If there is a person that you know who is an alcoholic and needs help, Al-Anon is one of the most effective groups of helping the achieve that. The goal of theses groups is to be advantageous and therapeutic.
Al-Anon was founded in 1951 as an organization for providing support to friends and relatives of drunkards. Al-Anon was founded by Lois Wilson, also called Lois W, 16 years after her husband founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). 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. The family of the addicts usually get tips on how they can help their loved ones and live comfortably with them.
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. Important to the alcoholic's recovery is the friend and family support system.
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. 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 For Teenagers
Teens are also affected by alcoholism and that is why Alateen was formed within Al-Anon to help them.
Such meetings allow youngsters to meet with others of the same age, making their experience more relatable and efficient.
Al-Anon Group Advantages
Al-Anon members benefit by being introduced to other people and families who have suffered from 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. There are Al-Anon meetings available all across our country. Call us on 0800 772 3971 to help you find one near you.
What You Can Expect From A Meeting
Al-Anon meetings are open for anybody who is affected by someone else's drinking habit. 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. Here are some things to remember when considering whether to attend a meeting:
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
While members are encouraged to speak up and discuss their problem, they are under no obligation to do so
These Meetings Are Of Different Types
There are meetings where you may not be helped but someone else might be.
There is no religious base for Al-Anon
These meetings are focused on the 12 Step program by Al-Anon
The Al-Anon meetings work on the "take what you like and leave the rest" philosophy 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.
Usually, meetings start with someone reading from the 12 step program. These 12 steps have been adapted from a similar program which is also implemented by Alcoholics Anonymous. 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 steps are:
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.
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 resolution to turn our lives and our will over to the care of God in a way we perceived Him.
A key step to the program and acceptance of learning to let go.
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.
The members make a list of things they did or said to themselves and their loved ones that are painful or harmful.
Have admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the true cause of our wrong doings.
Writing each problem enables them to examine them one by one.
We are entirely prepared to have god remove all these defects of character.
This is an important step because it comes after accepting in full that the recovery process is supported by a greater power.
Humbly asked 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.
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.
Many people blame themselves for their addiction of their loved one.
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.
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.
Passing through these twelve Steps is a time-consuming process.
Slipping up is quite normal despite members already having made an inventory.
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 a step that is personal and spiritual to encompass acceptance and comfort amid the stress 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 is a realization that the members journey has not finished.
Members are then motivated to assist other members with what they have learned.
Learning About The Higher Power
Despite Al-Anon not being a religious program of any kind, the members within do have an acceptance of a greater power. Every member has their own religion affiliation. Members of all religions and beliefs are accepted at Al-Anon and none is coerced to change their beliefs.