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~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 1508



1.      Q. How do I know if Al-Anon is the place for me?

A.     Al-Anon is for friends and relatives of Alcoholics.  If you have been affected by someone elses drinking then Al-Anon is for you!

By going to the following link:

And placing your cursor over about us in the upper left of the screen, 3 more pull downs open.  One of these is information for the newcomer, and the second is Al-Anon for you; both have good information.

Another good place on the Internet to find out about Al-Anon on the Internet is at Online Al-Anon Outreach at:

2.       Q. What is Al-Anon?  Is it for Alcoholics?  What is the difference between Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous?

A.  Al-Anon is for friends and relatives of Alcoholics, for people who you have been affected by someone elses drinking.

No, Al-Anon is not for Alcoholics, however, many Alcoholics also do attend Al-Anon for the same reason those who are not alcoholics do, because they also have been affected by someone elses drinking.

The fundamental difference between AA and Al-Anon is that AA is for people with a problem controlling their use of alcohol, while Al-Anon is for people who have a problem trying to control others use of alcohol.


3.      Q. Why do I need to have my own program of Recovery?

A.     Many of us who have lived with Alcoholism in our lives have been affected by it without even realizing it ourselves.  Not just in the sense of having to put up with the alcoholics behavior, but in the sense that we ourselves have become irritable and unreasonable without even knowing it.  Having our own program of recovery allows us to take the focus off of the things in our lives, which we cannot control, such as the actions of others, and onto the things in our lives, which we CAN control, our actions, our thoughts, and our happiness.


4.       Q. How do I find Al-Anon meetings?

A.  Help with finding local meetings near where you live may be found at the following web site:

              Or call: 1-888-4alanon

Online meetings are held in the Al-Anon chat room associated with this site.

From the board click on Al-Anon Group Meeting/Chat Room in the yellow box in upper left of the page.  After clicking on the link please be patient, sometimes it takes a while for the window to open.

Using a search engine such as Google, and searching for Al-Anon can find other online meetings.


5.      Q. How can I get Al-Anon literature?

A. Conference Approved Literature (CAL) and other recovery literature can be purchased online from the MIP bookstore at this link:

It can also be purchased online directly from the WSO at:;jsessionid=1546e2d6cd33560/shopdata/index.shopscript

Literature is usually available for purchase at your local groups as well.


6.      Q. What is a Sponsor and How do I get one?

A.  A sponsor is a guide.  Someone who will help you to become acquainted with the Al-Anon program and will encourage you on your road to recovery.  

To get a sponsor, you merely ask someone in the program that you think might be able to help you, preferably someone who has been in the program longer than you, that exhibits some quality that you find attractive.

It is possible to have sponsors online, by asking someone you see in the chat room or on the board that has what you want.  It would be preferable to ask this person in private via private message.

Do not be afraid to ask someone to sponsor you.  Sponsorship is one of the greatest privileges of recovery.  If the person says they cannot sponsor you, dont take it personal.  Some people dont feel they are ready yet, others may already be sponsoring as many people as they can handle currently.  Just find another person and ask until you can find someone willing!


7.      Q. How can I get help with living with physical violence?

A. In the book, How Al-Anon Works for Families and  Friends of Alcoholics  there is a section entitled A Special Word to Anyone Confronted with Violence (Preface ix) please consult this.  We in Al-Anon do not give advice, but realize the importance of not accepting violence or dangerous situations, which may cause harm to our children or us.  If you are in a situation like this please do not hesitate to call the police or having some kind of plan to protect yourself.

The following are some numbers that may help:

Battered Womens Justice Project: 1-800-903-0111. 
National Organization for Victims Assistance: 1-800-879-6682 
National Resource Center for Domestic Violence:  1-800-537-2238
US Domestic Violence Hotline/ General Information:  1-800-799-7233


8.       Q.  Is there somewhere I can find out what abbreviations mean?

A. On almost all chat rooms and bulletin boards people use abbreviations to speed up saying commonly used phrases.

This link: can provide you with abbreviations common to all chat rooms/boards.

