What can I expect at an Al Anon Meeting

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by bby31288, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    I am thinking of attending a local Al-Anon meeting. To be honest, I am a bit afraid, a bit embarassed. husband has been drink a lot lately and I have to learn to let go...I have laid out on the table my concerns to him. He is still craving the vodka. Refuses to go to AA himself. He is not abusive or anything. I am just worried that someday there may be an emergency or something at home, and he will have had his 3 double glasses of vodka and be out cold! I know he is self medicating, but he refuses to see the Dr. So I have to be that Warrior mom and take charge of myself and my girls. If you prefere to PM me that would be fine too.

    I just don't know what to expect. When I walk in will people talk to me? Ask me questions? etc. Any insight would be appreciated!

  2. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I'm assuming alanon is run pretty much the same everywhere. I attended the parent alanon meeting for close to a year due to my sons drug addiction and I found it to be so helpful.

    I was a little skeptical for the first few minutes because it was run like a meeting where they had a treasurers report etc., but once they got down to business it was great. Someone from the group usually spoke on a topic and then it was open for discussion. From what I remember you didn't ask questions and nobody is really able to tell you what to do in a situation, but they share their experiences and what worked for them, which in turn helps others. You will be asked if you want to speak and some people are comfortable right away telling their story, and others choose to listen and learn from others. There was never any pressure and they always left time for anyone in crisis to speak. You will find a room full of people who have either been, or are now, in the place you are with your spouse. I found it so comforting. They have a great book you can purchase called one day at a time in alanon and I bought it my first night. I read it every single day religiously for the longest time. It still sits on my dresser. Alanon is not to help your husband. It is for you to help yourself and live your life. That usually in turn can help the addict or alcoholic because you learn how to not enable and find inner strength. At the end of the meeting is when people would hang out and talk openly about things going on. The meetings themselves are run pretty formal, but not an uncomfortable formal. I assume they are run the way they are so everyone has a chance to speak without being interrupted or judged.

    I really encourage you to go. I became a different person when I went, which in the end helped me to help my son by not helping him, if that makes sense.

    Let me know if you go and what you thought of it.
  3. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KFld</div><div class="ubbcode-body">... in the end helped me to help my son by not helping him, if that makes sense.</div></div>

    Makes perfect sense.
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    It is the best thing you can do for yourself if you have a loved one who is a problem drinker. Alcoholism affects the entire family, which really stinks, but that is how it goes, and your post attests to that.

    That is exactly what AlAnon is for. You can share as much or as little as you like. The important thing is that everyone there is there for the same thing.

    Good luck to you!
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Al-Anon was helpful to me because it was the first place that told me I WAS being abused and helped me get a handle on defining it.

    The second thing I learned there was that I wasn't alone. I wondered how many other people were there and embarrassed of the situation too.

    I never went to a meeting that everyone wasn't on the edge of their chair to hear the next person, because you see; we're all in the same boat. No one is in a row boat with one oar so to speak.

    I learned about the triggers, how to chart patterns of predictability, and how to say enough is enough and mean it. (Which basically means love em and leave em)

    I am sorry you have to go through any of this. My x was very bad on drugs and alcohol and Alanon helped. I went to narc a non too and decided it wasn't for me, but it was suggested that even though he was the one with a drug habit, I could go and hear other recovering addicts talk about things that helped and things that didn't.

    Hope this helps you some.
    ps: I saw this today and thought of you (Old Chinese Proverb) It is better to do something wrong than to do nothing right. Don't be embarrassed about going - you're doing the right thing.
  6. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Beth,

    I just want to say first off congratulations on being willing to take care of yourself and your girls while you live with the effects of alcoholism in your family. Al Anon is a great place to start.

    In general (my experience), the meeting is conducted in a round table fashion. I see mostly women at the meetings, many with alcoholic husbands, parents or children...sometimes all three!
    There is a chairperson who reads announcements, the Twelve steps/Twelve traditions, the Serenity Prayer, and usually will ask each person to say their first name as they go around the table. Then the chairperson will pick a topic to read unless there is a "burning desire" from someone in the room who would like to choose a topic.

    Often the chairperson will ask if there is anyone new, or if it's anyone's first meeting. If someone does speak up that it is their first meeting then likely the topic will be the "First Step", which is...

    1. "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable."

    "One Day At A Time" is a good literature book from Al Anon. I read "Courage To Change" and often the topic will be chosen from one of these 2 books.
    If it is a First Step meeting the topic could include all of the readings that pertain to the First Step. Each person at the table may read a full page or part of a page and then comment on what they read and how it applies to their lives. If you don't want to comment you don't have to...

    Sometimes there are tears sometimes laughter...likely you will hear someone speak of a situation that very much resembles your own. It's amazing how many of us effected by alcoholism are living parallel lives. The characters are different but the story is often the same.

    I hope you will find lots of compassion, understanding, care, and guidance as I have whenever I go to an Al Anon meeting.

    Hugs and hang in there,
    it gets better!