Al-Anon is a network of family support groups, which helps persons whose families are affected by alcoholism. This kind of a support group is after assisting people overcome their addiction to alcohol.
Al-Anon was founded in 1951 with the aim of providing support for those affected by alcohol abuse by loved ones. 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. The group was started for the sole purpose of assisting alcoholic family members recover which was something she was facing in her life. Al-Anon is an organization which supports itself through donations provided by members. 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.
The Effects On A Family Due To Alcoholism
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. The recovery process is a joint effort and the family members and other people close to the addict must be involved.
Some family members blame themselves for their loved one's drinking or may not realise why recovery is their loved one's primary concern. 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 For Teenagers
Teens are also affected by alcoholism and that is why Alateen was formed within Al-Anon to help them.
During the Al-teen meetings, the youth meet with their peers and share experiences and support each other at their level.
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. People are different, although, Al-Anon members have all had similar experiences with their struggles. Al-Anon provides a key benefit and that is to help people finding others who have had similar experiences to talk about. Al-Anon meetings are held throughout the nation. Contact us on 0800 772 3971 for assistance in locating a group near you.
Expectations For A Meeting
Al-Anon gatherings are friends and family members of alcoholic addicts. If you are worried about somebody's heavy drinking or if the drunkard's lifestyle somehow affects your life , Al-Anon will help you.
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:
Al-Anon is anonymous, which is highly essential
All the members of this group have had an encounter with an alcoholic in their lives
Getting things off your chest is one way of recovery encouraged in this group although it is not mandatory
Different Types Of Meetings Are Held For Everyone
Some of them may be more effective for you than other ones.
There is no religious base for Al-Anon
Al-Anon meetings follow the 12 Step program
The Al-Anon meetings work on the "take what you like and leave the rest" philosophy The members get to go about their own personal experiences.
Most meetings begin with a reading of Al Anon 12 Step program. These 12 steps have been adapted from a similar program which is also implemented by Alcoholics Anonymous. There is a person to hold your hand as you go through the different stages of help. These stages are:
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable.
Members learn to accept alcoholism as a disease they cannot control in others.
Accepted that a Power greater than ourselves could bring back our mental health.
Members often drive themselves to the brink in an attempt to change or control their loved one.
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.
Learning how to forgive is an extremely important step of the program, together with 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.
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 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.
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 12 steps provides members with the assistance needed to understand how they may have been exercising control or being judgmental towards an addict and how these actions are counterproductive.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed and be willing to make amends with them.
Most often making amends begins with yourself.
Sometimes it not always your fault a person is addicted.
They must be willing and prepared to forgive themselves and to make amends.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure 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.
It takes some period before you can complete the stages.
Though a member made a list of things they did wrong, sometimes you may find yourself repeating some things.
Step 10 identifies 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.
This is taking personal spiritual responsibility and surrender so as to start healing.
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.
The last step includes perception that the persons journey is not over yet.
It is a support group and members get to assist other members get through the whole process.
Learning About 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. Al-Anon gladly accepts members from all religious traditions and denominations; nobody is forced to alter their beliefs here.