Some abbreviations and terms that are more specific to recovery chat rooms/boards:

A or The A : the alcoholic in my life

AA : Alcoholics Anonymous

ABF or AGF : alcoholic boy friend or girlfriend

AFG : Al-Anon Family Groups

AH or AW : alcoholic husband or wife

Active A : an alcoholic who is still drinking alcohol

Big Book : refers to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

CAL : Conference Approved Literature, writings that have been approved by the WSO

C2C or CTC : courage to change

CLOSED MEETING : a meeting of AA or Al-Anon that is only to be attended by members who qualify for either AA or Al-anon

CROSSTALK : During an Al-anon meeting cross talking is speaking when
someone else has the floor and is sharing.  It is also cross talking
when, after another member shares, someone shares and comments directly
about what the other person's share was about and directs it to that
person.  Both of these things are generally discouraged at Al-anon meetings
because it disrupts the meeting, takes away the anonymity of the
person's share and can also become "advice giving" which is also discouraged
in Al-anon.

DRY DRUNK : refers to an alcoholic who is no longer drinking alcohol but who is still exhibiting a lot of the negative behaviors associated with the drinking

ESH : experience, strength and hope

FTF or F2F : a Face-to-Face meeting; real world meetings

HALT : Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

JADE : Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain

MIP : Miracles in Progress

ODAAT : one day at a time

OPEN MEETING : a meeting of AA or Al-Anon that may be attended by anyone who is interested.

Q-tip : Quit taking it personally

TYFS OR TFS : Thank you for sharing

WSO : World Service Organization Al-Anons headquarters

If someone puts your nickname in parenthesis (((((nickname))))) that means they are giving you a cyber hug!

9.          Q. What are meeting times where I live?

A.  Meeting times at MIP are generally listed in for the time it is in
the US Eastern Time Zone.
For:  US Central Time Zone subtract one hour
US Mountain Time Zone subtract two hours
US Pacific Time Zone subtract three hours
GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) add five hours (during US Day Light Savings
Time) or add six hours during US Standard time.
For 2008, DST ends on Nov. 2, 2008.
For 2009, DST runs from March 8, 2009 to Nov. 1, 2009.



1.       Q. How do I post on the board and How do I know what is acceptable to post on the message board?

A. To post on the board you must register.  To do this click on new member in the members login area and follow instructions.  Once you are registered you can log in to the board and the post. There are also posting tips which may be viewed by clicking on posting-how to next to the Submit button on the reply or start new topic screens. 

Guidelines for what should or should not be posted on this board may be viewed by clicking on Start a New Topic or by clicking on Reply to another persons post.  When the next window opens up, where you can write, scroll down to the bottom of your text window, just left of the Submit button you may click on Posting Guidelines and read them. 

NOTE:   Please be sure to log out each time you finish reading or posting on this message board as this does not happen automatically.  If you are on a public computer whether at home or at the library etc., you need to log out so no one else has access to any of your information and you are being kept anonymous.


2.         Q. Is it okay to copy and post things out of our literature (like One Day at a Time, Courage to Change, etc.) on the message board?

A. In the Al-Anon/Alateen service manual it states the following:
Service Tools/Material and Electronic Publishing A listing of Al-Anon/Alateen service tools/materials that may be posted on Web sites is found on the WSO Web site: A credit line "Reprinted by permission of Al-Anon Family Headquarters, Inc" Is required. No other Al-Anon/Alateen copyrighted literature may be reprinted electronically without express written permission from the WSO.

Anytime copyrighted material is posted on the internet on a message board such as this without the written permission of the author, it is in violation of copyright law.  It is out of respect for the publisher, and to insure the future of this site's existence and for who find experience, strength and hope here and the ones who may find their way here in the future that we should all respect the copyright laws. 

For this reason, it is best to post only original material.

3.       Q. Do you have Al-Anon meetings here and How do I get to them?

A. Yes, meetings are held in the Al-Anon chat room associated with this site.

From the board click on Al-Anon Group Meeting/Chat Room in the yellow box in upper left of the page.  After clicking on the link please be patient, sometimes it takes a while for the window to open.


