The first meeting I attended, I wondered… “Does Al-anon really have what I need?” At the time nothing would work to get the alcoholic to quit drinking. Well, little did I know, I learned in my first meeting that there was nothing that I could do to force the problem drinker to quit. I also learned that I was not the cause of them drinking. No matter how much the alcoholic wanted to blame me for their problem, the people in the meeting told me that I was not to blame for them drinking excessively.
If you are considering attending a meeting, don’t delay! Yes, Al-anon does really work wonders for family members, friends and co-workers of people who constantly consume alcohol.
If you can find a beginners meeting that’s the best one to start out with. In those gathering you can talk to people who know the pain of living with active alcoholism. Not only do they know the pain, but good friendships will be developed as they begin to love one you and teach you how to cope with the difficult situation.
In the “Beginners Meeting” that I first attended it was suggested that I give the program at least six months before making any major decisions. So, guess what, I stuck it out for six months and then decided to make Al-anon a way of life.
The program really does work wonders and even miracles. It’s basically all about learning how to change behaviors and attitudes. Some of the first things that are learned are that you did not cause the alcoholic to drink, you cannot cure them and it’s not your fault. You did not cause them to drink.
What to Expect From Al-anon
Here are a few things that are guaranteed once you begin to participate regularly. One of the things that the program says is: “Take what you like and leave the rest.” There are no “must-dos” in the program.
1) Friendships were what I didn’t expect from Al-anon but yet I have met so many wonderful people and a few are friends for life.
2) Help dealing with anger that seems to be out of control is something that I valued most when I first started going. The suggestions that people were offering really would work for me.
3) New methods of conversing with the problem drinker that will cause less fighting and more peace and serenity in your life.
4) Change- This is the heartbeat of the Al-anon program. There’s a book that is called Courage to Change. It is a daily devotional type book.
5) You can expect that your way of life will change from obsessing over the alcoholic to living a life filled with fun things. It’s funny, when I first came into Al-anon, I wondered why everyone was so stinking happy. Eventually I got happy to, once I learned how to let go of the problem alcoholic and live my own life to the full.
I suppose that the best way to find out if Al-anon really works is by attending six weeks worth of meetings. That is what was suggested to me when I first started in the program. So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, Al-anon really works! What you gain from the program will be dependent upon your wiliness to participate. They have what you need, trust me on this one.