A family of support groups for people who have been affected by alcoholism in their family is Al-Anon. These gatherings provided much-needed support and healing.
Al-Anon was founded in 1951 as an organization for providing support to friends and relatives of drunkards. 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. 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 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.
To assist members by having them understand they aren't alone in their struggle, is the principal target of Al-Anon.
The Effects On A Family Due To Alcoholism
Al-Anon sees alcoholism as a family illness, because it negatively affects both the drinkers and people around them. The recovery process is a joint effort and the family members and other people close to the addict must be involved.
Some family members blame themselves for their loved one's drinking or may not realise why recovery is their loved one's primary concern. Meetings deal with these issues and make members understand that alcoholism is a family illness.
Alateen- Al-Anon Groups For Teens
The youth are also affected by alcoholism in their family, so Al-Anon has formed a wing to help the youngsters called Al-teen.
Teens get to associate with each other and share experiences of how alcoholism has affected them.
Reasons To Partake In 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. Al-Anon provides a key benefit and that is to help people finding others who have had similar experiences to talk about. There are Al-Anon meetings available all across our country. Contact us on 0800 772 3971 for assistance in locating a group near you.
The Results Of These Meetings
If you know someone who is an alcoholic, then Al-Anon is the best place for you. 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.
Since they are sure what will happen, some people don't feel free to go to the first meeting. Here are some things to remember when considering whether to attend a meeting:
Al-Anon is anonymous, which is highly essential
Every member from the organization has been affected by alcoholism regardless of whether it is a personal problem or through a family member
Getting things off your chest is one way of recovery encouraged in this group although it is not mandatory
These Meetings Are Of Different Types
There are meetings where you may not be helped but someone else might be.
Al-Anon is not based on any religion
These meetings are focused on the 12 Step program by Al-Anon
The Al-Anon meetings work on the "take what you like and leave the rest" philosophy 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. 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.
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.
Members often drive themselves to the brink in an attempt to change or control their loved one.
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 to let go is a primary step in the program and acceptance.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Self-discovery plays a huge role in making the steps; and this is its beginning.
The members make a list of things they did or said to themselves and their loved ones that are painful or harmful.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Writing each problem enables them to examine them one by one.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects 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.
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.
Drew up a list of all people we had harmed, and became willing to right a wrong for them all.
Very often, righting a wrong starts with yourself.
Many people blame themselves for their loved ones addiction.
These people had better be willing to forgive and make amends to themselves.
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.
Though a member made a list of things they did wrong, sometimes you may find yourself repeating some things.
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 a personal, spiritual step that involves acceptance and comfort amongst the anxiety 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.
It is a support group and members get to assist other members get through the whole process.
What Is Higher Power
Although Al-Anon's program is not a religious one, members do experience insights into higher power. The "higher power" or God is according to each person's perception of whom they consider Him to be. All religions are well represented and no one is forced to change to another religion.