4.       Q. What happens in the chat room?  How are meetings run and what about the rest of the time?

A. Open Al-Anon meetings are held in the chat room twice a day.  Times for these meetings can be found here: Scroll down and find the time listings for Al-Anon meetings in yellow box.  The meetings last an hour and a half and are held with the same format as some face-to-face meetings.

During Meetings:

On Line Al-anon meetings are held with the same respect as Face To Face Meetings. Please do not interrupt {cross talk} while someone is sharing.

Enter an  !  to be called on by the meeting chairperson.

Wait for the chairperson to give you the floor. 

It's ok to greet others as they get the f1oor.

Share 5-7 minutes on topic to allow others time to share as well.

Type  Done  when you are finished sharing. 

Please thank others after they yield the floor.

It is NOT ok to talk during, use scripts during or directly respond to another's share!

During Open Chat

When meetings are not being held the chat room is open to general discussion.

It is common courtesy to greet people as they enter the room. 

This is an Al-Anon chat room.  Its primary purpose is as a place where people can discuss issues related to alcoholism and recovery from the effects of alcoholism.  However, people are free to carry on conversations on any topic as long as it is not offensive to those present.  Harassment of anyone in the room will NOT be tolerated.  A room moderator has the ability to remove anyone who is being inconsiderate of others in the room.

The chat room is a great place to find support and to have open discussion with other members that is not allowed during the meeting times.

Sometimes when there are a large number of members in the chat room, there may be many conversations going on at once.  Do not hesitate to interrupt or join into the discussions, or to ask someone to listen to you. 


5.      Q. How do I get a nickname in the chat room?

A. When you first enter the chat room, you will enter as Guest###, you are required to choose a nickname to be in the room.  To change your name from guest you can enter a name in the box in the lower right of the chat room window that opens or you can enter the following:   /nick nickname:  in the field that you enter text in.

NOTE: When considering a nickname for yourself, remember your own anonymity.  If you do not want anyone else who knows you in real life (your spouse, family member, child, etc.) to happen upon this site and board to know you, pick a nickname that's unidentifiable to those that know you.


6.       Q. How do I private message (pm) someone in the chat room?

A.  Double click on a person's nickname; this will open up another window, which only you and the other person will be able to see.

When you are done, you can "x" out of the conversation or you can go back and forth between a private conversation and the chat room by clicking on the public / private link towards the bottom of your screen in red.


7.        Q. What do I do if I accidentally get banned from the chat room?

A.  On occasion your ip address may become blocked and you will be unable to enter the chat room.  A server somewhere has your isp number on a spam blockers list, and in order for other network servers to take their bans off you, you need to get taken off this list. If this happens try visiting the following site:

After you have been removed from the list, you will be able to enter the chat room again, however this may take up to 48 hours.

If you are still having trouble getting into the chat room, you may need to update your Java software.

To download the latest version of Java visit this site:


8.       Q. How do I know who the chat room moderator/ops are?

            A.  When a room moderator/op is present they will be at the top of the list of those in the room and their nickname will be preceded by an @ symbol.  In addition, during meetings certain members may be designated by the meeting chairperson as "Helpers".  These members will be shown in the room with an "H" before their nickname.  Double clicking on a room moderator or helper will open another chat window where you may ask questions in private about the meeting or Al-Anon without interrupting the meeting.


9.      Q. What are the service positions available here at MIP and
how long are the terms of service for the Group Conscience/ Group
Business Meetings and when are they next up for rotation?

A. There are 2 service positions available at MIP for the Group
Conscience/Business meetings. The positions and their duties are:

Chair Person- The chairperson makes up the agenda for the meetings,
chairs the meeting, does the opening, presents topics, recognizes those
who would like to share, leads discussion and votes, and invites input
from members and keeps members informed of when meetings will be held.

