Why Is the Fellowship So Important in AA?
When people talk about AA, NA, and other 12 step groups, they’ll often mention the fellowship. But what is the fellowship? And how do you become a part of it?
The 12 Step Fellowship
When it comes to 12 step meetings and programs, there are two different aspects to consider. There’s the program, including the philosophies, traditions, and 12 steps of AA, which outline the programs beliefs and the steps to recovery. This is what people are talking about when they discuss “The Program.”
Then there’s the fellowship. The fellowship primarily means the people, the members of AA, and the gathering of those people in meetings. Sometimes referred to as “The Rooms,” 12 step meetings are for the people, not the program, and an integral part of the fellowship of AA. It brings all the members together and allows them to share their experiences and support one another on the road to recovery.
Striving for Similar Goals
Outside of AA and the 12 step programs, the idea of fellowship is a group of people with a similar goal. In the case of AA, this goal is sobriety. And while each and every person has to walk their own road to recovery, the fellowship of AA makes it so you don’t have to walk alone. Each individual is able to learn about the steps of those that came before him or her and learn what to avoid and what to embrace to increase the chances of success.
A Place for Support
Anyone who’s attempted recovery knows the difficult path ahead, and that’s another reason the fellowship is so important. Getting sober is not always easy, and many alcoholics and addicts don’t have a strong support system in their lives. Enter the fellowship. By walking into a 12 step meeting, introducing yourself, and admitting to being powerless over your addiction, you welcome the support of the entire fellowship. You’ll get phone numbers, you’ll get pats on the back, and you’ll get people who want to grab a cup of coffee or offer you a ride to the next meeting. Giving back is one of the fundamental principles of the 12 steps and people do it though their support to those new in recovery.
Advice and Education
Another role that the fellowship plays is one of education. The 12 step fellowship is filled with massive amounts of information and experiences, just waiting to be tapped. No matter if you’re looking for the best rehab or a new drug and alcohol therapist, those in the fellowship can offer their advice and expertise. They’ve been there and done that, and helped hundreds of other people do the same. Beyond the vast knowledge of the individuals of the fellowship, many groups and meetings have educational information available in pamphlets and books at each meeting. If you’re looking for information on something specific, speak up. Someone within the fellowship will know where to look.
The fellowship is an intrinsic part of the 12 step programs and represents the people, the meetings, and the support you can find there. If you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol and ready to get sober, call 800-653-7143 for help.