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 goal of theses groups is to be advantageous and therapeutic.
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. This organization was founded by Lois Wilson, who is also popular by the name of Lois W and Al Anon came into being 16 years after the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous [AA] by her husband. 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.
Providing support to family members by making them understand that they are not alone in this struggle is the primary focus of Al-Anon.
The Effects On A Family Due To Alcoholism
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. The recovery process is a joint effort and the family members and other people close to the addict must be involved.
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 Groups For Teens
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.
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 benefit from Al-Anon because they are introduced to many people and families who suffer from alcoholism. All members have worked through some issues though the details may differ. The main advantage of Al-Anon is searching people who have had similar experiences to talk to. There are Al-Anon meetings available all across our country. Call us on 0800 772 3971 to help you find one near you.
Expectations For A Meeting
For anyone who is affected by someone else's drinking, Al- Anon meetings are for those. If you are worried about somebody's heavy drinking or if the drunkard's lifestyle somehow affects your life , Al-Anon will help you.
The outcomes of these meetings is what scares some people from coming. The following are some of the key things to know when you are coming for the meetings:
Al-Anon is anonymous meaning you do not identify yourself in the meeting
All the members of this group have had an encounter with an alcoholic in their lives
While members are encouraged to speak up and discuss their problem, they are under no obligation to do so
Meetings Offered Can Vary
Some could be more productive for you than the others.
Al-Anon is not based on any religion
These meetings are focused on the 12 Step program by Al-Anon
Going to the meeting means that you accept the fact that there are matters discussed that will be of help to you or not. 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.
Most meetings begin with a reading of Al Anon 12 Step program. The Alcoholics Anonymous started the 12 step recovery program that is being used in the Al-Anon meetings. 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. The steps are as follows:
We admit that we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable.
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 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.
A huge part of the steps are self-discovery, and this is the beginning of the procedure.
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.
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.
Spiritual help is recognised as one way through which they can be helped.
calmly begged Him to remove our drawbacks.
In this stage, the members get to assess how their presence or activities could have affected the addicts negatively.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Very often, righting a wrong starts with yourself.
Lots of people tend to blame themselves for addiction of their significant others.
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.
Going through the 12 steps is a process which will take time.
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 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 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.
Recognising 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. 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.