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1st meeting tonight

Old 06-12-2014, 05:57 AM
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1st meeting tonight

I will attend an al-anon meeting tonight, there's a group that meets very close to where I live. For those in al-anon what can I expect?
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:08 AM
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Good for you!!! I hate to not give you a more personal answer (coffee... heading to shower... off to work) but there's been a lot of good stuff written about Al-Anon meetings and what to expect; check out this thread:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ings-like.html

And above all, don't worry. There are no musts in Al-Anon and nobody is going to force you to do anything! (((hugs)))
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:37 AM
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We open with the serenity prayer, then, do introductions (esp if there's a newcomer) read the 12 steps and 12 traditions, announcements, then on to the meeting. We go around the table and take turns reading- the meeting chair will have some pages selected on the meeting topic- then share if we wish to. There's no pressure to read or share, and you're free to pass, especially the first couple of meetings. Those can be very emotional. The last 5 or 10 minutes there should be some time in the schedule for you to ask any questions about Alanon and then close with the Lord's Prayer. After that expect lots of hugs.
My first meeting wasn't a great fit for me, but my second meeting became my home group, so don't be discouraged if this one doesn't seem quite right for you.
Hugs and welcome. Alanon has been a wonderful resource for me. Hope you have a great first meeting.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:36 AM
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Rattler, I think this is a great move for you! I'd second the recommendation to try a few different meetings. There are different formats and different "flavors" (altho all are the same at heart), and you may feel more comfortable at one meeting than another.

Here's the link to the Alanon site's "first meeting" information: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/what-...t-meeting-like There's a lot there, and hopefully it will help you understand how things work. Reading some Alanon literature is a good idea also--your library likely has some, and Amazon has a LOT (used can save you some $, if that's an issue).

As others have said, you won't be expected or required to do a single thing. Just show up and listen w/an open mind and heart, and speak if you feel moved to do so.

I hope you feel the weight lifting off you after the meeting--please do post and let us know how things went.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ladyscribbler View Post
We open with the serenity prayer, then, do introductions (esp if there's a newcomer) read the 12 steps and 12 traditions, announcements, then on to the meeting. We go around the table and take turns reading- the meeting chair will have some pages selected on the meeting topic- then share if we wish to. There's no pressure to read or share, and you're free to pass, especially the first couple of meetings. Those can be very emotional. The last 5 or 10 minutes there should be some time in the schedule for you to ask any questions about Alanon and then close with the Lord's Prayer. After that expect lots of hugs.
My first meeting wasn't a great fit for me, but my second meeting became my home group, so don't be discouraged if this one doesn't seem quite right for you.
Hugs and welcome. Alanon has been a wonderful resource for me. Hope you have a great first meeting.
My first meeting last night was like this. What I was expecting was to be asked to share my experience and what brought me there, but I was not asked to do so and others in the group didn't either. There was one newer member in addition to myself. Maybe in further meetings.
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:17 AM
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Rattler, you'll find there is almost no direct discussion of the alcoholic in Alanon meetings. That's b/c the focus is placed on us, the wives/girlfriends/partners/parents/children/friends, rather than on the A. Since there is nothing we can do to control the A and the only person we can control is our self, this makes sense.

I felt like you did when I first began going to meetings--I wanted to tell my story and hear those of others. I found it a bit frustrating that we never seemed to talk directly about our situations. I learned that arriving early at meetings and/or staying a bit late (to put chairs away, etc.) can be a good way to get to talk to folks outside the actual meeting format. If someone at the meeting seems to strike a chord w/you, you can certainly contact her to meet for coffee and a chat outside the meeting, too. Did you receive a phone list so you can contact the members outside of the regular meeting times? I think most meetings hand these out to newcomers as a matter of course.

Again, I found that reading Alanon literature helped me to understand what was going on at the meetings. "How Alanon Works" and "Paths to Recovery" are particular favorites of mine. You also might benefit from one of the daily readers such as "Courage to Change" or "One Day at a Time." In fact, if you'd like to see what one of these daily readers is like, Carlotta posts the reading from "Courage to Change" here on the F&F forum each day.

Glad you found the courage to go, and I hope you keep on going. Your understanding and strength will grow in time.
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by honeypig View Post
Rattler, you'll find there is almost no direct discussion of the alcoholic in Alanon meetings. That's b/c the focus is placed on us, the wives/girlfriends/partners/parents/children/friends, rather than on the A. Since there is nothing we can do to control the A and the only person we can control is our self, this makes sense.

I felt like you did when I first began going to meetings--I wanted to tell my story and hear those of others. I found it a bit frustrating that we never seemed to talk directly about our situations. I learned that arriving early at meetings and/or staying a bit late (to put chairs away, etc.) can be a good way to get to talk to folks outside the actual meeting format. If someone at the meeting seems to strike a chord w/you, you can certainly contact her to meet for coffee and a chat outside the meeting, too. Did you receive a phone list so you can contact the members outside of the regular meeting times? I think most meetings hand these out to newcomers as a matter of course.

Again, I found that reading Alanon literature helped me to understand what was going on at the meetings. "How Alanon Works" and "Paths to Recovery" are particular favorites of mine. You also might benefit from one of the daily readers such as "Courage to Change" or "One Day at a Time." In fact, if you'd like to see what one of these daily readers is like, Carlotta posts the reading from "Courage to Change" here on the F&F forum each day.

Glad you found the courage to go, and I hope you keep on going. Your understanding and strength will grow in time.
Yes, I did receive all this, but there was only one copy of a phone list. I haven't read the material just yet since I had another thing to go to following the meeting and then straight to bed when I got home. I will attend again
next week.
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:57 AM
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You may want to check out a beginners meeting. My home group always held a couple of special meetings away from the main group for beginners (6 meetings or less). You went to the opening and then the beginners went to their beginners meeting in another room, then you came back for the closing.

Beginners meetings are more informal, the leader will explain how al anon works and when I lead a beginners meeting I would also share my story to break the ice. People were given the opportunity to ask questions and share if they wanted to. Cross talk was allowed. I would always focus on how al-anon was for you and how it was possible to let go of the pain and suffering that being in a relationship with an alcoholic causes.

You didn't have to go to 6 but I found that 2 or 3 of this was a great way to get someone up to speed on al anon and how it can work for you.
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