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.