A family of support groups for people that have been affected by the problem of alcoholism within their family is identified as Al-Anon. The aim of these groups is to be recuperative and curative.
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). Dealing with the difficulties of providing support to a recovering alcoholic during her life, she decided to create an organization for people similar to her. Al-Anon is an organization which supports itself through donations provided by members. The meetings aim to help members cope with and know how to support and help their loved ones fighting alcoholism.
Providing support to family members by making them understand that they are not alone in this struggle is the primary focus of Al-Anon.
Alcoholism Is A Family Illness
Al-Anon sees alcoholism as a family illness, because it negatively affects both the drinkers and people around them. A clear-cut system of friends and family members support is an integral part of recovery from alcoholism.
Sometimes alcoholics' family members blame themselves for their loved one's' drinking habits; they also may not fully understand why recovery should be their relative's priority. 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
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.
Teens get to associate with each other and share experiences of how alcoholism has affected them.
The Benefits Of Attending An Al-Anon Group
Members of Al-Anon benefit from being introduced to a number of people and families who could have suffered from the problem of alcoholism. All are different, yet Al- Anon members have all had similar experiences in their struggles. 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 throughout the nation. Contact us on 0800 772 3971 for assistance in locating a group near you.
What You Should Anticipate From A Meeting
If you know someone who is an alcoholic, then Al-Anon is the best place for you. 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.
Some of the attendees are reluctant to go to their first meeting because they do not know what to expect. The following are some of the key things to know when you are coming for the meetings:
Al-Anon is anonymous, which is highly essential
Whether personally or through a family member, everyone in each meeting has been impacted by alcoholism
No One is made to speak about their problem or discuss it, just encouraged to
Different Types Of Meetings Are Held For Everyone
Some of them may be more effective for you than other ones.
Al-Anon is not an organization which is based on any religion
Al-Anon meetings follow the 12 Step program
The meetings conducted by Al-Anon have a simple formula which gives the attendees the option of taking what they prefer and leaving behind the rest. The members get to go about their own personal experiences.
Every meeting begins with the reading of Al-Anon's twelve-step program. Adapted, from the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, these steps are nearly straight sword. 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 12 Steps are as follows:
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.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
members also learn they are driving themselves crazy by trying to change or control another person.
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.
A key step to the program and acceptance of learning to let go.
Made a searching and a fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
A huge part of the steps are self-discovery, and this is the beginning of the procedure.
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 others human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Permitting them to dig into each issue, this is an examination of every thing in the members moral inventory.
Got fully ready to have God eliminate all the flaws 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.
Sometimes it not always your fault a person is addicted.
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.
After you are willing to make amends, the following step is to act on it.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
To complete 12 Steps takes time.
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 is taking personal spiritual responsibility and surrender so as to start healing.
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 includes perception that the persons journey is not over yet.
They are encouraged with support to use what they have learned to assist others.
What Is 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. Every member has their own religion affiliation. Al-Anon does not interfere with a member's religious convictions.