In one of our recent posts there was a lot of interaction from our readers. I noticed a common thread throughout the comments, many of you highly esteemed the Al-anon program.
I’ve heard thousands of testimonials through the years of people who have had life-changing experiences as a result of participating in the program.
I’d love to hear about your experience with Al-anon. Please feel free to leave comments at the bottom of this page.
What is Al-anon?
“It is a fellowship of men, women and children whose lives have been affected by compulsive drinking of a family member or friend.”
When did the fellowship begin?
The program was started in 1951 by the wife of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) co-founder, Bill Wilson.
Does it cost money to participate?
No! One of the traditions of the program states: “we are fully self-supporting.” There is a basket that is past around during the meeting for donations. There is no obligation to contribute monetarily in exchange for participating.
My Testimony Of How Al-anon Has Helped Change My Life
My journey in finding the Al-anon program began when I had finally reached an unbelievable level of frustration with my alcoholic spouse. For years I had been irritated with how things were going in our family, but was able to tolerate all of the dysfunctional circumstances through maintaining a relationship with God.
As my alcoholic wife progressively got more addicted to prescription pills, the roller-coaster ride of intense emotions increased dramatically. For years I had been able to endure some occasional verbal abuse, but when she started using more harsh substances than alcohol, her erratic, abusive behavior was like a locomotive at times. As her disease progressed… so did the abuse. Eventually, I found myself being physically hit on too many occasions.
It seemed as though I never had a moment of peace during that season of my life. Form the time I awakened – until I would go to bed, my mind was consumed with thoughts revolving around our dysfunctional alcoholic relationship.
I finally found myself talking with someone who was in Alcoholics Anonymous about how awful things were at home. They told me I needed to try Al-anon. “What is Al-anon?” I replied. I had been attending AA for about three years at the time to ensure that I would not slip back into the death grip of alcoholism myself. I had no idea that there was a group of people that were helping one another cope with alcoholic relationships.
I remember looking up the phone number in the Yellow Pages and calling the hot-line. Someone guided me to the nearest meeting over the phone. That night was the beginning of my life changing forever and God answering a desperate cry for help.
I have since been a faithful participant in the fellowship for over ten years. I’ve learned how to deal with alcoholics through interacting with “wise” friends in the program, by attending meetings, reading literature, hands-on-experience and through maintaining a close relationship with God. One of my favorite things to say in an open meeting is: “I’ve met some of the best friends I’ve ever had in Al-anon.”
Al-anon is a place where people find help to relieve their frustrations, make lifelong friendships, discover the Courage To Change and learn how to live a much happier life. All of these things happen while some people are living with an alcoholic and others are not.
I attended meetings regularly for three years before my wife expressed she wanted to get divorced. During that time… I learned how to set boundaries, how to love an alcoholic without conditions, the importance of getting out of harm’s way, what an alcoholic’s personality is like and was given an entire arsenal of coping skills.
I can truly say, my life will never be the same because of the things I’ve learned through the Al-anon fellowship. Today, after ten years of participating, the principles of the program help me with many different types of relationships, not just ones with alcoholics.
I would love to hear your testimonials about the Al-anon fellowship. Please feel free to share your experience, strength and hope in the comments section below.
I have to admit I struggle with the al-anon concept of letting go. My A is my daughter and a mothers instinct is to protect, I know that to let HP take over makes sense but I have a hard time doing so daily. I would love to hear from other mothers in my situation to share
Haven’t been to Alanon, but I think the ‘letting go’ part is letting go of the horrible emotions caused by the Alcoholic’s bad behaviour and accepting it as fact. You don’t need to let go of your love for your daughter. In her, she is still the sweet little baby and girl you nurtured in the world. Just let go of the bad behaviour around the alcohol she consumes and love her for her. Alcoholics do need their mother, father, brothers, sisters to still love and support them but not their intollerable bad habit and negativity it produces. Hold their hand and pray with them they find the strength to battle themselves with their addiction and come out whole at the other end. We can’t do it for them, but with love, guidance and good intentions may they find their way home again.
It’s time to separate your emotions from the bad behaviour and reconnect with your daughter when she’s back on this plane.
So, let go of the bad behaviour and negative emotion but never let go of your little girl’s hand.
Hope this helps. Thinking of you. I hold your hand in my heart as you hold your daughter’s hand in your hand.
Alanon is a wonderful program to be apart of…life changing! I’ve been able to live with an alcoholic for the past thirteen years with the help of the program
Some of us are really not a good fit for Al-Anon. I have read a lot of
their literature and while good, they seem to be more of a
co-dependency support group for women co-dependent on their alchey
I am a husband of an alcoholic — though she has yet to admit it to
At the moment she has agreed to quit drinking in exchange for me not
going to Al-Anon meetings.
However with a DUI, 4 felony counts of child endangerment (kids with
her in the car), and a judge on the case who stated, “You had FOUR???
kids in the car with you????” I think the problem is evident.
With her having gone through 1.75 L of Rum in a week — in 3 nights of
absolute binging — and lying about smoking (cigarettes)…. I need a
site like this to at least read and figure out how to detach and still
love my sweet heart.
