A family of support groups for people who have been affected by alcoholism in their family is Al-Anon. The aim of these groups is to be recuperative and curative.
Al-Anon was founded in 1951 as an organization for providing support to friends and relatives of drunkards. Lois Wilson, well-known simply as Lois W, whose husband launched Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), laid the foundation of Al-Anon organization 16 years after AA was established. 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 a self-supported organization which exists thanks to financial contributions from members. Meetings are available to assist family members and friends of alcoholics adjust and better serve their loved ones, even if their loved ones have not recovered.
The key activity of Al-Anon is to support its members - drunkards' relatives - by making them realize that they are not alone.
Alcoholism Is A Family Illness
Al-Anon recognizes that alcoholism affects everyone in the family not just the addicted member. For an alcoholic to recover, they need the support of friends and family.
Sometimes alcoholics' family members blame themselves for their loved one's' drinking habits; they also may not fully understand why recovery should be their relative's priority. These problems are handled by meetings and members are assisted to understand alcoholism as a family illness.
Alateen- Al-Anon Meetings For Teenagers
Teens are also affected by alcoholism and that is why Alateen was formed within Al-Anon to help them.
Teens get to associate with each other and share experiences of how alcoholism has affected them.
The Advantages Of Al-Anon Group
Members benefit from Al-Anon because they are introduced to many people and families who suffer from alcoholism. All are different, yet Al- Anon members have all had similar experiences in their struggles. The main advantage of Al-Anon is searching people who have had similar experiences to talk to. There are Al-Anon meetings all across the nation. There is always an Al-Anon program near you and you just need to get in touch with us on 0800 772 3971 .
What You Can Expect From A Meeting
For anyone who is affected by someone else's drinking, Al- Anon meetings are for those. You can get all the help required if you are being affected by the drinking behaviour of a person you know.
The outcomes of these meetings is what scares some people from coming. 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
Every member from the organization has been affected by alcoholism regardless of whether it is a personal problem or through a family member
While members are encouraged to speak up and discuss their problem, they are under no obligation to do so
There Are Several Kinds Of Meetings
Some of them may be more effective for you than other ones.
Al-Anon is by no means a religious organization
These meetings are focused on the 12 Step program by Al-Anon
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. These 12 steps have been adapted from a similar program which is also implemented by Alcoholics Anonymous. 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. The 12 Steps are as follows:
We admit that 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.
Trying to change a person that has been affected by alcoholism can be a huge task and lead to breakdown.
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 fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Self-discovery is an essential component of the steps, and this is the start of that.
They then come up with how they have been affected by the condition and what they might have done to hurt others or themselves.
Have admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the true cause 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 step is highly essential as it is the complete acceptance of the recovery process supported by a Higher Power.
calmly begged Him to remove our drawbacks.
This part of the 12 steps provides members with the assistance needed to understand how they may have been exercising control or being judgmental towards an addict and how these actions are counterproductive.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Mostly, doing changes begins with yourself.
Sometimes it not always your fault a person is addicted.
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.
When you decide to make amends, Then follows the action of doing so.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Going through the 12 Steps is a process that takes time.
Though a member made a list of things they did wrong, sometimes you may find yourself repeating some things.
Step 10 identifies this is an ongoing process.
Through prayer and meditation endeavoured to improve our conscious contact with God as we perceived Him, praying only for learning His will for us and the strength to do it.
This step is a personal, spiritual one; it comprises acceptance and comfort in view of the great stress 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.
Encouragement is provided to members to support other members with their education.
Recognising The Higher Power
Despite Al-Anon not being a religious program of any kind, the members within do have an acceptance of a greater power. Nevertheless, the term " higher power" is open to imply as one's own individual beliefs. 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.