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Post Info TOPIC: Attended my first Al-Anon meeting yesterday


Member

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Date:
Attended my first Al-Anon meeting yesterday


It was not what I expected. I pictured a small group, sitting in chairs arranged in a circle, sharing each others' experiences with our loved one/ones with the drinking problem. 

Rather, the first 15 minutes of the meeting were spent taking turns reading word for word out of a book.  Afterwards was sharing time.  However the discussion was primarily about the recent traffic deaths of friends/co-workers.

I came to the meeting prepared to share why I was there, but it just didn't seem appropriate, so I remained silent the whole meeting. 

I understand that I need to give the process some time, and I do intend to return next week.  And I think I will try a different location this Tuesday.  

I have to admit though, last evening, the entire time I was at the meeting, I felt so angry that I was there.  On any Friday evening other normal couples are going out to dinner, seeing movies, spending time with friends, etc.  Me?  I'm at an Al-Anon meeting.  

Angry.  Just angry.  I did not sign up for this when I married this man 25 years ago.  



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Senior Member

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Hi Maria, definitely try another meeting. What you saw isn't typical of meetings I have been to, especially if they knew you were a newcomer. I also felt angry about the reason I was attending meetings, but soon they became the highlight of my week.

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Member

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Thanks, Freetime. And I apologize if I divulged details about the meeting I attended. I know that everything is supposed to remain confidential.  I'm new to this.  



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~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 7356
Date:

Maria - no worries about your share - the anonymity is more related to the 'who' vs. the 'what' - so it's all good!

There are often different formats on different days at different meetings. I too would try another group and see if it's a better fit! If it makes you feel better, I was angry as he!! that I had to be there and it lasted longer than I care to admit...in my mind, I wasn't the one with the problem!!!!!!!

So - good for you that you went and so sorry that it wasn't a good fit. The first one I attended was similar --- I was overwhelmed and it was a large group and my expectations were not in line with the meeting...

Keep coming back - it's all trial and error!! (((Hugs)))

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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

 

 



Senior Member

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Hi, Maria, I think trying out some different meetings is the way to go :) As for the anger regarding coming at all, I also can relate, but I must say it disappeared when I began to see the first fruits of coming to meetings and experiencing the quiet support of other Alanoners. People here on MIP encouraged me to continue attending f2f meetings (I had stopped for some weeks when I had a virus and then didn't pick up at once when I got better) and I am so glad I did, because it really is different, this direct human contact, and I was actually quite starved for emotional closeness and understanding, acceptance. And yeah, I used to think support groups and the like was something I would NEVER get into, because its just "not for me". Goes to show. I hope you find a meeting that clicks soon :)

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Newbie

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I've been to those meetings where people talk about random tragedies that happened to their children, sometimes related to alcoholism, sometimes not. It's kind of a laissez-faire situation where the intent of that meandering is never explained. I don't think it helps. I moved on.



-- Edited by saveskeeter on Saturday 30th of September 2017 03:58:42 PM

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what?


Newbie

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Hello, I'm new to the group but living/married to an alcoholic many years. I also went to one of these meetings last year and felt the exact same. I felt so let down to be honest, I wanted to talk and listen to other people but we read verses from a book and took turns. I felt the hour could have been spent a lot better. I'm going to take on the advise and try a different group but it means travelling out of way and trying to find time that suits etc. Best of luck with everything, I know it's not easy

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Veteran Member

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I can empathise with ypur rage.  I certainly had it.  Indeed I can touch.on.those nerves pretty fadt around any.alcoholic. 

Good metings are like jewels.  I think it is great you are willing to change uo your schedule. 

When I went to my.first al anon meeting the majority of the participants were in grief mode.  I was in anger and judgement mode. 

 There are many many many ways to work a program. 

I hope you find some relief. 

 



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Maresie


Veteran Member

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I haven't been to a f2f meeting in almost a year for the same reason, but here I am and my life is still affected so tomorrow I am going to a f2f meeting and I will be on-line getting as much support as I can.  This is not an easy life and we have every right to our emotions.  These meetings and people can help us and someday we may be able to help someone who is where we are right now.  I participated in an on-line meeting on Friday night and for the first time in a long time I didn't feel like I was the only one living through a hell that seems to be my life at times.  Keep trying for yourself, you deserve happiness. 



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Veteran Member

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I knew a lot of people in al anon who swore by it.  I.went to some of the meetings they eulogized and did not like them. 

In facr I was generally very very critcal of the program. 

I had a long long list of doubts and obstacles

I do not go to many face to face meetings. These past few years I have been working arpund the clock. 

 

Nevertheless I continue to retur to the program for guidance. 

There are numerous ways we can get support, online being one of them.  

No one says you cannot have other elements of recovery too, therapy, meditation, bibliotherapy and more. 

Some people fond great solace in joining a church 

Recovering from being around an alcoholic is really intense stuff. 

Opening the doors to healing is sometimes a really uphill task. 

I know I permitted not being able to find the right meeting to deter me for a long time. 

