobriety groups, both secular and religious that you can participate in, in addition to Alcoholics Anonymous. If you feel like you want to gain more perspective or reach out to more people, you can try attending these groups as well. It is normal to experience temporary boredom at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. It may be helpful to find a different home group or participate in social activities organized by your local AA club.
If you feel like you are outgrowing the Alcoholics Anonymous program, the first thing that you should do is talk to your sponsor and some people in the program. If you do not have a sponsor, you may want to find a new one and start working the steps again. Alcoholics Anonymous is all about aiding recovery and preventing relapse. Getting bored with AA or feeling that you have graduated from the program can even be a warning sign that you are likely to relapse in the near future. If you are worried that you might relapse, our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 772-266-5320.