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|12-09-2007, 06:28 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In my little piece of heaven
What it all means
I have been getting some questions about what things mean and how it all works. I hope this might help, and I’m sure that others will jump in and explain what I have missed:
Al Anon (and Nar Anon) terminology
Al Anon (www.alanon.org)
For over 50 years, Al-Anon (which includes Alateen for younger members) has been offering hope and help to families and friends of alcoholics. It is estimated that each alcoholic affects the lives of at least four other people... alcoholism is truly a family disease. No matter what relationship you have with an alcoholic, whether they are still drinking or not, all who have been affected by someone else’s drinking can find solutions that lead to serenity in the Al-Anon/Alateen fellowship. (taken from the Al Anon website)
You can often locate a meeting in your area by looking in the white pages of your phone book, or sometimes in the blue government pages. (You can also do a search from the Al Anon website: www.alanon.org)
FTF: Face to Face. This refers to a meeting- Al Anon, Nar Anon, Codependents Anonymous or whatever meeting you might be going to.
Working a program: If you go to a Face to Face Al Anon meeting, you will hear people talk about working a program of recovery. Just like the alcoholics who attend AA or the addicts who attend NA, members of Al Anon have their own program. In Al Anon, you learn about the 12 steps (taken from Alcoholics Anonymous), the slogans, the serenity prayer, getting a sponsor. All of these things are highly recommended if you want to find the recovery and serenity that other members of Al Anon have found. The fundamental issue is that WE work our OWN program, and the Addict or Alcoholic works theirs.
The suggested opening for Al Anon meetings:
We welcome you to this Al-Anon Family Group Meeting, and hope you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy.
We who live, or have lived, with the problem of alcoholism understand as perhaps few others can. We, too, were lonely and frustrated but in Al-Anon we discover that no situation is really hopeless and that it is possible for us to find contentment and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.
We urge you to try our program. It has helped many of us find solutions that lead to serenity. So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learn to place our problem in its true perspective, we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives.
The family situation is bound to improve as we apply the Al-Anon ideas. Without such spiritual help living with an alcoholic is too much for most of us. Our thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions, and we become irritable and unreasonable without knowing it.
The Al-Anon program is based on the suggested Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which we try, little by little, one day at a time, to apply to our lives along with our slogans and the Serenity Prayer. The loving interchange of help among members and daily reading of Al-Anon literature thus make us ready to receive the priceless gift of serenity.
Al-Anon is an anonymous fellowship. Everything that is said here, in the group meeting and member-to-member, must be held in confidence. Only in this way can we feel free to say what is on our minds and in our hearts, for this is how we help one another in Al-Anon.
The 12 steps:
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the care of God as we understood Him
Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
Step 6. Were entirely to have God remove all of these defects of character
Step 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
Step 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all
Step 9. Made direct amends to such people where ever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
Step 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
Step 11. Sought thru 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
Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Easy does it
First things first
How important is it?
Just for today
Keep an open mind
Expect a miracle
Keep it simple
Let go and Let God
Let it begin with me
Listen and learn
Live and let Live
One Day at a Time
Sponsors: a sponsor is a person who is actively working a program of recovery who helps you to work your own program of recovery. Usually, you meet this person at a meeting, and you ask him or her to be your sponsor. The sponsor/sponsee relationship is one of mutual help and support, and its basis is TRUST. This is the person who can help you work the steps, with whom you can share your day to day events & feelings, and who can be brutally honest with you – with love.
This is from the section on Sponsorship from the book Al Anon, How it Works:
Sponsors cannot make the Al Anon program work for others. Each of us, sponsor and sponsored alike, must apply the Al Anon Steps, principles, and practices ourselves. And even the most dedicated sponsor cannot be available all the time. It is important to remember that a sponsor is only one of many voices in Al Anon. If help is not available in the first place we look, it is our responsibility to reach out to other members. Our needs are important. It is up to us to make sure that they are met.
A: This is our way of referring to the Addict or Alcoholic in our lives
AD: Alcoholic/Addict Daughter
AH: Alcoholic/Addict Husband
AS: Alcoholic/ Addict Son
ABF: Alcoholic / Addict Boyfriend
AW: Alcoholic/ Addict Wife
ASO: Alcoholic/Addict Significant Other
EXAH : Ex addict/alcoholic Husband
DH: Divorced Husband
STBX: Soon to Be Ex
SS: Sober Son
SD: Sober Daughter
BIL: Brother in Law
MIL Mother in Law
FTF: Face to Face, as in FTF meetings
IMHO: In my humble opinion
CAL: This refers to Conference Approved Literature. There are many terrific books on recovery from a multitude of things, as well as many wonderful daily inspirations etc (please reference the book/reading lists at the top of the various forums for more information) . The CAL designation only matters if you are at an Al Anon meeting or conference. Within an Al Anon meeting, this is the only printed material that will be referenced. It includes the various pamphlets, daily readers such as One Day at A Time, Courage To Change - One Day at A Time in Al-Anon II, Hope for Today, Al Anon – How it works, The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and more...
Others will be along to explain what I have left out.
What other people think of me is really none of my business!
|12-09-2007, 06:38 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: By The Lake
Great thread, Cats. I'd like to sticky this so newcomers can see it when they arrive.
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
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