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. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the first alcoholic support group that was started by the husband of Lois Wilson who went on to later start her own support group, Al-Anon. 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. 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.
The fight against alcoholism is a joint undertaking and that is the objective of this support group.
Alcoholism Is A Family Illness
Al-Anon recognizes that alcoholism affects everyone in the family not just the addicted member. It is integral for the alcoholic's recovery to have a family and friend support system around them.
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. During the Al-Anon gathering, people are educated about taking alcoholism not as a one person problem but as a joint issue in the family.
Alateen- Al-Anon Groups For Teens
The youth are also affected by alcoholism in their family, so Al-Anon has formed a wing to help the youngsters called Al-teen.
Teens get to associate with each other and share experiences of how alcoholism has affected them.
Why Join 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. 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. These meetings are widespread all over the country. 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. Al-Anon can assist you if you are anxious about someone's drinking habit or if their lifestyle affects you personally.
Some of the attendees are reluctant to go to their first meeting because they do not know what to expect. Here are some things to remember when considering whether to attend a meeting:
Al-Anon is an anonymous group, and this can be considered as extremely important
Everyone in that room is affected one way or another by the alcoholism of a friend or family member
No one is subject to talk about or discuss their issue, but it is encouraged
The Meetings Usually Vary
Some may be more beneficial for you than 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. Thus, meetings put an increased focus on talking about experiences and hardships rather than telling attendees what to do.
Every meeting begins with the reading of Al-Anon's twelve-step program. The 12 steps were adapted from the AA 12 Step program. 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 the following:
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable.
The members learn how to accept alcohol addiction as an illness, which they cannot control if somebody else suffers from it.
Accepted that a Power greater than ourselves could bring back our mental health.
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.
It is important that members learn to let go.
Carry out a thorough and undaunted moral inventory of ourselves.
Self-discovery is an essential component of the steps, and this is the start of that.
A list of how they may have offended themselves or their loved ones (such as with threats) is made by attendees.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another 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.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
This step allows the member to off-load his recovery to someone greater and bigger than themselves to handle.
calmly begged Him to remove our drawbacks.
This part of the twelve step process helps people realize how controlling or judgmental they have been towards an alcoholic and how counterproductive it is.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
The road to recovery is a personal effort.
Many people blame themselves for their addiction of their loved one.
They must be willing and prepared to forgive themselves and to make amends.
Made amends to such people directly where feasible, except for the cases when doing so is likely to hurt them or others.
The next step is to take action, after you agree to make changes.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Going through the 12 Steps is a process that takes time.
Slipping up is quite normal despite members already having made an inventory.
It s usually a duration and this is outlined by stage 10.
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 personal, spiritual step that involves acceptance and comfort amongst the anxiety 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.
The last step is a realization that the members journey has not finished.
They are encouraged with support to use what they have learned to assist others.
Recognising The Higher Power
Although Al-Anon's program is not a religious one, members do experience insights into higher power. Every member has their own religion affiliation. All religions are well represented and no one is forced to change to another religion.