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In Al-Anon, We Understand As Perhaps Few Others Can

Why I Recommend Al-Anon

By BuddyT

Over the years that I have managed The Alcoholism Home Page, I have received innumerable emails and messages from loved ones of alcoholics who are seeking information and answers. In each reply, I have always included a suggestion that they find the nearest meeting of Al-Anon Family Groups and give it a try.

Why do I recommend Al-Anon? Because there they will find those who understand as perhaps few others can.

In my own experience of dealing with a family member's alcoholism I spent years trying to find solutions. I reached out to the church, I tried counseling, and marriage counseling. Although all those who tried to help were caring and well-meaning, they just didn't understand the nature of the "family disease" of alcoholism.

The Al-Anon Opening Statement

When I finally found my way into an Al-Anon meeting and heard them read the opening statement to begin the meeting, I knew that I was in the right place. Here's what that statement says about Al-Anon:

We who live, or have lived, with the problem of alcoholism understand as perhaps few others can. We, too, were lonely and frustrated but in Al-Anon we discover that no situation is really hopeless and that it is possible for us to find contentment and even happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.

We urge you to try our program. It has helped many of us find solutions that lead to serenity. So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learn to place our problem in its true perspective we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives.

The family situation is bound to improve as we apply the Al-Anon ideas. Without such spiritual help, living with an alcoholic is too much for most of us. Our thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions, and we become irritable and unreasonable without knowing it.

The Al-Anon program is based on the suggested Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which we try, little by little, one day at a time, to apply to our lives, along with our slogans and the Serenity Prayer.

The loving interchange of help among members and daily reading of Al-Anon literature thus make us ready to receive the priceless gift of serenity.

Al-Anon is an anonymous fellowship. Everything that is said here, in the group meeting and member-to-member, must be held in confidence. Only in this way can we feel free to say what is on our minds and in our hearts, for this is how we help one another in Al-Anon.

The Closing Statement

Then at the end of the meeting, the closing statement said:

A few special words to those of you who haven't been with us long: Whatever your problems there are those among us who have had them, too. If you try to keep an open mind you will find help. You will come to realize that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened.

We aren't perfect. The welcome we give you may not show the warmth we have in our hearts for you. After a while, you'll discover that though you may not like all of us, you'll love us in a very special way, the same way we already love you.

Talk to each other, reason things out with someone else but let there be no gossip or criticism of one another. Instead, let the understanding, love and peace of the program grow in you one day at a time.

And that is exactly what I found in Al-Anon: understanding, love and peace. The tools that the Al-Anon program offers - the meetings, the fellowship, the literature, the slogans - can be a life saver to those whose lives have been affected by someone's alcoholism.

Learn more in Help for Families of Alcoholics.






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