A family of support groups for people who have been affected by alcoholism in their family is Al-Anon. This kind of a support group is after assisting people overcome their addiction to alcohol.
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 herself faced the challenge of supporting a convalescent alcoholic, so, she created an organization aimed at people with the same problem. Al-Anon is an organization self-supported through member donations. The meetings aim to help members cope with and know how to support and help their loved ones fighting alcoholism.
Providing support to family members by making them understand that they are not alone in this struggle is the primary focus of Al-Anon.
Alcoholism Is A Family Illness
Al-Anon considers the problem of alcoholism as a family illness because of the negative impact it has both on the alcoholic and the people surrounding them. It is integral for the alcoholic's recovery to have a family and friend support system around them.
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
Besides, Al-Anon has a group named Alateen organized specially for young people whose family member suffers from alcoholism.
Such meetings allow youngsters to meet with others of the same age, making their experience more relatable and efficient.
Reasons To Partake In 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 advantage of Al-Anon is searching people who have had similar experiences to talk to. 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. You just need to identify whether the alcoholism of a particular individual is concerning you and make it known it is affecting your lifestyle, and rest assured that Al-Anon can provide the assistance you need.
Some of the attendees are reluctant to go to their first meeting because they do not know what to expect. Certain things to remember when considering attending a meeting:
Al-Anon is anonymous meaning you do not identify yourself in the meeting
Whether personally or through a family member, everyone in each meeting has been impacted by alcoholism
No One is made to speak about their problem or discuss it, just encouraged to
These Meetings Are Of Different Types
You may find some more beneficial to you than others.
Al-Anon is not based on any religion
Al-Anon meetings follow the 12 Step program
Al-Anon meetings are carried out under a slogan that encourages all attendees to "take only what they like, leaving the rest." The members get to go about their own personal experiences.
As a rule, group meetings begin with reading of Al Anon 12 Step program. These twelve steps are an abridged, almost verbatim, quote from the same-name program of 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 did admit we were powerless over alcoholism, that our lives became unmanageable indeed.
Al-Anon members are taught that alcoholism is a disease they cannot cure in another person.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
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.
A key step to the program and acceptance of learning to let go.
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.
Attendees have the option of creating a list of how they could have wronged themselves or their loved ones with examples like threats issued, Etc.
Have admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the true cause of our wrong doings.
Writing each problem enables them to examine them one by one.
We are entirely prepared 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.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
When they reach This point, the member can realize the part they played by judging and trying to control their loved ones which could have driven them into more drinking.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Mostly, doing changes begins with yourself.
Many people blame themselves for their loved ones addiction.
Personal acceptance and pardoning is also a way to getting help.
Made amends to such people directly where feasible, except for the cases when doing so is likely to hurt 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.
Going through the 12 steps is a process which will take time.
Even if the members have already completed their inventory, missteps are normal.
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.
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.
The last step includes perception that the persons journey is not over yet.
After this, group members are encouraged to support others by sharing what they have already learned.
Knowledge Of 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. Every member has their own religion affiliation. All religions are well represented and no one is forced to change to another religion.