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.
Many alcoholics have overcome this condition thanks to the help they get from Al-Anon which is a support group that started 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. Dealing with the difficulties of providing support to a recovering alcoholic during her life, she decided to create an organization for people similar to her. Al-Anon is an organization self-supported through member donations. The meetings aim to help members cope with and know how to support and help their loved ones fighting alcoholism.
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 Affecting A Family
Since it has a deleterious influence on both the drinker and those around them, Al-anon treats the disease of alcoholism as a family illness. It is integral for the alcoholic's recovery to have a family and friend support system around them.
Helping the addict recuperate should be the main concern of the family members and the friends. Meetings deal with these issues and make members understand that alcoholism is a family illness.
Alateen- Al-Anon For Teenagers
Al-Anon is also home for a group which is identified as Alateen and is catering to youngsters that are affected by alcoholism within their family.
Such meetings allow youngsters to meet with others of the same age, making their experience more relatable and efficient.
Al-Anon Group Advantages
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 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. There are Al-Anon meetings available all across our country. Call us on 0800 246 1509 to help you find one near you.
The Results Of These Meetings
If you know someone who is an alcoholic, then Al-Anon is the best place for you. 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, which is highly essential
- All the members of this group have had an encounter with an alcoholic in their lives
- 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.
- This group is not affiliated to any religion
- These meetings are focused on the 12 Step program by Al-Anon
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. Thus, meetings put an increased focus on talking about experiences and hardships rather than telling attendees what to do.
Al-Anon And The 12 Stages
As a rule, group meetings begin with reading of Al Anon 12 Step program. These 12 steps have been adapted from a similar program which is also implemented by Alcoholics Anonymous. Members of Al-Anon can take help from a sponsor who can assist them to work through the steps and is available for any support needed during hardships of any kind just as the case is with Alcoholics Anonymous. These steps are the following:
- We admit that 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.
- Accepted that a Power greater than ourselves could bring back our mental health.
- Trying to change a person that has been affected by alcoholism can be a huge task and lead to breakdown.
- When they understand they cannot do anything to change their loved one, people are now able to accept they can relax and let go for their peace of mind.
- 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.
- Self-discovery plays a huge role in making the steps; and this is its beginning.
- The members make a list of things they did or said to themselves and their loved ones that are painful or harmful.
- Admitted to god, to ourselves and to other human being the precise nature of our wrongs.
- Then follows going through the list one item at a time and dealing with each.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- This step allows the member to off-load his recovery to someone greater and bigger than themselves to handle.
- calmly begged Him to remove our drawbacks.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sometimes it not always your fault a person is addicted.
- Personal acceptance and pardoning is also a way to getting help.
- Made amends to such people directly where feasible, except for the cases when doing so is likely to hurt them or others.
- As soon as you are ready to make amends, the next step is actually to do it.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Going through the 12 Steps is a process that takes time.
- Though a member made a list of things they did wrong, sometimes you may find yourself repeating some things.
- 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.
- This step is a personal, spiritual one; it comprises acceptance and comfort in view of the great stress of recovery.
- 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 members journey has not finished.
- After this, group members are encouraged to support others by sharing what they have already 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. Al-Anon gladly accepts members from all religious traditions and denominations; nobody is forced to alter their beliefs here.