Who comes to Al-Anon meetings and why?

Al-Anon members are people just like you and me—people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.  We are parents, children, spouses, partners, brothers, sisters, other family members, friends, employers, employees, and coworkers of alcoholics.  No matter what our specific experience has been, we share a common bond: we feel our lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Alcoholism is a family disease.  The disease affects all those who have a relationship with a problem drinker.  Those of us closest to the alcoholic suffer the most, and those who care the most can easily get caught up in the behavior of another person.  We react to the alcoholic’s behavior.  We focus on them, what they do, where they are, and how much they drink.  We try to control their drinking for them.  We take on the blame, guilt and shame that really belong to the drinker.  We can become as addicted to the alcoholic as the alcoholic is to alcohol.  We, too, can become ill.

Many who come to Al-Anon are in despair, feeling hopeless and unable to believe that things can ever change.  We want our lives to be different, but nothing we have done has brought about change.  We all come to Al-Anon because we want and need help.  In Al-Anon, members share their own experience, strength and hope with each other. You will meet others who share your feelings and frustrations, if not your exact situation. We come together to learn a better way of life, to find happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.

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