family

5 Reference Readings to Have Handy for Al Anon Meetings

SERENITY PRAYER

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

12 STEPS OF AL ANON

Pulled these from the Al Anon site here. These Twelve Steps, adapted nearly word-for-word from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, have been a tool for spiritual growth for millions of Al‑Anon/Alateen members. At meetings, Al‑Anon/Alateen members share with each other the personal lessons they have learned from practicing from these Steps.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

12 TRADITIONS OF AL ANON

Pulled from VeryWellMind, reference link here.

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
  2. For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose: to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  6. Al Anon .group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every Al Anon. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. AL Anons should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Al Anon has no opinion on outside issues; hence the name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities.

UNDERSTANDING OURSELVES AND ALCOHOLISM

Pulled from Al Anon and Alateen site here.

Alcoholism is a ‘family’ disease. Compulsive drinking affects the drinker and it affects the drinker’s relationships; friendships, employment, childhood, parenthood, love affairs, marriages, all suffer from the effects of alcoholism. Those special relationships in which a person is really close to an alcoholic are affected most, and we who care are the most caught up in the behavior of another person. We react to an alcoholic’s behavior. We see that the drinking is out of hand and try to control it. We are ashamed of the public scenes but in private we try to handle it. It isn’t long before we feel we are to blame and take on the hurts, the fears, the guilt of an alcoholic.”

“Even the most well-meaning people begin to count the number of drinks another person is having. We pour expensive liquor down drains, search the house for hidden bottles, listen for the sound of opening cans. All our thinking is directed at what the alcoholic is doing or not doing and how to get him or her to stop drinking. This is our obsession.”

“Watching other human beings slowly kill themselves with alcohol is painful. While the alcoholic doesn’t seem to be worrying about the bills, the job, the children, the condition of his or her health, people around them begin to worry. We make the mistake of covering up. We fix everything, make excuses, tell little lies to mend damaged relationships, and we worry some more. This is our anxiety.”

“Sooner or later the alcoholic’s behavior makes those around him or her angry. We realize that the alcoholic is not taking care of responsibilities, is telling lies, using us. We have begun to feel that the alcoholic doesn’t love us and we want to strike back, punish, make the alcoholic pay for the hurt and frustration caused by uncontrolled drinking. This is our anger.”

“Those who are close to the alcoholic begin to pretend. We accept promises, we believe. We want to believe the problem has gone away each time there is a sober period. When every good sense tells us there is something wrong with the alcoholic’s drinking or thinking, we still hide how we feel and what we know. This is our denial.”

“Perhaps the most severe damage to those who have shared some part of life with an alcoholic comes in the form of the nagging belief that we are somehow at fault; we were not up to it all, not attractive enough, not clever enough to have solved this problem for the one we love. We think is was something we did or did not do. These are our feelings of guilt.”

Alcoholism is a three-fold disease, physical, mental, and spiritual. What we fail to realize or accept is that alcoholism is a disease. An uncontrollable desire to drink is only one symptom of that disease. Taking care of one symptom, even a major symptom, does not cure the whole disease. Although it can be arrested, alcoholism has no known cure. (Excerpted from How Al‑Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics.)

Al‑Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.

Help is here for the asking. Find out if Al‑Anon or Alateen is right for you. Take a moment to ask yourself some questions: “Are You Troubled By Someone’s Drinking?” (20 questions for Al‑Anon) or “Did You Grow Up With A Problem Drinker?” (20 questions for Al‑Anon Adult Children) or “ Is Someone’s Drinking Getting To You?” (20 questions for Alateen). If you identify with some of these questions, it is important to know that help and hope for friends and families of alcoholics is just a phone call away.

3 OBSTACLES TO SUCCESS IN AL ANON

Reference link here.

All Al‑Anon discussions should be constructive, helpful, loving, and understanding. In striving toward these ideals, we avoid topics that can lead to dissension and distract us from our goals.

  1. Discussions of religion: Al‑Anon is not allied with any sect or denomination. It is a spiritual program, based on no particular form of religion. Everyone is welcome, no matter what affiliation or none. Let us not defeat our purpose by entering into discussions concerning specific religious beliefs.
  2. Gossip: We meet to help ourselves and others learn and use the Al‑Anon philosophy. In such groups, gossip can have no part. We do not discuss members or others, and particularly not the alcoholic. Our dedication to anonymity gives people confidence in Al‑Anon. Careless repeating of matters heard at meetings can defeat the very purposes for which we are joined together.
  3. Dominance: Our leaders are trusted servants; they do not govern. No member of Al‑Anon should direct, assume authority or give advice. Our program is based on suggestion, interchange of experience, and rotation of leadership. We progress in our own way and pace. Any attempt to manage or direct is likely to have disastrous consequences for group harmony.

This text is from the pamphlet, Alcoholism, the Family Disease (P-4), ˝ Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia, 2005.

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