Secretary- The secretary at MIP is responsible for taking minutes of
the business meeting and posting them on the bulletin board for view by

The term of service for each of these positions is 6

10.     Q. How do you volunteer for a service position?

 A. The positions of Business Meeting Chairperson & Secretary are open to any member of the group who wishes to give service.  These positions are held for 6 months and at the end of each term, elections are held at the next Business Meeting. 


11.      Q. When are the business meetings held?

 A. Business meetings are usually held on the first Sunday of the month at 9 pm EST.  Check the message board each month, when the next meeting is scheduled it will be posted on the board.


12.     Q. Where can I view the minutes from the Business meetings?

A. If you are in attendance at the meeting you can request of the Secretary to have a copy of the minutes emailed to you.  In addition, the minutes will be posted on the message board after the Secretary has had time to prepare them.

13.     Q. What do we do if it is meeting time in the chat room and
              there is no chairperson there to chair the meeting?

          A.     If no chair is present to run the meeting, anyone willing may do
                   so.  A simple way to get the meeting started would be to open the
                   meeting with the Serenity Prayer:

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

                 The person chairing can then either ask for two topics or choose two
                 topics (try to keep them al-anon!) and then let people start sharing.

                 At the end of the meeting the person chairing can just close with the
                 Al-Anon Declaration:  Let it Begin with me; When anyone, anywhere,
                 reaches out, let the hand of Al-anon and Alateen always be there; and let it
                 begin with me.

                 If an op/chairperson should show up after the meeting has started they
                 should ask if the person running the meeting needs help and take over
                 if so desired by the temporary chair.

14.     Q. What do I do if I am having trouble getting into the chat

           A. If you are having trouble getting into the chat room, try using the
               following link:




Please feel free to reply to these questions with any additional questions you may have, and someone will try to answer them.


          These faq's will be updated periodically.

           Keep Coming Back!


-- Edited by canadianguy on Monday 15th of June 2009 10:40:02 AM

Laughter is the Beginning of Healing

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 308

Great job David.  I have often thought we should have something like this on the board.  Thanks for your effort.

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Love you all! Karen


Status: Offline
Posts: 4

I just joined and Thank you for the FAQ's they were helpful. 
I stumbled apon this website tonight in hopes of finding a chat for al anon. I have not really became a member of any al anon meetings in my town yet, but I did sit in on one but I was late so no one knew I was a newcomer.  My husband is an alcoholic, we  just recently admitted it.  He says he is, I think he beleives it but I'm not sure.  Last Thursday he drove drunk and wrecked my car (the only one we had because he wrecked our other one 2 years ago and didnt have insurance to get it fixed). I called the cops to file a police report, he was passed out in bed. Luckily my sister was with me when I came home to the mess and she told me that's what I should do.  The cops wanted to talk to him.. long story short, he got arrested for disorderly conduct (sober he is a super nice guy.. jeckle and hyde!). He has to go to court for hit and run and failure to report an accident, luckily they can not get him for DUI.
Anyhow.. he went to 3 AA meetings in a row since (this was all only a week ago) then said he was going to work on reading the book instead.  Well, tonight we were sippose to go see a cool art exibit and I come home to a note that says he had a really bad day and he'll talk to me tommorrow (he was sleeping already).  I talked to him for a second and he said he did drink.
I left it at that, tried not to get too emotional... I can't controll him.... it's hard to let go of that.
I read all these women on here talking about how it's been years... after years... after years. We've been married 3 years, he's always been a drinker, but only in the last 1.5 yrs has it been going down hill with his drinking.  His mom tells me to leave him!  His dad is an alcoholic... none of them have spoke to him in years.  She doesn't want what happened to her to happen to me.  That is extremely hard to deal with... what if she's right?  what if she's wrong?  I dont want to waste my young years.  I don't want to put off having children until he stops drinking to find I'm too old to have kids anymore.  I love him dearly... I don't know how much time to give him... give myself??
I guess if anyone has any insite I could sure use it!



