A family of support groups for people that have been affected by the problem of alcoholism within their family is identified as Al-Anon. Groups like these have been formed with the sole aim of being beneficial and therapeutic to such families.
Al- Anon is a support organization for the friends and family members of problem drinkers, founded in 1951. Al-Anon was founded by Lois Wilson, also called Lois W, 16 years after her husband founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The group was started for the sole purpose of assisting alcoholic family members recover which was something she was facing in her life. Al-Anon thrives through the contributions of its members. The meetings aim to help members cope with and know how to support and help their loved ones fighting alcoholism.
These groups help their members know there are others like them.
The Effects On A Family Due To Alcoholism
Al-Anon recognizes that alcoholism affects everyone in the family not just the addicted member. Important to the alcoholic's recovery is the friend and family support system.
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. Support meetings can help deal about these issues in the best way while also making members understand that alcoholism should be treated as 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. All members have worked through some issues though the details may differ. With this program, you get to share experiences with people who have faced situations similar to yours. There are Al-Anon meetings all across the nation. Give us a call on 0800 246 1509 to assist you find one close by you.
What You Can Expect From A Meeting
For anyone who is affected by someone else's drinking, Al- Anon meetings are for those. Al-Anon can assist you if you are anxious about someone's drinking habit or if their lifestyle affects you personally.
People always fear the unknown, and so the first meeting at Al-Anon is bound to be a challenge. 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
- All the members of this group have had an encounter with an alcoholic in their lives
- While members are encouraged to speak up and discuss their problem, they are under no obligation to do so
- Meetings Offered Can Vary
- Some may be more beneficial for you than others.
- Al-Anon is by no means a religious organization
- The 12 recovery steps are followed in this group
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. Thus, meetings put an increased focus on talking about experiences and hardships rather than telling attendees what to do.
Al-Anon And The Twelve Steps
Most meetings begin with a reading of Al Anon 12 Step program. These 12 steps have been adapted from a similar program which is also implemented by Alcoholics Anonymous. 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 admitted 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.
- members also learn they are driving themselves crazy by trying to change or control another person.
- 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 plays a huge role in making the steps; and this is its beginning.
- 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.
- Spiritual help is recognised as one way through which they can be helped.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- 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.
- Usually, making up for the wrongs done begins with oneself.
- 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 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.
- Passing through these twelve Steps is a time-consuming process.
- Members are ready with an inventory, yet making an error is common.
- Step 10 identifies this is an ongoing process.
- 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 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.
- This stage appreciates the fact that the process is long and doesnt end after a while.
- Members are then motivated to assist other members with what they have learned.
A Greater Understanding Of 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. The "higher power" or God is according to each person's perception of whom they consider Him to be. Al-Anon is open to members of all religions and beliefs and accepts them with a commitment that no one will be forced to alter his or her belief.