I didnt realise I had to take full ownership of.my recovery 

 

Maresie 



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Maresie


~*Service Worker*~

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For those who did not find what they thought, I am reminded that my group does have some different meetings on different days. For instance, one day each month, we focus on the Steps and the other days are topic. If you are not asked, please feel free to share that you are new. If you are not offered a small group, you certainly can ask. And, you can always try other days, other groups, etc.

I did not go back after my first meeting for much of the same reasons. And then....I did because I knew I needed something different than what I had. I went to a different meeting and it felt like a better fit. (((Hugs))) - there is hope/help in recovery when we are willing/open to the program/process.

You are not alone!!!


__________________

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

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 15130
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Hi I must say when I attended my first alanon meeting I too was disappointed as I expected them to give me tools to make him stop drinking. Instead I found a group of people talking about serenity, HP and living life focus on ourselves. I thought this was not for me as I was fine and did not need help How wrong i was !!!
I am glad they told me to keep coming back and to keep an open mind I did just that and found that alanon was not going to give me advise as to how to keep someone from drinking instead they y were going to give me tools to live my life regardless.

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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


Newbie

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I also have had a similar experience. I have an AH in recovery, and it was suggested I attend Al-Anon meetings as well. I have been to one meeting. It was a Step Meeting, so unfortunately as a newcomer I felt lost. It was not an appropriate forum to share my experiences. I have not been back and the meetings in my area are extremely limited. There are 2 beginners meetings in my area and the times just do not work with my schedule. My therapist suggested online. So here I am until I can find a meeting that will work for me.

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~ HarleyGirl~



~*Service Worker*~

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Welcome HarleyGirl - great avatar! Glad you found us and joined right in. If you look to the top left, you can see when online meetings are as well as the link that sends you to the meeting/chat room.

Glad to hear your AH is in recovery. Keep coming back - there is hope and help in recovery.

__________________

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

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 13256
Date:

 

 

Wow!!!  This reminds me of my own mindset when I first got into or near to the program myself.  Al-Anon was suggested cause I had an alcoholic addict for a spouse and a self centered ego larger than life.  Of course If I was failing at getting her clean and sober and still trying how would I be treating a room full of others.  It was all about me and the only ones who knew that attitude and insane condition was the room the majority of which were women.  Her sponsor suggested some AA meetings and I handled that the same way.  I had more judgements (false and without foundation) about the people in the rooms than a saner person would hope to consider and then I wasn't saner at all. I left after making my personal non-rational statements and left with the statements that it would get worse if I removed myself from the program....That was true...very.

After a while I came back with just a bit more rational one being that they knew more than I did and I needed more meetings and more listening.  HP is an artist at helping me to fulfill that need.  The first was a suggestion that I do 90X90...90 meetings in 90 days (did 102) and the other from the closing statement of each meeting..."If you keep and open mind you will find help".

I didn't morph into "Mr. 12stepper" right away and infact I trudged the program for 9 years before I realized that my HP was the one to hold the lantern over the journey and not me.  I also learned trying to self sponsor was next to a death wish and certainly an insanity movement.   Still I made enough "little step advancements" till where I could venture into the deep stuff and it happened.   In time I no longer pleaded that certain meetings and members were responsible for my entire recovery...that is my responsibility...what ever meeting I am at is my choice and what I do with what I hear is also.

Just keep coming back with an open mind and make sure you are following the suggestions especially of the old timers and the literature.   Try the 90 X 90 routine; that could save your sanity and maybe also your life. This is a fatal disease after all.   (((((hugs))))) smile



-- Edited by Jerry F on Tuesday 10th of October 2017 10:36:36 PM

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Newbie

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Posts: 2
Date:

Thanks so much about the avatar!  I hope to become more involved and want to try an online meeting soon!  Thanks for the support.



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~ HarleyGirl~



Senior Member

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Posts: 144
Date:

I would say that at one time when I lived in a big city with lots of meetings I did find various 12 step programs very helpful.

I never did embrace al anon in a face to face setting.

Nevertheless there are ways to get a sense of a program.  One is to go to a speaker meeting where a speaker is the one who shares their story.  It is pretty hard not to go to a speaker meeting and not find something in common with the speaker. Another is to go to special events for programs.  That is a way to get to know a program pretty quickly.  For me I do not have the bandwidth to go to 90 meetings in 90 days if there is travel time involved. 

I do have the ability to spend some time every day on my recovery.  For me that comes in many forms.  

Finding a great meeting can be a really special occasion but it is not a "given".  Sometimes like finding a good therapist it is a matter of trial and error.  When people are in a position of needing support, care and understanding it is pretty hard to persevere and be willing to believe there is a source of support out there. 

Maresie. 



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Veteran Member

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I tried many meetings and became more distressed. The counselor I was seeing told me I was an empath and absorbed too much sadness in addition to my own. The last meeting was this year and a couple of people were talking about their alcoholic family members dying. Although I know that alcoholics can drink themselves to death, the meeting was not uplifting and I found myself realizing that my counselor was right. One on one counseling helps me the best. Everybody is different and we need to choose the tools to break the cycle that we are in. Getting ourselves healthy is our goal in whichever way we can. Coming to this board has been a lifesaver for me because I can choose the topics that inspire me and help me to grow.

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