... been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker's behavior?
Ask yourself if you have done the following lately:
- Search for hidden alcohol or drugs?
- Pour alcohol down the sink?
- Cancel plans because the drinker is unable to participate?
- Make excuses to cover up problems caused by the drinker?
- Have money problems from behavior caused by their drinking?
- Think that if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be okay?
If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes," then Al-Anon Family Groups may be able to help you. Learn more by attending a confidential meeting in your community, or go to this link to learn more about Al-Anon at http://al-anonfamilygroups.org/podcasts/firststeps/.
This link takes you away from the Great Lakes Bay Area Al-Anon website. Our links do not imply endorsement or approval of the linked site.
At Al-Anon meetings, the members do not give advice to other members. They simply share their personal experiences and stories about how Al-Anon worked in their lives. They then invite others to "take what they like and leave the rest"--as stated in our closing. So one can determine for themselves what information they could use to apply to your own lives.
The best place to learn how Al-Anon works is at an Al-Anon meeting. You are invited to attend any Open Al-Anon meeting. When you make this personal contact, you will take a first step toward the healing process.
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
- Admitted to God, to our selves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I am an alcoholic. I need your help.
Don't lecture, blame or scold me. You wouldn't be angry with me for having cancer or diabetes. Alcoholism is a disease, too.
Don't pour out my liquor; it's just a waste because I can always find ways of getting more.
Don't let me provoke your anger. If you attack me verbally or physically, you will only confirm my bad opinion about myself. I hate myself enough already.
Don't let your love and anxiety for me lead you into doing what I ought to do for myself. If you assume my responsibilities, you make my failure to assume them permanent. My sense of guilt will be increased, and you will feel resentful.
Don't accept my promises. I'll promise anything to get off the hook. But the nature of my illness prevents me from keeping my promises, even though I mean them at the time.
Don't make empty threats. Once you have made a decision, stick to it.
Don't believe everything I tell you; it may be a lie. Denial of reality is a symptom of my illness. Moreover, I'm likely to lose respect for those I can fool too easily.
Don't let me take advantage of you or exploit you in any way. Love cannot exist for long wihout the dimension of justice.
Don't cover up for me or try in any way to spare me the consequences of my drinking. Don't lie for me, pay my bills, or meet my obligations. It may avert or reduce the very crisis that would prompt me to seek help. I can continue to deny that I have a drinking problem as long as you provide an automatic escape for the consequences of my drinking.
Above all, do learn all you can about alcoholism and your role in relation to me. Go to open AA meetings when you can. Attend Al-Anon meetings regularly, read the literature and keep in touch with Al-Anon members. They're the people who can help you see the whole situation clearly.
I love you.