The Brief History Of Al-Anon
Al-Anon is support groups all over the world that where people affected by alcoholism in one way or another meet to share experiences and help each other. These gatherings provided much-needed support and healing.
Al Anon was founded in 1951 and is an organization which provides support to the friends and family members of people who are addicted to alcohol. 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 thrives through the contributions of its members. The family of the addicts usually get tips on how they can help their loved ones and live comfortably with them.
The Effects On A Family Due To Alcoholism
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. For an alcoholic to recover, they need the support of friends and family.
Many family members are known to blame themselves for the drinking problem of their loved one, and in many cases do not understand why the recovery of their loved one is a priority. Meetings deal with these issues and make members understand that alcoholism is a family illness.
Alateen- Al-Anon Meetings For Teenagers
Besides, Al-Anon has a group named Alateen organized specially for young people whose family member suffers from alcoholism.
During the Al-teen meetings, the youth meet with their peers and share experiences and support each other at their level.
Al-Anon Group Advantages
Alcoholism has affected many people directly and indirectly and you will meet these people in this program. People are different, although, Al-Anon members have all had similar experiences with 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 all over the country. Give us a call on 0800 246 1509 to assist you find one close by you.
Expectations For A Meeting
For anyone who is affected by someone else's drinking, Al- Anon meetings are for those. 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 anonymous meaning you do not identify yourself in the meeting
- Everyone in that room is affected one way or another by the alcoholism of a friend or family member
- You are not forced to talk or discuss your issues though it is encouraged
- Meetings Offered Can Vary
- You may find some more beneficial to you than others.
- This group is not affiliated to any religion
- The meetings are concentrating on the 12-step program which has been designed by Al-Anon
Al -Anon meetings permit attendees to "take what they like and leave the rest", being conducted under a mantra. 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.
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Al-Anon 12 Steps
Usually, meetings start with someone reading from the 12 step program. These twelve steps are an abridged, almost verbatim, quote from the same-name program of Alcoholics Anonymous. An Al-Anon member is required to take on a sponsor who will help them work through the program and provide support when needed. These steps are the following:
- 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 frequently motivate themselves to the brink by trying to reform or control their loved one.
- 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.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Self-discovery plays a huge role in making the steps; and this is its beginning.
- They then come up with how they have been affected by the condition and what they might have done to hurt others or themselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrong doings.
- Then follows going through the list one item at a time and dealing with each.
- 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 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 be willing to make amends with them.
- Usually, making up for the wrongs done begins with oneself.
- 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.
- Working on the steps of recovery and help after forgiving yourself is the next step.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- To complete 12 Steps takes time.
- Members are ready with an inventory, yet making an error is common.
- 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 members journey has not finished.
- It is a support group and members get to assist other members get through the whole process.
Learning About The Higher Power
Although Al-Anon's program is not a religious one, members do experience insights into higher power. Nevertheless, the term " higher power" is open to imply as one's own individual beliefs. Al-Anon does not interfere with a member's religious convictions.