Al-Anon is support groups all over the world that where people affected by alcoholism in one way or another meet to share experiences and help each other. Groups like these have been formed with the sole aim of being beneficial and therapeutic to such families.
Al Anon was founded in 1951 and is an organization which provides support to the friends and family members of people who are addicted to alcohol. Lois Wilson, well-known simply as Lois W, whose husband launched Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), laid the foundation of Al-Anon organization 16 years after AA was established. She formed an organization for people similar to her, after confronting the hardships of assisting a recovering alcoholic in her own life. Al-Anon thrives through the contributions of its members. Meetings are available to assist family members and friends of alcoholics adjust and better serve their loved ones, even if their loved ones have not recovered.
The fight against alcoholism is a joint undertaking and that is the objective of this support group.
Alcoholism Affecting The Whole Family
Al-Anon considers the problem of alcoholism as a family illness because of the negative impact it has both on the alcoholic and the people surrounding them. For an alcoholic to recover, they need the support of friends and family.
Many family members are known to blame themselves for the drinking problem of their loved one, and in many cases do not understand why the recovery of their loved one is a priority. The Al-Anon group meetings help bring these issues to light and teach members how to deal with alcoholism as it affects the whole family.
Alateen Is Al-Anon For Teenagers
The youth are also affected by alcoholism in their family, so Al-Anon has formed a wing to help the youngsters called Al-teen.
The meetings held by Alateen help youngsters to meet with individuals within their age group in order to make their experiences more beneficial and interrelated.
Al-Anon Group Advantages
Members benefit from Al-Anon because they are introduced to many people and families who suffer from alcoholism. All are different, yet Al- Anon members have all had similar experiences in their struggles. With this program, you get to share experiences with people who have faced situations similar to yours. These meetings are widespread all over the country. Phone us on 0800 772 3971 , and we'll help you find the one near you.
What Happens During The Meetings
If you know someone who is an alcoholic, then Al-Anon is the best place for you. You can get all the help required if you are being affected by the drinking behaviour of a person you know.
The outcomes of these meetings is what scares some people from coming. When thinking of attending a meeting, some things should be kept in mind:
Al-Anon is anonymous, which is highly essential
Whether personally or through a family member, everyone in each meeting has been impacted by alcoholism
No one is subject to talk about or discuss their issue, but it is encouraged
These Meetings Are Of Different Types
There are meetings where you may not be helped but someone else might be.
Al-Anon is by no means a religious organization
Meetings are focused on Al-Anon 12 step program
Al -Anon meetings permit attendees to "take what they like and leave the rest", being conducted under a mantra. In this way, instead of telling attendees what they should do, meetings target on exchanging experiences and difficulties.
Every meeting begins with the reading of Al-Anon's twelve-step program. These 12 steps have been adapted from a similar program which is also implemented by 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 admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable.
The members learn how to accept alcohol addiction as an illness, which they cannot control if somebody else suffers from it.
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
members also learn they are driving themselves crazy by trying to change or control another person.
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 a fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
This is where the journey of self-discovery begins.
A list of how they may have offended themselves or their loved ones (such as with threats) is made by attendees.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to others human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Then follows going through the list one item at a time and dealing with each.
We are entirely prepared to have god remove all these defects of character.
This is a very important step, as it is the complete acceptance of the process of recovery supported by a Higher Power.
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.
Drew up a list of all people we had harmed, and became willing to right a wrong for them all.
Most often making amends begins with yourself.
Lots of people tend to blame themselves for addiction of their significant others.
They must agree to pardon themselves and make amends.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
After you are willing to make amends, the following step is to act on it.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
It takes some period before you can complete the stages.
Slipping up is quite normal despite members already having made an inventory.
Step Ten acknowledges that this is a permanent process.
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.
This step is a personal, spiritual one; it comprises acceptance and comfort in view of the great stress 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.
Step 12 involves the member acknowledging the story has not ended.
Members are then motivated to assist other members with what they have learned.
Knowledge Of Higher Power
Members recognise there is a spiritual power that helps them to recover. However, the notion of "higher power" can be interpreted depending on one's personal beliefs. Members of all religions and beliefs are accepted at Al-Anon and none is coerced to change their beliefs.