The literature table at my first Al‑Anon meeting immediately caught my attention. Suddenly, I had access to information about alcoholism and its effects on the families of alcoholics. At the time, I felt incredibly isolated because I had never seen, heard, or read anything about alcoholism or Al‑Anon. Having access to that literature gave me comfort as I left the meeting. I now had Al‑Anon literature to read in my hours of desperation between meetings.
Until that time, the possibility that I could recover from the effects of my husband’s drinking, let alone the availability of Al‑Anon, was unknown to me. This lack of information in my early program days continues to make me determined to “change the things I can” for other families of alcoholics who are in despair. One important way I can do that is to reach out to them by providing copies of the Al‑Anon Faces Alcoholism (AFA) magazine to urgent care facilities, employee assistance professional offices, and hospital emergency rooms. I drive by these locations daily on my way to and from work. It only takes an additional ten minutes for me to stop and speak with the office managers to ask if I can leave copies of AFA for their patients and clients. My neighborhood police station is always staffed, and the branch of my public library is open until 7 pm during the week. So, I can add them to my list of places to take AFA magazines.
I am only one Al‑Anon member, but I can draw attention to the fact that alcoholism is a family disease and to the availability of local or electronic Al‑Anon meetings. The information and encouragement in AFA magazines can attract newcomers to our program.
The World Service Office is now shipping AFA 2019 magazines to members, groups, and Al‑Anon service arms who ordered them. It is a good feeling to be one among the Al‑Anon members taking action to help more families of alcoholics receive information about Al‑Anon and referrals to our program from professionals.
By Claire R., Associate Director—Professionals
The Forum, March 2019