The Story Of Al-Anon
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. 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. 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 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
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. It is integral for the alcoholic's recovery to have a family and friend support system around them.
Sometimes alcoholics' family members blame themselves for their loved one's' drinking habits; they also may not fully understand why recovery should be their relative's 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 Groups For Teens
The youth are also affected by alcoholism in their family, so Al-Anon has formed a wing to help the youngsters called Al-teen.
Such meetings allow youngsters to meet with others of the same age, making their experience more relatable and efficient.
The Advantages Of Al-Anon Group
The people in the group are struggling like you or are going through what you are experiencing as a victim of alcoholism. All are different, yet Al- Anon members have all had similar experiences in 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. Contact us on 0800 246 1509 for assistance in locating a group near you.
What Happens During The Meetings
If you know someone who is an alcoholic, then Al-Anon is the best place for you. Al-Anon can assist you if you are anxious about someone's drinking habit or if their lifestyle affects you personally.
People always fear the unknown, and so the first meeting at Al-Anon is bound to be a challenge. When thinking of attending a meeting, some things should be kept in mind:
- First and foremost, attending Al-Anon is anonymous
- Every member from the organization has been affected by alcoholism regardless of whether it is a personal problem or through a family member
- No One is made to speak about their problem or discuss it, just encouraged to
- There Are Several Kinds Of Meetings
- You may find some more beneficial to you than others.
- Al-Anon is not an organization which is based on any religion
- These meetings are focused on the 12 Step program by Al-Anon
Al-Anon meetings are carried out under a slogan that encourages all attendees to "take only what they like, leaving the rest." The members get to go about their own personal experiences.
Al-Anon 12 Steps
As a rule, group meetings begin with reading of Al Anon 12 Step program. The 12 steps were adapted from the AA 12 Step program. 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.
- This is the point where alcoholism recognised as a conditioner that has affected them all.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Pretty often members try to change or control their significant others and drive themselves to the verge.
- After they admit they are powerless, they learn how to accept that they can be helped to regain their sanity.
- Made a resolution to turn our lives and our will over to the care of God in a way we perceived Him.
- Learning how to forgive is an extremely important step of the program, together with acceptance.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- A huge part of the steps are self-discovery, and this is the beginning of the procedure.
- They then come up with how they have been affected by the condition and what they might have done to hurt others or themselves.
- Have admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the true cause 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.
- This part of the twelve step process helps people realize how controlling or judgmental they have been towards an alcoholic and how counterproductive it is.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and be willing to make amends with them.
- Mostly, doing changes begins with yourself.
- Most people believe they caused their loved one to start drinking.
- 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.
- 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.
- Members are ready with an inventory, yet making an error is common.
- Step 10 makes this clear that the process takes long.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious effort with god as we understood him praying only for the knowledge of his will 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 a result of these steps we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in 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.
A Greater Understanding Of The 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. The "higher power" or God is according to each person's perception of whom they consider Him to be. Members of all religions and beliefs are accepted at Al-Anon and none is coerced to change their beliefs.