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Having someone in our life that has a drinking problem no matter who they are has an effect on us and on our lives. We can easily see how drinking has affected the person in our life that has a drinking problem but we don't always see how it affects us. It's important to take the focus off of the problem drinker and work on our own emotional health and realize that you can't fix anyone else, you can only fix yourself.
Al-Anon is a mutual support group where everyone attending meetings are equals. The members of Al-Anon all have one thing in common; they all have experienced problems with someone in their lives drinking. Members of Al-Anon don't give advice to other members or direction. Members share their own personal stories and experiences with other members in the group and if something they may have said or done can be helpful, you decide how to apply it to your own life.
Members of Al-Anon don't have to pay fees or dues in order to belong to this support group. Each group is supported by contributions from their members which is used for rent and literature for the group but it's completely voluntary and no one is obligated to contribute.
There is never an obligation for a member to attend meetings either. No one takes attendance at the meetings and you can come as often or as seldom as you need or want to. You don't have to talk at the meetings either, some people just like to listen and would rather not share stories with the group. This is ok, if there's ever a time you want to talk and share with the group you're more than welcome to, it's just up to you.
Al-Anon Family Groups are spiritual fellowships, they're not religious fellowships. Members of all faiths or no faith are always welcome. Finding a power that's greater than yourself helps you to find serenity and strength to solve your problems. Through the Twelve Steps you will learn that your 'Higher Power' is your own personal concept and you define it in your own way with your own individual understanding.
Some people are not sure if Al-Anon would be right for them so there is a Al-Anon 20 Question Quiz pertaining to how you were affected by someone elses drinking or there is an Al-Anon Questionnaire pertaining to whether you grew up with a problem drinker that will help you decide if they can be of help. Even if you're not living with someone now that has a drinking problem you may have grown up with someone who did and Al-Anon can help you with that too.
Most people going to Al-Anon for the first time are reluctant and maybe apprehensive. Not knowing what to expect can make a person a little anxious or nervous at first but you don't have to be. Everyone in the group was a new member at one time and they all felt the same way. Members can relate to how you feel and what you've been through and what you're going through now.
It's now time for you to find your own personal path of healing and listening to others speak will be helpful to your own recovery. Many people who are affected by someone else's drinking have had a hard time coping with the difficult challenges and effects alcoholism has had on them and their life. At Al-Anon you will soon come to realize that you are powerless over alcohol and that it's not your fault that someone close to you, possibly a spouse, significant other, or a loved one or friend drinks. You're not alone when it comes to problems you face associated with alcoholism and at Al-Anon you will find peace of mind, support and knowledge that will help you heal. You will learn that there's nothing you can do to help someone stop drinking or cut down on their drinking but you will learn how to cope with the challenges you're faced with due to someone else's drinking.
Al-Anon has 3 Legacies, The Al-Anon Twelve Steps, the Al-Anon Twelve Traditions and the Al-Anon Twelve Concepts of Service. When attending Family Group meetings you will learn how to apply the principles of Al-Anon to your own personal situation. This is a safe and supportive environment of men and women who support each other while going through their own personal recovery.
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