A family of support groups for people that have been affected by the problem of alcoholism within their family is identified as Al-Anon. Groups like these have been formed with the sole aim of being beneficial and therapeutic to such families.
Al- Anon is a support organization for the friends and family members of problem drinkers, founded in 1951. 16 years after Bill W founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon was founded by Lois W. his wife and Anne B. She formed an organization for people similar to her, after confronting the hardships of assisting a recovering alcoholic in her own life. Al-Anon is an organization self-supported through member donations. There are meetings available through the assistance of family members and friends of alcoholics to cope with and better serve the interests of their loved ones even if they are in different stages of recovery.
The key activity of Al-Anon is to support its members - drunkards' relatives - by making them realize that they are not alone.
Alcoholism Is A Family Illness
The people close to the alcoholic person are also affected in one way or the other and Al-Anon seeks to help them also overcome the challenge they might be facing. 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- Al-Anon Meetings Intended For Teenagers
A particular group called Alateen assists young people impacted by alcoholism in their family is also run by Al-Anon.
Teens get to associate with each other and share experiences of how alcoholism has affected them.
Why Join An Al-Anon Group
Al-Anon members benefit by being introduced to other people and families who have suffered from alcoholism. All are different, yet Al- Anon members have all had similar experiences in their struggles. The main advantage of Al-Anon is searching people who have had similar experiences to talk to. These meetings are widespread all over the country. Contact us on 0800 246 1509 for assistance in locating a group near you.
Expectations For A Meeting
The meetings held by Al-Anon are open to any individual who could be affected by the alcoholism of another individual. If you are worried about somebody's heavy drinking or if the drunkard's lifestyle somehow affects your life , Al-Anon will help you.
Since they are sure what will happen, some people don't feel free to go to the first meeting. The following are some of the key things to know when you are coming for the meetings:
- Al-Anon is anonymous, which is highly essential
- Everybody present in each meeting has faced the problem of alcoholism, either personally or has a family member suffering from it
- You are not forced to talk or discuss your issues though it is encouraged
- These Meetings Are Of Different Types
- Some of them may be more effective for you than other ones.
- Al-Anon is not based on any religion
- Meetings are focused on Al-Anon 12 step program
The meetings conducted by Al-Anon have a simple formula which gives the attendees the option of taking what they prefer and leaving behind the rest. Based on this formula the meetings concentrate on the sharing of experiences and the hardships of the attendees rather than giving them any instructions about what they should do.
Al-Anon And The 12 Stages
Usually, meetings start with someone reading from the 12 step program. These twelve steps are an abridged, almost verbatim, quote from the same-name program of Alcoholics Anonymous. An Al-Anon member is required to take on a sponsor who will help them work through the program and provide support when needed. 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.
- 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.
- Accepting the condition and seeking help is the best way of solving it.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Self-discovery is an essential component of the steps, and this is the start of that.
- 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.
- This is an examination of every item within the moral inventory of the member and will allow them to delve into every problem.
- Were entirely ready 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.
- In this stage, the members get to assess how their presence or activities could have affected the addicts negatively.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Usually, making up for the wrongs done begins with oneself.
- Most people believe they caused their loved one to start drinking.
- Personal acceptance and pardoning is also a way to getting help.
- 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.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Going through the 12 Steps is a process that takes time.
- There is also a possibility for relapse when trying to recover in the program.
- Step 10 provides a recognition that this is an ongoing process.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- 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.
- The last step includes perception that the persons journey is not over yet.
- Members are then motivated to assist other members with what they have learned.
Recognising The Higher Power
Members do have an acceptance of a higher power, even though Al-Anon is not a religious program. The "higher power" or God is according to each person's perception of whom they consider Him to be. Al-Anon gladly accepts members from all religious traditions and denominations; nobody is forced to alter their beliefs here.