Food for thought:
Is the A in your life, your wife, using the binging as a cry for attention as well as satisfying her alcohol craving. If you aren’t already, be self aware of how you react in the midst of the drinking and after. The good teachings seem to support that we don’t react to their alcohol fuelled outbursts. And perhaps even after the fact when she is sober don’t create a scene amount the cigarettes, lying and the alcohol. Pretend like it didn’t happen. Is she getting emotionally fuelled by your reaction and dissatisfaction for some time after the event. This dissatisfaction could be in the tone of your body language rather than just what you say; let your body and face smile and shrug it off. It will be better for you spiritually than to carry the burden of it around with you, even if you aren’t voicing your dissapproval. This is detaching.
This site here is excellent for methods on how to deal with the alcoholic in a calm and rational manner for your sake as much as theirs. I find by reacting to an alcoholic outburst in a calm and collected manner helps keep your emotions in check, thus detaching from the misbehaviour and able to cope with the situation.
Search on this site:
“Ways to Forgive An Alcoholic”
“Forgiving the Alcoholic”
“Family Confusion Alcoholism Problems” particularly the text “let go of things you have no control over”. It’s a saviour for self.
“How to Cope With An Angry Alcoholic”
and even “Dealing With An Alcoholic Husband” of course in your case you can reverse the mention of the ‘husband’ to wife. Still applicable for you in your reverse situation.
“Tough Love With Alcoholics– Changed Behaviour Is Not Cruel”
“Loving The Alcoholic By Letting Go – How Can This Be Love?”
“Changing My Attitude Toward The Alcoholic”
& lastly “How Should We Respond When An Alcoholic Gets Sober”
You may find the text there that will strengthen your resolve to detaching. Wishing you every success. We are all in it together here.
My A is my husband. We’ve been married for 6 years +. I knew that my husband drank in college, but I didn’t know how much and how often since I didn’t live with him. I only found out the truth after we we got married while living together. He drank everyday and more and more each day after next. It’s as if he was competing with himself. During the first 5 years, I tried to cope with the disease by finding ways to make myself happy like shopping or brushing things off in hopes that he would slow down or quit. Of course I asked him to stop drinking, but that never yielded good results. I went as far as creating a family thinking that he would stop, but actually, the opposite happened. About 1.5 years ago, I woke up one day and decided that enough was enough. I threatened to leave thinking he would change for me and our daughter. Again, the result was not good. Since then, we have been living in the same house as roommates who don’t like each other. We are in the same house for the sake of our daughter. The house has become a war zone that I never wanna go home to, if it wasn’t for our child. Before, it used to be just beers and lots of it….now it’s heavy stuff and lots of everyday. About 1.5 years ago, he started going to the bar because he has a need to socialize since he works at home if he doesn’t get called to service the hospital’s medical equipment. He drinks and drive nightly to and from the bar. He recently got a DUI, and I thought for sure that would wake him up. Sadly, it didn’t. All these times, I have been verbally and emotionally abused. The only good thing is that he hasn’t hit me. I find it quite hard to concentrate at home and at work because I’m consumed with worry, hopelessness and despair. No amount of pleading helps my case. You know, you love the person in your life so you don’t want to see them ruin their life and our family, but everyday, they do this thing to themselves and affects our family. A friend told me that Al-anon is a good place for me. Please tell me how acquiring coping skills would help me live with an A? By me going to these meetings, I feel like I’m just learning how to be a co-dependent. Yes, it will help me detach myself from all the emotions and pain that goes through my head, but will Al-anon help save our marriage?
Before going to Al-anon my life was a wreck. I had no idea how much alcoholism had slowly eroded away at my life. It was suggested that I try several different meetings in the beginning. I’ll never forget the warmth I sensed as a lady approached me after my first meeting and said; “Keep Coming Back!” That was several years ago and I’ve probably attended close to 100 Al-anon meetings since. It’s an amazing fellowship of men and women helping one another to relieve the stress of a common problem, alcoholism in a friend or family member. I am in the program for life. One has to experience Al-anon to really appreciate what the fellowship has to offer.
My English is not very good, but I try to reed and understand all the articles and comments about this subject. I am a codependent wife, lucky that my husband have accepted to connect to an Al-A- Non group there are 2 years . First when I have been told that I have to participate at the meetings for families, I thought I don”t need it because I am not the “problem” , my husband is. At that time I was about to divorce. Getting my first meeting with the Group, I have understand that I cannot change my husband but I can do something for myself. I started to make , step by step the 12 steps, it was a revelation for me, now I’m in a process of heeling, my relation with my husband is better than ever, he started to do the steps because of me, our family life is much better.He is drinking less, I don’t react like before, so he has no motive to make me feel miserable. And we are over 50 Years old, more than 25 years married, nobody gave us a chance and now everybody admires us. It’s pity I didn’t find this group earlier but I feel lucky I found it ay last and my husband is getting better and better every day, and also myself, I appreciate the help you give me with every story and comment. Thank You very much
[…] search using your city location, you could find an Al-anon meeting near you. There are millions of testimonials about the Al-anon program spread throughout the […]