Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship of men and women from all walks of life who have been affected by the family disease of alcoholism.Some were born into an alcoholic family and lived in that situation their entire lives, while others came into contact with alcoholism later in life through various experiences. Regardless of whom, how or when someone became intimate with the disease, the effects are unquestionably the same. Commonly we experienced feelings of guilt, frustration, confusion, anxiety, anger, sadness and various levels of depression prior to participating in the Al-Anon way of life…and that is exactly what it can become, a changed lifestyle that is bound to improve the family situation.
Al-Anon was born in 1951 as an adaptation of the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) 12-Step program, and yes, it was founded by the wife of the very alcoholic that created and founded the AA program. For decades now, Al-Anon has been a lifeline for millions of people around the world who were searching for answers on how to live their lives better in spite of the alcoholic behaviors surrounding them.
Through Al-Anon, so many people around the world have discovered that serenity and even happiness is possible whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.But what makes it work?Is it the slogans, the Steps, the unconditional love and honesty shared by everyone in the meetings? It’s a combination of all the above but ultimately it comes down to finding, creating, or improving a connection with a higher power, something that we believe is greater than ourselves and which can help us change our own attitudes and perspectives on the situations around us. Some call this higher power “God” in the traditional religious sense, some call it the universe, some call it their own breath, some even have names for their higher power, like Jim, or Howie. Some were raised with positive religious exposure, others were hardened Atheist while still others only knew of an angry fearing god - regardless of what you believe or choose to call your higher power, it is only important that it becomes the God of YOUR understanding as that is the foundation of our success. It would seem that nothing else has worked for you or you wouldn’t have read this far, right? So what can you lose by trying to find and trust in a higher power of your understanding? Find him/her/it at your own speed and in your own way and when you do, you’ll discover why so many other Al-Anon members are and appear quite content with their lives in spite of their ongoing alcoholic situations.
There are no rules in Al-Anon. There is no right or wrong way to feel, nothing you say will cause a strange look nor a whisper about you; you’ll quickly find others who have felt the same way too.There are no judgments, only unexpected and unconditional love in Al-Anon. You will find even at your very first meeting, that people will act like your presence there is a gift and that’s because we all know and have experienced your pain. Nobody ever forgets how they felt when first arriving at Al-Anon, how much courage it took to walk those first steps into a room filled with strangers….and it is for those reasons that we already love you in a very special way the moment you enter those doors.
Al-Anon is a mutual support group that helps friends and families of problem drinkers. Everyone at the meetings share their thoughts and feelings, as an equal, regardless of their educational background or social status.
Some of the people you’ll meet in Al-Anon include:
- Police Officers
- Store Clerks
- Business Owners
- College Students
- Web Designers
- Warehouse Workers
- School Teachers
- And the list goes on – NOBODY is immune from the family disease of alcoholism and we are all EQUAL in the Al-Anon meeting rooms...
The only requirement for membership is that you have been affected by someone else’s drinking.Everyone at the meetings has experienced a problem with the drinking behaviors of a loved one and each has their own story to tell. It is additionally believed that a symptom of alcoholism may be seen through drug addiction, prescription medication abuse and mental illness in the home so you may even find some people at meetings who occasionally discuss their personal experiences with those related issues, as part of the bigger problem of alcoholism. It is important to note however that Al-Anon is at its core, a program designed and dedicated to assisting families and friends of problem drinkers and therefore we do minimize references of these related issues at meetings.
At your first meetings, you may feel that you are unique and that your story must be the most intriguing and incomprehensible ever told but you’ll soon find out that some have far greater stories, while others might seem somewhat insignificant to your own. In that sense, you will find we are all not so uniquely different but instead share very similar and not-so-unique experiences regardless of how the circumstances differ. One thing we all have in common regardless of our story, are the debilitating emotional, psychological and physical effects caused by our exposure and experience with the family disease of alcoholism.
Al-Anon is a spiritual program: Al-Anon is NOT a religious organization or a counseling agency. It is not a treatment center nor is it allied with any other organization offering such services. Al-Anon Family Groups, which includes Alateen for teenage members, neither express opinions on outside issues nor endorse outside enterprises.**Al-Anon is fully self-supporting, no dues or fees are required. Membership is voluntary, requiring only that one's own life has been adversely affected by someone else's drinking problem.**
Each Al-Anon Family Group has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics.We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps of AA ourselves, by encouraging and understanding our alcoholic relatives, and by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics.**For our group purpose there is but one authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.** Only with such spiritual help can we hope for recovery from the family disease of alcoholism.
- You DO have choices…
- You CAN improve your life whether the alcoholic continues to drink or not…
- You ARE able to change your own attitudes which will aid in your recovery…
BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY TOWARDS RECOVERY
Al-Anon has helped millions around the world for over 60 years.
Are YOU ready for the next step?