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. The aim of these groups is to be recuperative and curative.
Al-Anon was founded in 1951 with the aim of providing support for those affected by alcohol abuse by loved ones. 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. Al-Anon is an organization self-supported through member donations. The family of the addicts usually get tips on how they can help their loved ones and live comfortably with them.
The fight against alcoholism is a joint undertaking and that is the objective of this support group.
Alcoholism Affecting A Family
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.
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. 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 Is 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.
The meetings held by Alateen help youngsters to meet with individuals within their age group in order to make their experiences more beneficial and interrelated.
Why Join An Al-Anon Group
Members benefit from Al-Anon because they are introduced to many people and families who suffer from alcoholism. The best part about this program is that you can all relate with the same issue. With this program, you get to share experiences with people who have faced situations similar to yours. There are Al-Anon meetings available all across our 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. Contact an Al-Anon group near you if you are concerned about someone who is drinking more than they should or who is making your life stressful because of their drinking.
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 a group that is unidentified
Every member from the organization has been affected by alcoholism regardless of whether it is a personal problem or through a family member
While members are encouraged to speak up and discuss their problem, they are under no obligation to do so
These Meetings Are Of Different Types
Some of them may be more effective for you than other ones.
This group is not affiliated to any religion
Meetings are focused on Al-Anon 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. 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. 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. The 12 Steps are as follows:
We admit that 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.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Trying to change a person that has been affected by alcoholism can be a huge task and lead to breakdown.
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.
Learning how to forgive is an extremely important step of the program, together with acceptance.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Identifying that your life is being affected by alcoholism is one way of getting the best help.
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 others human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
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.
This is an important step because it comes after accepting in full that the recovery process is supported by a greater power.
Humbly ask him to remove our shortcomings.
Members are assisted by this part of the 12 Steps to understand how they may have been dominating or judgmental toward an addict and how that is counterproductive.
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.
Sometimes it not always your fault a person is addicted.
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.
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.
Going through the 12 steps is a process which will take time.
There is also a possibility for relapse when trying to recover in the program.
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 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 journey of the member is not over.
It is a support group and members get to assist other members get through the whole process.
Learning About The 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. However, the notion of "higher power" can be interpreted depending on one's personal beliefs. All religions are well represented and no one is forced to change to another religion.