Getting To Know More About Al-Anon
A family of support groups for people who have been affected by alcoholism in their family is Al-Anon. These gatherings provided much-needed support and healing.
Al-Anon was founded in 1951 as an organization for providing support to friends and relatives of drunkards. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the first alcoholic support group that was started by the husband of Lois Wilson who went on to later start her own support group, Al-Anon. She herself faced the challenge of supporting a convalescent alcoholic, so, she created an organization aimed at people with the same problem. Al-Anon is an organization self-supported through member donations. Support groups meetings help alcoholics' family members and friends to cope with the situation and treat their loved ones better, even if they haven't recovered yet.
Providing support to family members by making them understand that they are not alone in this struggle is the primary focus of Al-Anon.
Alcoholism Being A Family Illness
Al-Anon recognizes that alcoholism affects everyone in the family not just the addicted member. It is integral for the alcoholic's recovery to have a family and friend support system around them.
Some family members blame themselves for their loved one's drinking or may not realise why recovery is their loved one's primary concern. These problems are handled by meetings and members are assisted to understand alcoholism as a family illness.
Alateen- Al-Anon For Teenagers
Teens are also affected by alcoholism and that is why Alateen was formed within Al-Anon to help them.
Teens get to associate with each other and share experiences of how alcoholism has affected them.
Al-Anon Group Advantages
Members benefit from Al-Anon because they are introduced to many people and families who suffer from alcoholism. Despite every individual being different Al-Anon commonly had interrelated experiences within their struggles. Being with people who understand your struggles and whom you can talk to is a big plus. Al-Anon meetings are held throughout the nation. There is always an Al-Anon program near you and you just need to get in touch with us on 0800 246 1509 .
Expectations For A Meeting
Al-Anon gatherings are friends and family members of alcoholic addicts. You just need to identify whether the alcoholism of a particular individual is concerning you and make it known it is affecting your lifestyle, and rest assured that Al-Anon can provide the assistance you need.
The outcomes of these meetings is what scares some people from coming. Certain things to remember when considering attending a meeting:
- Al-Anon is anonymous meaning you do not identify yourself in the meeting
- Everybody present in each meeting has faced the problem of alcoholism, either personally or has a family member suffering from it
- Getting things off your chest is one way of recovery encouraged in this group although it is not mandatory
- Meetings Offered Can Vary
- Some of them may be more effective for you than other ones.
- Al-Anon is not based on any religion
- These meetings are focused on the 12 Step program by Al-Anon
Al -Anon meetings permit attendees to "take what they like and leave the rest", being conducted under a mantra. The shared stories, of experiences, hardships, and victories encourages members to know how to handle their experiences.
Al-Anon 12 Steps
Every meeting begins with the reading of Al-Anon's twelve-step program. These twelve steps are an abridged, almost verbatim, quote from the same-name program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Similarly to AA, Al-Anon members rely on a facilitator who guides them through the steps and who is always ready to support when the going gets tough. These stages are:
- We did admit we were powerless over alcoholism, that our lives became unmanageable indeed.
- Members can learn to accept alcoholism as a disease which they cannot control in others.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Trying to change a person that has been affected by alcoholism can be a huge task and lead to breakdown.
- The members then recognise the fact that there is a solution out there for them.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Learning to let go is a primary step in the program and acceptance.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- This is where the journey of self-discovery begins.
- They then come up with how they have been affected by the condition and what they might have done to hurt others or themselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrong doings.
- Writing each problem enables them to examine them one by one.
- We are entirely prepared to have god remove all these defects of character.
- Spiritual help is recognised as one way through which they can be helped.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Members are assisted by this part of the 12 Steps to understand how they may have been dominating or judgmental toward an addict and how that is counterproductive.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Most often making amends begins with yourself.
- Most people believe they caused their loved one to start drinking.
- They must be willing and prepared to forgive themselves and to make amends.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Working on the steps of recovery and help after forgiving yourself is the next step.
- Went on making personal inventory and each time we were wrong, we admitted it at once.
- Passing through these twelve Steps is a time-consuming process.
- Though a member made a list of things they did wrong, sometimes you may find yourself repeating some things.
- It s usually a duration and this is outlined by stage 10.
- Through prayer and meditation endeavoured to improve our conscious contact with God as we perceived Him, praying only for learning His will for us and the strength to do it.
- Self acceptance is the major key to all the stages of recovery.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
- This stage appreciates the fact that the process is long and doesnt end after a while.
- Members are then motivated to assist other members with what they have learned.
Knowledge Of Higher Power
Members of Al-Anon believe there is a "higher power' greater than themselves even though the group is not affiliated with any religion. Nevertheless, the term " higher power" is open to imply as one's own individual beliefs. Al-Anon is open to members of all religions and beliefs and accepts them with a commitment that no one will be forced to alter his or her belief.