Status: Offline
Posts: 3

Hi David, Just wanted to thank you for your FAQ post. I have never been part of a chat room and I was uncertain as to how to participate. Your post answered questions and eased my concerns. You have my sincere appreciation. Pugluver



Status: Offline
Posts: 7

Ahhh, Here I've found the FAQ. I was looking for that, "FAQ" and all the while it was in front of my face all written out, "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS".
Thanks for putting this all together. It's very helpful.



Status: Offline
Posts: 5

I have a quick question: I am looking for online support for myself trying to deal with my husbands prescription drug and gambling addictions. Is this only for families of alcoholics?


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 835

Hi David,

Hate to admit this, but I just noticed this FAQ page you created and I think it is absolutely great!  You did an exceptionally good job putting it together.

Thank you,


" And what did we gain?  A new life, with purpose, meaning and constant progress, and all the contentment and fulfillment that comes from such growth."

(Al-Anon's Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions,Step 3. pg 21)



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 164

great and helpful post. i feel it should be also posted on the alateen board in case the teens are confused too!



Status: Offline
Posts: 4

I'm completely new to online Al-Anon, this very helpful, thank you.



Status: Offline
Posts: 2

Thank you very helpful

My favorite Anyway by Mother Terresa


Status: Offline
Posts: 1

Have been to two meetings online here this week. Glad to get to read the FAQ's. Thanks for putting them together!



Status: Offline
Posts: 9

I have a quick question....

I see there are multiple forums. For example : Al-Anon family group, and Adult Children..etc. Do i have to register to EACH message board that I want to post in? Or does my log in name work for all the boards?



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 97

Hello Sick-n-Tired! smile


It is my understanding that one has to register individually with each forum.  You can use the same username and password on all or none, that is your choice but, because they are all different in their own right, registering for each seems to be the requirement. Hope this helps! Glad you found us! and Keep coming back!



...He compared his weathered hand to mine and said, ...
GROWTH OF THE MIND AND HEART are the best offers you can give.
my Grandfather (Keeper of Stories), to me


Status: Offline
Posts: 9

thanks so much lacewing!!! That helped a lot!



Status: Offline
Posts: 1

Am new to Al-Anon. FAQ was a big help getting focused on what to do next.
Looking forward to input from the group.


Honey in the Rock

Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 32

This is awesome & so very much needed!

Sooo... I have a question too... :) I was made a room OP a while back & finally figured out how to use everything after 4 months and a really long phone call... LOL

Not long ago, I went to chair a meeting. I signed in on mIRC, and when I tried to OP myself I got a message that read: "Desirae you are not a room operator." The same message appears when I go to kick a guest who is idle for an inconsiderate amount of time/does not sign in, etc.

When I have another room operator OP me, my commands do not work either. When that happens, I can highlight someones name and kick, but it kicks the person exactly two names above them.

For these reasons, I have been asking other OPs to manage the room while I chair. It is turning out to be humorous at times, but I would still like to know how to fix it if anyone knows.

Warning: I am pretty technologically challenged.

...Yes, I had to use spell check to spell "technologically".



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 331

very helpful


Not all my days are priceless, but none of them are worthless, anymore.


Status: Offline
Posts: 5

Hello, I've been seeing the acronym "HP" a lot on the boards. Can someone inform me on what it stands for? Clueless at the moment.


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1016

Hi,  HP mostly stand form higher power, a power greater than ourselves. smile


One day at a time.

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 104

Thank you for this...It sure comes in handy for us newbies! Awesome!


Admitting I am broken, means I can be fixed

Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 65

Quick questions....

What is the average online meeting length?An hour?

Also,at f2f meetings,members normally only share once,is it supposed to be same for the online meetings(besides the meetings that just a few members are present and it's pretty much necessary to share more than once to fill time)?


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 8169

Online meetings can go 1 to 1.5 hours - depending upon attendees. You can come/go as you need to and yes, usually shares are once only unless there is low attendance and/or a burning desire to share more! I attended these for a long while - great way to start and end my day in the beginning of my journey/at times when I could not get out and about. (((Hugs)))


Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 65

Ok,thank you.

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