alanonOne of the best kept secrets of the recovery world is a program known as Al-Anon, a support fellowship for those injured by alcoholism. The Al-anon literature states, “Many who come are in despair, feeling hopeless, unable to believe that things can ever change. We want our lives to be different, but nothing we have done has brought about change. We all come because we want and need help.”

It is a fellowship that seeks a culture of bearing one another’s burdens. In the sharing, they find healing. “We share our own experience, strength, and hope with each other. You will meet others who know of your feelings and frustrations, if not your exact situation. We come together to learn a better way of life, to find happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.”

While researching an article I received 3 responses from Al-anon participants about the benefits of the Al-anon program.  They can be summed up by the very last line:  Huh, and I came here thinking that the alcoholics in my life were the problem … I think they are worth sharing:

1.  Al-anon helps you realize you are not alone.  Many others have had the same challenges as you.  Somehow it helps to know this.

2.  Al-anon gives you a safe outlet to discuss your challenges.

3.  Al-anon gives you an avenue to meet amazing people that have overcome many of the challenges you are facing.

4. Because we share our challenges in Al-anon, we make friends–really good friends–because we have shared experiences.

5. Al-anon helps us to learn to love our fellow man.

6.  Al-anon helps us to learn to laugh more–even as we discuss our shortcomings.

7.  Al-anon helps us to see the things we have to change in ourselves to make our lives better.

8.  Al-anon encourages us when we are down–to just keep going.

9.  Al-anon gives us a place where we can turn–always–when we don’t know where to start.

10.  Al-anon helps us to keep our nose out of other peoples problems and to face and work on our own.

 

I think the most important benefits I have received from Al-anon is getting my spiritual and emotional needs met.

Learning how to detach from the alcoholics and keeping the focus on me allowed me to change and grow into the kind of person I always wanted to be. Today I am happy, joyous and free!!!  AlAnon member

 

Lets see here, some benefits of AlAnon.

A means to have a program and 12 steps to live by, to be able to see my powerlessness and the unmanageability in my life, to see how my thinking has been distorted and insane in respect to trying to control others

A process that I can use to establish a relationship with a power greater than myself who will ultimately solve my problem so long as I am willing to put forth the effort to establish a relationship with Him…and then turn my will and my life (my manner of living and my attitude toward others) over to Him

An inventory I can take of myself to see how my self will and my ego have created problems in my life that I need to take responsibility for and clean up myself…with the help of others that have taken the steps before me (a sponsor)

Steps I can take to identify my own defects of character, become willing to have God remove them, and then ask Him to take them (the ones that He determines that He will take of course)

The clarity to see the people who I have harmed by my own actions and through Gods strength the ability to make amends to those people

The ability to establish a disciplined life style (far different from the way I had been living) to continue to look for my part in any relationship that I am in and to continue to see where I am at fault and what I can do to keep from harming myself and others

To end up with a much closer relationship with the God of my understanding…

Hopefully the end result is that I have a spiritual awakening (personality change) that opens my eyes to see the world in a different way and people in a different way and to see more clearly my place, which has nothing to do with my will (ego) but everything to do with what I can do to carry out Gods will…

Huh, and I came here thinking that the alcoholics in my life were the problem …

The Utah Al-anon website is at:  http://www.utah-alanon.org/ for other state organizations and meeting places and times, search on Al-anon and your state.

http://www.al-anon.org/pdf/afa2012.pdf