A family of support groups for people that have been affected by the problem of alcoholism within their family is identified as Al-Anon. These gatherings provided much-needed support and healing.
Al-Anon was founded in 1951 with the aim of providing support for those affected by alcohol abuse by loved ones. 16 years after Bill W founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon was founded by Lois W. his wife and Anne B. 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 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.
The fight against alcoholism is a joint undertaking and that is the objective of this support group.
Alcoholism Is A Family Illness
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.
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 Meetings For Teenagers
The youth are also affected by alcoholism in their family, so Al-Anon has formed a wing to help the youngsters called Al-teen.
Such meetings allow youngsters to meet with others of the same age, making their experience more relatable and efficient.
The Advantages Of Al-Anon Group
Alcoholism has affected many people directly and indirectly and you will meet these people in this program. The best part about this program is that you can all relate with the same issue. The main benefit of Al-Anon is having an opportunity to find and talk with individuals who's had similar experiences. Al-Anon meetings are held all over the country. Contact us on 0800 772 3971 for assistance in locating a group near you.
What Happens During The Meetings
For anyone who is affected by someone else's drinking, Al- Anon meetings are for those. 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.
A number of people are not certain about what they can expect and are therefore, hesitant to attend their first meeting. Here are some things to remember when considering whether to attend a meeting:
Al-Anon is anonymous, which is highly essential
Every member from the organization has been affected by alcoholism regardless of whether it is a personal problem or through a family member
Getting things off your chest is one way of recovery encouraged in this group although it is not mandatory
Meetings Offered Can Vary
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
Going to the meeting means that you accept the fact that there are matters discussed that will be of help to you or not. The members get to go about their own personal experiences.
Every meeting begins with the reading of Al-Anon's twelve-step program. The 12 steps were adapted from the AA 12 Step program. Al-Anon members start with a sponsor who assists them work through the steps and who is ready for help in times of difficulty, mostly similar to AA. These steps are:
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.
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.
Accepting the condition and seeking help is the best way of solving it.
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 group members write down a list of the instances when they may have been unfair to themselves or their significant others (for example, threats).
Admitted to god, to ourselves and to other human being the precise nature of our wrongs.
This is an examination of every item within the moral inventory of the member and will allow them to delve into every problem.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
This is a very important step, as it is the complete acceptance of the process of recovery supported by a Higher Power.
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.
Most often making amends begins with yourself.
Many people blame themselves for their loved ones addiction.
They must learn to forgive and make it right for themselves.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
When you decide to make amends, Then follows the action of doing so.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
It takes some period before you can complete the stages.
Slipping up is quite normal despite members already having made an inventory.
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.
Self acceptance is the major key to all the stages 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.
Step 12 involves the member acknowledging the story has not ended.
Encouragement is provided to members to support other members with their education.
A Greater Understanding Of 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 term "higher power" is, however, open to interpretation according to the personal beliefs of individuals. Members of all religions and beliefs are accepted at Al-Anon and none is coerced to change their beliefs.