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. The aim of these groups is to be recuperative and curative.
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. 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. Financial contributions are done by the members of the group itself which keep it running. 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.
Alcoholism Affecting The Whole Family
Al-Anon sees alcoholism as a family illness, because it negatively affects both the drinkers and people around them. For an alcoholic to recover, they need the support of friends and family.
Lack of understanding the cause of their loved one's drinking problem makes family members suffer self-condemnation and also not know how to deal with the problem. During the Al-Anon gathering, people are educated about taking alcoholism not as a one person problem but as a joint issue in the family.
Alateen- Al-Anon Meetings Intended 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.
The Advantages Of Al-Anon Group
Members of Al-Anon benefit from being introduced to a number of people and families who could have suffered from the problem of alcoholism. All members have worked through some issues though the details may differ. Being with people who understand your struggles and whom you can talk to is a big plus. These meetings are widespread all over the country. Contact us on 0800 246 1509 for assistance in locating a group near you.
What Happens During The Meetings
Al-Anon meetings are open for anybody who is affected by someone else's drinking habit. 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. What you must remember when you attend an Al-Anon meeting
- Al-Anon is a group that is unidentified
- Whether personally or through a family member, everyone in each meeting has been impacted by alcoholism
- You are not forced to talk or discuss your issues though it is encouraged
- Different Types Of Meetings Are Held For Everyone
- Some of them may be more effective for you than other ones.
- Al-Anon is not an organization which is based on any religion
- The meetings are concentrating on the 12-step program which has been designed by Al-Anon
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.
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Al-Anon And The Twelve Steps
Usually, meetings start with someone reading from the 12 step program. Adapted, from the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, these steps are nearly straight sword. 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 steps are the following
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Al-Anon members are taught that alcoholism is a disease they cannot cure in another person.
- 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.
- After admitting that they are powerless they begin to understand the fact that they can be brought back to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- It is important that members learn to let go.
- Made a searching and a fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Self-discovery is an essential component of the steps, and this is the start of that.
- The group members write down a list of the instances when they may have been unfair to themselves or their significant others (for example, threats).
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to others human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Thats a study of each listing in the group members moral inventory, which enables them to delve into each problem.
- 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 ask 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.
- Very often, righting a wrong starts with yourself.
- Many people blame themselves for their addiction of their loved one.
- They must learn to forgive and make it right for themselves.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- When you decide to make amends, Then follows the action of doing so.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- To complete 12 Steps takes time.
- There is also a possibility for relapse when trying to recover in the program.
- Step Ten acknowledges that this is a permanent 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.
- This is taking personal spiritual responsibility and surrender so as to start healing.
- Having experienced a spiritual awakening thanks to these steps, we tried to spread the word to other people, and to always practice these principles.
- The last step is a realization that the journey of the member is not over.
- It is a support group and members get to assist other members get through the whole process.
Knowledge Of Higher Power
Although Al-Anon's program is not a religious one, members do experience insights into higher power. The term "higher power" is, however, open to interpretation according to the personal beliefs of individuals. 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.