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. Groups like these have been formed with the sole aim of being beneficial and therapeutic to such families.
Al-Anon was founded in 1951 as an organization for providing support to friends and relatives of drunkards. 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. She formed an organization for people similar to her, after confronting the hardships of assisting a recovering alcoholic in her own 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.
To assist members by having them understand they aren't alone in their struggle, is the principal target of Al-Anon.
Alcoholism Being A Family Illness
Al-Anon recognizes that alcoholism affects everyone in the family not just the addicted member. A clear-cut system of friends and family members support is an integral part of recovery from alcoholism.
Many family members are known to blame themselves for the drinking problem of their loved one, and in many cases do not understand why the recovery of their loved one is a priority. Meetings deal with these issues and make members understand that alcoholism is a family illness.
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
Alcoholism has affected many people directly and indirectly and you will meet these people in this program. 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 all across 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.
A number of people are not certain about what they can expect and are therefore, hesitant to attend their first meeting. 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
Whether personally or through a family member, everyone in each meeting has been impacted by alcoholism
You are not forced to talk or discuss your issues though it is encouraged
Meetings Offered Can Vary
Some may be more beneficial for 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 permit attendees to "take what they like and leave the rest", being conducted under a mantra. 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. The 12 Steps are as follows:
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.
Accepted that a Power greater than ourselves could bring back our mental health.
Members frequently motivate themselves to the brink by trying to reform or control their loved one.
After they admit they are powerless, they learn how to accept that they can be helped to regain their sanity.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
It is important that members learn to let go.
Made a searching and a fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Self-discovery is an essential component of the steps, and this is the start of that.
Attendees have the option of creating a list of how they could have wronged themselves or their loved ones with examples like threats issued, Etc.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another 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 became willing to make amends to them all.
Very often, righting a wrong starts with yourself.
Most people believe they caused their loved one to start drinking.
They must agree to pardon themselves and make amends.
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.
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 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 step is a personal, spiritual one; it comprises acceptance and comfort in view of the great 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 journey of the member is not over.
It is a support group and members get to assist other members get through the whole process.
A Greater Understanding Of The Higher Power
Although Al-Anon's program is not a religious one, members do experience insights into higher power. The "higher power" or God is according to each person's perception of whom they consider Him to be. All religions are well represented and no one is forced to change to another religion.