Al-Anon Family Group

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Post Info TOPIC: Courage to Change November 3

~*Service Worker*~

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Courage to Change November 3

Hello MIP! 

In today's reading, the author shares how good it feels for many new-comers to find a safe place to share openly about their lives and experiences in the Al-Anon meetings. It can feel very good to share something and see people nodding, or have people come up after the meeting and share their appreciation for what was said. 

Sometimes, this can lead to someone oversharing or dominating the meetings. Because our traditions tell us that the well-being of the group must come first, sponsorship becomes an important tool. Sponsorship allows us to get the time and attention we need without taking away from the well-being of the group. 

Today's Reminder: My needs are important. Al-Anon helps me to find appropriate ways in which to meet them. I will take good care of myself today. 

Today's Quote: "Personal details are better left to a Sponsor who can lend a consistent ear and keep a confidence - someone who knows all about you and accepts you as you are." Sponsorship - What it's all about


I've had the benefit of being a part of small home groups with people who had been in the program for many years. I really appreciated the opportunity to talk and express my thoughts fully without feeling like I was dominating in terms of time. However, after a few months, I started to feel as though I was dominating in terms of topics - if I always had a topic to suggest that I was struggling with, how was the wellbeing of the group being prioritized? Sponsorship is a great tool that I found helps with this type of dominance as well. 

MIP has been fantastic for me. I've been able to form connections with people and share at a deeper level, and I've always had the ability to share about myself and what I'm struggling with in full detail here. I've always found that within a few hours, someone is around to share their ESH, and this helps me to feel heard and like I'm not alone. I know the topic of dominance comes up at times for all groups, and I appreciate the guidance the traditions provide in terms of how to best serve the needs of the group as a whole. 

I hope you make today a great day! 



If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. - Lao Tzu

Senior Member

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Posts: 258

Thank you Skorpi for your service, ESH and today's reading.

I so appreciate all that Al-Anon has to offer for recovery and sponsorship is such an amazing

part of it!! Always a grateful member. Happy Hump Day to you and the MIP Family today!


"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 1342

Good morning, Skorpi and DM! Thank you for writing about this great topic -- sharing and sponsorship.

Early in my Al-Anon journey, I would sometimes feel annoyed at group members who shared what I thought were "easy" topics -- like how they used Al-Anon tools in their daily life, their work, with friends. I thought those problems were very minor compared to the chaos I was living through at the moment, and I could not relate to their calmness and cheerfulness when I was so angry. And they were smiling! I didn't appreciate that.

Somewhere along the line I heard, "Bring the mess to your sponsor and the message to your meeting." That gives me an idea of the purpose of sponsorship, someone who is willing to listen to my junk for however long it takes -- which has certainly been true for me, and I have had the most amazing sponsors. And I also realize now that those "annoying" members with seemingly trivial problems might actually have had "messes" that they were discussing with their sponsors, and in meetings they were giving examples of solutions.

Today I am grateful that I am now one of those annoying people who shares about using Al-Anon tools in my daily life, and I am able to tell the story of my "mess" very briefly when I share. It has taken a lot of outside-of-meeting step work with my sponsors to get to this point.

Just another thought on sharing is that we have District-wide or Area-wide speaker meetings and events where speakers are invited to tell their whole story -- sometimes sharing for up to an hour or so -- and that is a cathartic experience, very hard but very healing -- and in those cases the speaker has been invited to be the center of attention, so it's OK.


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 2195

Thanks Skorpi for your service and for all above ESH. I thought back to my very first F2F meeting about 8 yrs ago. I didn't have a clue what the meeting would be like, and many people seemed calm and relaxed. However one other member like myself, was in a great deal of pain and lost. So when it was my turn to share, I just honestly told everyone what had brought me to this point.

This reading and the shares remind me that a newcomer is in a totally different mind set than those of us experienced members. So I can try to have patience and flexibility as new folks get used to program.



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