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Post Info TOPIC: Explaining Al-Anon


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:
Explaining Al-Anon


Hi Everyone-  I have been a grateful member of Al-Anon for 1 year.  Lately, it has become apparent to me that I still have a hard time talking about Al-Anon with my husband.  It took me several weeks of going initially before I told him that I was going and over the course of the past year, it has become a big part of my life and my recovery.  I attend a Wednesday daytime meeting every week but I find that when I want to go to a meeting that would potentially affect "family" time, I shy away from going.  I also find that I talk to my sponsor and other Al-Anon friends in secret or at times when my husband isn't around.  Basically we don't talk about Al-Anon.  We have had a rough year together and there is a lot of tension around alcohol.  Where I could use some ESP is in explaining to my husband what Al-Anon is.  I think it would demystify it for him.  I know right now he really doesn't understand why I go.  I know I need to be able to go to meetings, call my sponsor, etc without hiding it and I think if I could find a way to explain better to him that I go for me, not for him, that would help.  Finding those words has proved to be difficult.   Would love to hear ESH around this topic.  Thanks!!



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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 16174
Date:

Hello CBell,  Welcome.    Al-Anon is a worldwide spiritual organization'that embraces the concept of a higher power and stresses the importance of changing attitudes.  I found if  I  explained that alcoholism is a family disease and that by living with the disease,  family and friends do develop negative coping tools that hurt them.  In order to develop new constructive tools to live by Al-Anon was founded by the spouse of the founder of AA.and embraces  many of the same recovery tools such as the Steps, slogans and meetings. 

 Al-Anon his face-to-face meetings in most communities and the focus is on our own thoughts, fears, anxieties and actions.. It is at these meetings that we learn to explore our own negative responses and develop new attitudes to live by.  

 

There are several tests that people can take in order to determine if they would benefit from the meeting. Here is a list   

If someone close to you, such as a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbour, has or has had a drinking problem, Al-Anon may help.

To help you decide if Al-Anon could help you, we offer three simple self-assessment quizzes:

  • For adults who have been affected by someone elses alcoholism
  • For adults who grew up with and were affected by someone elses alcoholism
  • For teens who have been affected by someone elses alcoholism

The questions in these quizzes are not meant to judge anyone or to assign labels to important people in our lives. The purpose of the questions is simply to help decide whether Al-Anon or Alateen might be able to help.

 There is also helpful iterature at meetings that helps explain the program. 

Good luck and keep coming back there is hope



-- 



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 453
Date:

I have never felt that I have to explain or justify why I am going to a meeting other then I am going for myself, it helps me. I look it the same as any other self care that I indulge in such as a massage, yoga, etc. I don't ask for nor need permission to take care of me. Whether my qualifiers understand or not or like it or not, is not for me to concern myself with. This is a me program and one of the few things that I do strictly for me. If I don't take care of myself no one is going to do it for me. Nothing changes if nothing changes, which is exactly how the disease of addiction grows and thrives. If everyone just maintains status quo it thrives. I finally chose a different way for myself and it sounds like you have as well. 



-- Edited by serenity47 on Wednesday 11th of April 2018 11:25:19 AM

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Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:

That is excellent advice, especially the part about whether "my qualifiers understand or not, or like it or not, is not for me to concern myself with."  I am going to keep that at the top of my mind.  Thank you!



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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 3108
Date:

I'm so glad that serenity47 brought that up because my XAH knew I went to alanon however was totally unaware that because of our little town I also went to open AA meetings to supplement my program. I want to say it was way over a year before it came out and by that time I didn't care if he knew or not. I was getting better and that's what mattered to me.

I have heard sig others say that AA is a selfish program because of it's all about the A .. well I find that necessary to a point the same way Alanon is a selfish program because it is all about my needs and healing. By selfish I mean taking care of me .. not talking about being grossly selfish of I don't care about you ... I'm talking about doing what is right.

Good for you to have a different perception about taking care of you because it takes time to heal from whatever dysfunction is going on and healing from the effects of alcoholism is nothing I can do alone.

Hugs S :)

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"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 599
Date:

CBell, thank you for this great question. Looking back on my experience, talking about Al-Anon wouldn't have made much difference... it was my actions that spoke the loudest. I also found that the fewest words possible was best, not long explanations, and that people absorb information only if they have asked for it.

If someone asked me today, I would say that I go to Al-Anon because it is making me a better person. When choosing between an Al-Anon meeting and family time, I would put weight on the fact that Al-Anon makes me a better family member.

I, too, started doing Al-Anon mostly in secret. I hid my Al-Anon books in a closet. As time went on, I became more open to selected people, keeping in mind my motivation. If my motivation was "it's their fault that I have to go to these meetings," then that wasn't a good reason to share. If I my motivation was to share that I have found something that makes be feel better, then that is a good reason.

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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 8690
Date:

Welcome CBell - I too welcome you here. I also did not share where I was going. In my world, I just made the time and took the time to do it, and just said, I've got some plans. And out the door I went. Trying to explain recovery to others is very difficult unless they have an interest. If you husband is your qualifier, I don't know that any words you find to use will matter since denial is such a huge part of the disease and the person with the addiction is often the last to know...or accept.

Hope you keep coming back - there is a ton of support here too!

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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

Status: Offline
Posts: 224
Date:

Hi CBell and welcome to alanon. When I first attended meetings I just went and didn't say where as I thought I was going for my then AH. Once I realized that I didn't cause the disease, couldn't cure it and certainly couldn't control it because I couldn't even control my own behavior: alanon became my meeting. I would just fix supper and say "Going to my meeting, I'll be back in an hour."

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HES



Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:

Thank you for all the ESH.  I always learn when I reach out.  My big takeaways from these responses are that

-explaining recovery is hard, especially if the person you want to explain it to isn't interested

-given that my husband is my qualifier, it might not matter what words I use if he is not ready to hear them

-my actions will speak louder than my words

-maybe the most simple explanation, if I needed to give it, is that I go to al-anon because it makes me a better person

-always check in with my motivation to share

-I don't need permission to take care of me. Whether my qualifier understands or not or likes it or not, is not for me to concern myself with.

 

Thanks everyone!

 



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