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.
Many alcoholics have overcome this condition thanks to the help they get from Al-Anon which is a support group that started in 1951. 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. 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 which supports itself through donations provided by members. There are meetings available through the assistance of family members and friends of alcoholics to cope with and better serve the interests of their loved ones even if they are in different stages of recovery.
Providing support to family members by making them understand that they are not alone in this struggle is the primary focus 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. It is integral for the alcoholic's recovery to have a family and friend support system around them.
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. 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
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.
The Benefits Of Attending An Al-Anon Group
Al-Anon members benefit by being introduced to other people and families who have suffered from alcoholism. All members have worked through some issues though the details may differ. Al-Anon provides a key benefit and that is to help people finding others who have had similar experiences to talk about. Al-Anon meetings are held all over the country. Contact us on 0800 772 3971 for assistance in locating a group near you.
What Happens During The Meetings
Al-Anon gatherings are friends and family members of alcoholic addicts. 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.
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, which is highly essential
Everyone in that room is affected one way or another by the alcoholism of a friend or family member
Getting things off your chest is one way of recovery encouraged in this group although it is not mandatory
Different Types Of Meetings Are Held For Everyone
You may find some more beneficial to you than others.
There is no religious base for Al-Anon
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. Thus, meetings put an increased focus on talking about experiences and hardships rather than telling attendees what to do.
Every meeting begins with the reading of Al-Anon's twelve-step program. These 12 steps have been adapted from a similar program which is also implemented by Alcoholics Anonymous. Similarly to AA, Al-Anon members rely on a facilitator who guides them through the steps and who is always ready to support when the going gets tough. These stages are:
We admit that we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable.
Members learn to accept alcoholism as a disease they cannot control in others.
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.
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.
A key step to the program and acceptance of learning to let go.
Made a searching and 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.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to others human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Then follows going through the list one item at a time and dealing with each.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
This is an important step because it comes after accepting in full that the recovery process is supported by a greater power.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
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.
Usually, making up for the wrongs done begins with oneself.
Lots of people tend to blame themselves for addiction of their significant others.
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.
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.
It takes some period before you can complete the stages.
Slipping up is quite normal despite members already having made an inventory.
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.
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.
Step 12 involves the member acknowledging the story has not ended.
Encouragement is provided to members to support other members with their education.
Recognising The Higher Power
Although Al-Anon's program is not a religious one, members do experience insights into higher power. The term "higher power" is, however, open to interpretation according to the personal beliefs of individuals. All religions are well represented and no one is forced to change to another religion.