The trouble with Al-Anon is that many people have misconceptions of what it really is. These misconceptions keep people from a joining the organization and that is a real shame. Here are some common misconceptions:
1. Al Anon is not a group of people married to drunks who” huddle around a meeting room, making the most of their spouse’s drinking, forgiving them and thinking of little ways to help them.” Melodie Beattie “Codependent No More”
2. Al Anon is not an organization to join if you want to do one more good deed for your alcoholic spouse.
3. Al Anon is not an organization where you sit around discussing the problems of the drinker.
4. Al Anon is not an organization that teaches you how to control “ your” alcoholic.
5. Al Anon is not an organization that instructs you how to get your alcoholic to stop drinking or an addict to stop using.
6. Al Anon is not an organization that asks you to keep giving more and more of yourself to the addicted person.
7. Al Anon is not just an organization for spouses of alcoholics, but helps millions of other codependents in similar circumstances to get their life back.
In fact it’s really not about the alcoholic at all. It’s about YOU – the spouse or loved one.
Alcohol and drug addiction affects everyone whether it is the children of an alcoholic, significant other, mother or father of an addict and other family members. But that can be hard to accept. After all we cry,“It’s the alcohol dependent person that is sick – not me! It is their fault that we are in a financial crisis, it’s their fault that our relationship is falling apart, and it is their fault that I feel lonely, scared, angry and hopeless”.
If you feel exhausted and defeated at the end of the day, and you think tomorrow will be better, and then tomorrow is a hell of a day and on and on – do you really want to feel that way one more day? You too are entitled to “get better.” And that is what Al Anon is all about. It offers support for the people left in the wake of addiction. To get started find a meeting near you. Al Anon offers a simple three-part formula for success called “HOW”: Honesty, Openness, and Willingness.