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 was founded in 1951 with the aim of providing support for those affected by alcohol abuse by loved ones. 16 years after Bill W founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon was founded by Lois W. his wife and Anne B. 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. Support groups meetings help alcoholics' family members and friends to cope with the situation and treat their loved ones better, even if they haven't recovered yet.
These groups help their members know there are others like them.
Alcoholism Affecting A Family
Al-Anon sees alcoholism as a family illness, because it negatively affects both the drinkers and people around them. Important to the alcoholic's recovery is the friend and family support system.
Helping the addict recuperate should be the main concern of the family members and the friends. 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 Groups For Teens
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.
Such meetings allow youngsters to meet with others of the same age, making their experience more relatable and efficient.
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. Being with people who understand your struggles and whom you can talk to is a big plus. Al-Anon meetings are held throughout the nation. Give us a call on 0800 772 3971 to assist you find one close by you.
Expectations For A Meeting
The meetings held by Al-Anon are open to any individual who could be affected by the alcoholism of another individual. If you are worried about somebody's heavy drinking or if the drunkard's lifestyle somehow affects your life , Al-Anon will help you.
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, which is highly essential
Whether personally or through a family member, everyone in each meeting has been impacted by alcoholism
Getting things off your chest is one way of recovery encouraged in this group although it is not mandatory
There Are Several Kinds Of Meetings
There are meetings where you may not be helped but someone else might be.
Al-Anon is not an organization which is based on any religion
Al-Anon meetings follow the 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.
Usually, meetings start with someone reading from the 12 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. 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.
Accepted that a Power greater than ourselves could bring back our mental health.
Members often drive themselves to the brink in an attempt to change or control their loved one.
They understand to accept that they can revert to sanity, after acknowledging they are powerless.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Learning to let go is a primary step in the program and acceptance.
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.
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.
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 step is highly essential as it is the complete acceptance of the recovery process supported by a Higher Power.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
In this stage, the members get to assess how their presence or activities could have affected the addicts negatively.
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.
Lots of people tend to blame themselves for addiction of their significant others.
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.
As soon as you are ready to make amends, the next step is actually to do it.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Passing through these twelve Steps is a time-consuming process.
Slipping up is quite normal despite members already having made an inventory.
Step Ten acknowledges that this is a permanent 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.
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.
This stage appreciates the fact that the process is long and doesnt end after a while.
Encouragement is provided to members to support other members with their education.
Learning About The Higher Power
Members do have an acceptance of a higher power, even though Al-Anon is not a religious program. However, the notion of "higher power" can be interpreted depending on one's personal beliefs. Members of all religions and beliefs are accepted at Al-Anon and none is coerced to change their beliefs.