New Life House is a recovery community focused on healing families of addicts. We are sharing their top ten Al-Anon acronyms that help us heal from broken relationships.
Acronyms and mnemonics always seem to help me remember concepts. Here are some helpful Al-anon acronyms we can use as reminders through out our day.
THINK is it..?: Thoughtful. Honest. Intelligent. Necessary. Kind.
“If only I can learn to quiet my mind before I speak! I do not want to act with impatience and hostility, for I know it will react on me. It is a mistake to think this requires self-control; patience can be acquired by learning to let go of self-will. Jonathan Swift said: “Whoever is out of patience is out of possession of his soul. Men must not turn into bees who kill themselves in stinging others.” (One day At a Time in Al-Anon pg. 20)
HALT if you’re… : Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired.
Be aware when these four physical or emotion conditions arise. When these do arise we are in a vulnerable position to have a severe emotional react.
FEAR: False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.
“In Al-Anon, the answer to “What if? Is: “Don’t project! Don’t imagine the worst; deal with your problems as they arise. Live one day at a time.” I cannot do anything about things that haven’t happened; I will not let the past experiences make me dread the unknown future. “It is a vain and unprofitable thing to conceive either grief or joy for future things which perhaps will never come about.” (One day At a Time in Al-Anon pg. 193)
HOPE: Happy. Our. Program. Exists.
“The first gift a newcomer receives from contact with Al-Anon is hope. Seeing how other rise above their problems, listening to situations worse than their own, absorbing the atmosphere of love and goodwill, send them home with a new lease on life.” (One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, pg.94)
NUTS: Not. Using. The. Steps.
“When I read a step and think about it deeply, I find it opens the door to new insights. When I read that same step again, it reveals new spiritual ideas. They seem to dig into our consciousness and unearth for us the wonderful potential for good in all our relationships with life.” One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, pg.141)
DETACH: Don’t. Even. Think. About. Changing. Him/Her.
“How can I best help the alcoholic? By not interfering when he gets into difficulties. I must detach myself from his shortcoming, neither making up for them nor criticizing them. Let me learn to play my own role, and leave his to him. If he fails in it, the failure is not mine, no matter what others may think or say about it.” One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, pg.29)
HOW: Honest. Open. Willing.
Honesty, open-mindedness and willingness are the three primary principles in laying down a solid foundation for recovery. Honest with oneself. Being open to Power Greater than our selves and willing to take certain steps.
STEPS: Solutions. To. Every. Problem.
“If we have Al-anon, there is no need to stand in our own light and try to solve our problems in darkness. The ways and means that Al-anon offers have lighted the way for so many thousands of despairing people that no one can question their power. “When I am faced with a problem that seems impossible to solve, when I feel trapped in a situation and can see no way out, let me ask myself whether I am standing in my own light. I must find the vantage point where I can most clearly see my difficulty as it is; then answers will come.” (One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, pg.297)
QTIP: Quit. Taking. It. Personally.
“When the guilt of the alcoholic explodes, I must realize that it is always aimed at those nearest, and often dearest. I want to remind myself that such outbursts only reveal the drinker’s own unhappiness. I will not make the situation worse by taking seriously what the alcoholic says at such times. (One Day At a Time in Al-Anon, pg.55)
LOVE: Let. Others. Voluntarily. Evolve.
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” (Thomas Merton: No Man Is an Island)
Which one resonated most with you?
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