Al-Anon is a global mutual support group for individuals who have been affected by someone else’s alcoholism. It was founded in 1951 by Lois W. and Anne B., the wives of two early members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Al-Anon provides a safe and confidential space for individuals to share their experiences, feelings, and concerns with others who have had similar experiences. It is a self-help program that focuses on the principles of the 12-step program, but with an emphasis on coping with the impact of another person’s addiction.
Al-Anon is open to anyone who has been affected by someone else’s alcoholism, including spouses, children, siblings, parents, and friends. The group is free, anonymous, and non-professional. Members are not required to disclose their identities or the identities of the alcoholic(s) in their lives. Meetings are held in person, online, or over the phone, and are led by members who are trained to facilitate the group.
The primary purpose of Al-Anon is to provide support, comfort, and hope to those who have been affected by someone else’s alcoholism. Members share their stories, feelings, and experiences with one another, and offer mutual encouragement and support. The group emphasizes the importance of self-care and self-improvement, and provides members with coping strategies and tools to help them deal with the effects of alcoholism on their lives.
One of the key principles of Al-Anon is detachment. Detachment refers to the process of separating oneself emotionally from the alcoholic’s behavior, while still maintaining compassion and respect for the person. Detachment is not about cutting off contact or abandoning the person, but rather about setting healthy boundaries and taking care of oneself. Al-Anon also emphasizes the importance of acceptance, forgiveness, and spiritual growth.
In addition to regular meetings, Al-Anon offers literature and other resources to support members in their recovery journey. These resources include books, pamphlets, audio recordings, and online resources. Al-Anon also offers workshops, retreats, and other events that provide members with opportunities to connect with others and deepen their understanding of the program.
Overall, Al-Anon provides a valuable resource for individuals who have been affected by someone else’s alcoholism. It offers a safe and supportive environment for members to share their experiences, connect with others, and learn coping strategies to manage the impact of alcoholism on their lives.
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