Growing up in the family disease of alcoholism taught me not to make any plans, not to trust, not to take risks, and not to rock the boat. Having very little I could truly count on, I never knew what to expect. I felt I had no say in decision-making and how things ultimately turned out.
By the time I found Al‑Anon, I was convinced this was my “lot in life.” In Al‑Anon meetings, I heard a clear and consistent message of love and hope, which helped me on the road to recovery and continues to help today. I am thankful for that consistency that is apparent in every meeting I attend, whether at home or when travelling. It ensures that all meetings:
- Welcome anyone affected by someone else’s drinking
- Use only Conference Approved Literature
- Keep the focus on Al‑Anon-related topics and use Al‑Anon terms
- Guard my anonymity and maintain the practice of “Whom you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here”
- Strive to live with and by the policy decisions approved by our World Service Conference, Al‑Anon’s largest representative group conscience, and
- Adhere to the spiritual principles found in the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Service.
This consistency fosters unity and allows us to achieve our primary purpose—to offer help and hope to anyone affected by someone else’s drinking.
In recent months, unable to meet in person, my home group temporarily moved to an electronic platform. The technology may have been unfamiliar and awkward to some, but the meeting was not. We shared the way to access the electronic information about the meeting format, and, while we had to adapt to a different way to participate, our Al‑Anon focus remained the same! Additionally, we made certain that our temporary meeting information was available for anyone seeking help from Al‑Anon.
I am so grateful for the consistency and unity of the Al‑Anon program. Our responsibility as Al‑Anon members is to make sure that when anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, that same message of hope and help we found in Al‑Anon is always available.
By Sue P., Associate Director—Group Services
The Forum, November 2020
Feel free to reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.
Hi, I’m new. My husband struggles with alcohol. He’s been doing better with bars closed and working from home. That being said, it’s Christmas Eve and we have plans to visit with my in-laws for dinner and gift exchange. My husband’s plans. I come home from work to see he’s been drinking. I wish I didn’t let his behavior hurt and anger me. Now I get to go act like all is well.
Yes, I’m finding this really comfortable as well. I grew up in an alcoholic home but it barely affected me, it was barely alcoholic or so I thought. Predictable, it was not, laughter was frowned upon at all times, unless there was company. My mother was usually angry or had too much to do with expectations that never ended just as I took on that role with my own children, teenagers. My father was caught up with too much drinking, there were no dishes broken, thanks be to God, if anything, it would have been my angry mother doing that… Read more »
I am so grateful for all of you and yes I never thought I would go to an on-line meeting but the connection is there: the love, support, and experiences that are just like mine that make me feel safe and make me feel like I belong.
Thank you for reminding us the even though we can’t meet face to face (ftf), we should still be grateful that we still have a program we can have a meeting and reach out to others.