Loving an Alcoholic Can Be Painful
If you're feeling sad about a friend or relative who is suffering from alcoholism, Alanon can help you learn how to cope. This organization was founded by Lois Wilson, the wife of Bill Wilson who was one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. The organization was created to provide emotional support and information to people who care about an alcoholic.
It is not unusual to be nervous about joining an Alanon Family Group. If you have a friend or relative who worries you because of their excessive drinking or drug use, you may be curious about Alanon. However, finding and attending that first meeting may make you uncomfortable because you fear that you might run into someone you know and embarrass either yourself or the loved one who has a problem with alcohol or drugs. You don't want anyone to know that there is a drinking or drug problem in your home. In addition, you don't want your loved one to be the object of gossip or, worse, to lose their job. You feel frightened, lonely and insecure. You don't know where to turn, or who you can trust.
Alanon was created just for people who are going through situations similar to yours. In addition to offering meetings all over the world, they provide a wealth of printed information designed to help the family and friends of alcohol and drug abusers. Some of this information is in the form of brochures that are given out free to people who visit a meeting. Other items, such as daily meditation readers, can be purchased for a nominal fee. You can purchase these helpful books either at a meeting or you can use this direct link to the Alanon Books section of Amazon.com.
In addition, if you don't feel ready to attend a meeting, listed below is a selection of helpful articles that I wrote and that you can also read, for free, in the privacy of your own home, and without any obligation to attend a meeting. My articles are based on my experience with Alanon over the past 32 years. These articles are not official Alanon literature. They are my personal interpretation based on my own experience, strength and hope, which we are encouraged to share. This organization has been a lifeline to me in dealing with the alcoholics in my life, and I hope to share what I have learned with others.
You just need to click on any of the articles listed below to begin reading more about Alanon, alcoholism and the 12 Steps. After you are finished reading, if you decide you want to attend a meeting, Alanon Family Groups are listed on-line, in the phone books of most communities, and by calling your local telephone information service.
If you do decide to go to an meeting, I want to assure you that other members will honor your need for privacy. It is important to everyone there. In fact, they have a saying that is often repeated at the meetings: "What you hear here, who you see here, let it stay here." This is reassuring to everyone who shows up and it frees all of us to share our problems openly and honestly.
General Alanon Articles:
The articles below cover some of the topics that are often discussed at Alanon meetings. They include discussions of the Alanon slogans, making a gratitude list, and some of the things we should and should not do, especially in our dealings with alcoholics.
Alanon Articles on Prayer and Meditation:
Prayer and meditation are important parts of the Alanon philosophy. There is one prayer, in particular, that is recited at nearly every Alanon meeting. It is called the Serenity Prayer. It has been a powerful aid to many people who have trouble maintaining their serenity when the alcoholic creates chaos in their lives.
Information About Alcoholism and Drug Abuse:
What causes alcoholism? What are the symptoms of drug abuse in teens? What if they use steroids? Where can you find alcohol abuse treatment for your loved one? These articles will help you recognize the problem and find help for it.
Articles On Alanon's 12 Step Recovery Program:
Alanon is based on the same Twelve Steps that they use in Alcoholics Anonymous, although with an emphasis on our relationship with the alcoholic rather than with alcohol. Every Alanon member goes through the steps at their own pace, getting help from members who have been in the program for a while. Here are twelve articles that explain the journey, as I experienced it.
As mentioned above, Alanon is based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization with a long history of helping people recover from their alcohol addiction. However, the Twelve Steps have been adapted to meet the needs of the friends and relatives of alcohol and drug abusers. Alanon has its own books and its own interpretation of how to follow these steps.
As you get involved in this program, you will see that the Twelve Steps have also been adapted to serve people who are suffering from other addictive behaviors. You will find that there are a wide variety of 12 Step programs now available, including Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Whatever problems are going on in your home, we hope that you find the help you need.
(You may want to save or bookmark this article so you can come back to it easily. It will be updated periodically with additional articles that you may find of interest. Feel free to Twitter it, or pass it on to others who may also be suffering.)