Al-Anon is a support program for people worried about or affected by someone with a drinking problem. Although members come to the program focused on the problem drinker, they soon realize the benefits of finding their own recovery.
One such benefit is often improved mental health. Although Al-Anon is not meant to be a replacement for professional mental health services, our members report improvements to their mental health within 2-3 years of continuous membership. They also shared that they experienced improvement in their treatment, counseling or therapy after attending Al-Anon. (2018 Al-Anon Membership Survey)
In an on-camera interview, Anna, an anonymous Al-Anon member, shares that when she came to Al-Anon, she dreaded every day and was full of rage, shame, and guilt. After some time in the program, she reports that, even though her family members were still abusing alcohol, her mental health improved.
To learn more about the benefits of family recovery Al‑Anon members have experienced, check out the Al‑Anon Membership Survey.
This interview was recorded at the 2018 Al‑Anon International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Members were asked to share about various aspects of the Al‑Anon program and their personal experience.
Members’ anonymity is protected so that they can share openly and honestly about their experience with a loved one’s drinking and with the Al‑Anon program.
The opinions expressed in this video were strictly those of the person who gave them.
The biggest change since coming to Al‑Anon
Interviewer: Anna, could you tell us a little bit about the biggest change that has happened in your life since you started attending Al‑Anon?
Anna: Certainly. The biggest change is my whole personality changed. Before I got to Al‑Anon, I dreaded every day when I woke up because I knew it was another hurdle to get through. It was some kind of crises that was gonna happen. I was full of fear, full of rage, full of shame, full of guilt. And somewhere in doing the Steps—I don’t know exactly when it happened, somewhere between Step Four and Step Nine is what I believe—I suddenly got transformed and from being a pessimistic, gloom and doom kind of person, I became positive and full of joy and optimistic. And the interesting part is that the rest of my family did not get into recovery. Today, I have a daughter and brother who are in Al‑Anon, but for many, many, many years nobody else was in recovery except me. So, the change happened between my two ears—what was going on in my thinking with the help of my Higher Power that I found in these rooms.