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Alanon question

Old 08-09-2014, 06:27 PM
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Alanon question

I still haven't been to a meeting and there's one in the morning I'm thinking of going to. But it's confusing because it says it's open door and a newcomers meeting at 10a.m. but then it says beginner's meeting at 9. I have no idea what to expect. Any tips?
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:34 PM
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If sharing comes around to you or someone asks if you'd like to share just reply "thanks but I'd like to listen for a while". And each meeting is different, you might be unlucky or not... if the meeting doesn't work for you then try a different one. Might take a while for the material to sink in or you might be a "1st nighter", or maybe you'll prefer something else. Going to alanon is the best thing I've ever done...

Good luck!
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:53 PM
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Hi, meggy. From what I've seen, the "beginner's meeting" is usually a small meeting of newbies that is run by a couple of experienced Alanon folks. Rather than having the format of a regular meeting, it allows for more explanation and question asking about Alanon and how it works. I don't know that it's necessary to attend the beginner's meeting unless you so choose; there's no rule stating you must attend X number of beginner's meetings before you're allowed into regular meetings.

My first meeting was a "beginner's meeting", followed immediately by the regular meeting at that same place. I attended 1 more beginner's meeting, then just started going to regular ones as I didn't feel the beginner's meetings were nearly as helpful to me as the main meetings. YMMV.

I'm not familiar w/the phrase "open door" meeting. We do have "open" meetings by us of both Alanon and AA. Here's the difference: A regular meeting is only open to those who "qualify" (not that anyone asks you)--to attend a regular AA meeting, you should be an A; to attend Alanon you should be family or friend of an A. An open meeting is one where anyone at all is welcome, and there will be a couple of speakers from AA/Alanon rather than the usual meeting format of sharing, etc.

So I can't say if your "open door" meeting is the same as an "open" meeting or not. Maybe someone else knows the phrase and can shed some light.

You've probably seen this before, but in case not: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ings-like.html

There is also a lot of info on the Alanon site itself about what meetings are like and how Alanon works. http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

I'm glad to hear you're thinking of going. I hope you do decide to check it out. I don't think you can really go wrong if you do--either way you'll certainly meet more people who understand and you'll learn more about those particular meetings and also about other meetings in the area. You have nothing to lose by going except an hour or two of your time, and everything to gain.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:24 AM
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Hello Meggy,

Give it a try. It took me a two meetings to find a group I liked. I go to a day meeting. It works well for me. It draws am interesting mix of people like me slipping out of work, people who have much more freedom in their work schedule, And retirees. One of my favorite attendees to my meeting only shows up when her golf league gets rained out. She has such amazing things to say. I am truly in awe of her. I should probably ask her what her other meetings are as I imagine she raises the bar wherever she goes.
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:26 AM
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Just a suggestion...if you try a meeting and dont feel like you "click" dont give up on it...give it another try after a while. I was very turned off by the first meeting I attended. Folks were very unwelcoming...I went back to this group a few months later and it was a different bunch of people who were there, making it a different dynamic...and although still not the best feel for me, I do feel like it is worth attending weekly. I attend 2 per week now. If I had an oportunity to attend a new comers I would if only to get some idea of what to expect at the full meeting...I dudnt even know where to ait or have a book let alone know which one I would need! It was uncomfortable for a control freak like me!

Good Luck!!
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by involved View Post
If I had an oportunity to attend a new comers I would if only to get some idea of what to expect at the full meeting...I didnt even know where to sit or have a book let alone know which one I would need! It was uncomfortable for a control freak like me!
Ah, but you give other folks a chance to help when this is the situation! I love it when I can offer to sit w/someone who appears new and/or ill at ease. I am thrilled to death when I can offer to share my book w/someone b/c they don't have one.

And I have learned to relax and let go (and a big part of Alanon is exactly that, letting go) when I go to a meeting I'm not familiar with. I know that someone else will be delighted to share their book w/me and help me along if I appear unsure of the format at any point. It's a great exercise in trusting that your needs will be met, even if you don't know exactly how...

Alanon can be pretty amazing.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:36 AM
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Every Alanon meeting I've been to goes out of their way to make newcomers welcome. Not by pressuring them to share or talk, but as far as welcoming, sharing literature, explaining the program and how it has helped members and with members sharing their stories and experiences. My home group is a daytime meeting. I also hit the Saturday night meeting a couple times a month. They have different vibes, but newcomers are always welcomed warmly. After all, the newcomer is the most important person in the room at Alanon.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:11 AM
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I would imaging that most people didn't start with a beginners meeting. I know I didn't. In fact, the city I live in only just added a beginners meeting to the roster. Our group has two greetings. If we see a new face we read a special greeting for newcomers, and someone sits next to them to guide them through what's going on. Of course, they never have to share, or even speak at all, if they don't want to. Afterwards, there's usually a few who stick around and try and chat with the newcomers a bit to answer any questions.

Please update us if you go, and let us know what you think.
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by honeypig View Post
Ah, but you give other folks a chance to help when this is the situation! I love it when I can offer to sit w/someone who appears new and/or ill at ease. I am thrilled to death when I can offer to share my book w/someone b/c they don't have one.

And I have learned to relax and let go (and a big part of Alanon is exactly that, letting go) when I go to a meeting I'm not familiar with. I know that someone else will be delighted to share their book w/me and help me along if I appear unsure of the format at any point. It's a great exercise in trusting that your needs will be met, even if you don't know exactly how...

Alanon can be pretty amazing.
Thats the point of my post...these things didn't happen at the first meeting I went to.! At the end of the meeting I stayed (because they say arrive early, stay late) and everyone grouped up and had their meeting after the meeting, so I tried to help clean up. Not knowing what the procedure was I asked, "what can I do"? The woman said "nothing"! No one aproached me and I stiod there with my face hanging out and finally left! I didnt try another meeting for over 6 months! It was not a good experience...thankfully when I decided to give it another try with different results. I have seen new comers treated differently depending on the night and the people who are there. I attend another meeting on a ifferent night that is
is sooo different and surprisingly there are a handful of folks who also attend that monday meeting...and they seem to be the helpful ones! But even still these group is also not overly warm to new comers...in fact I have yet to see repeat new comer attendence at either meeting and I have been going for 7 weeks now..

So dont quit if you have a bad experience!
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:48 PM
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Thankfully the two meetings I go to are both very careful to greet and reach out to newcomers but thats hardly representative. Those 1st impressions are so important.. I think its easy to be in the midst of working your program and forget that.
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:59 PM
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My first meeting was a newcomer meeting, and it was my least favorite of the ones I've attended. The first thing somebody did was shove some books at me and say, "Here, these are for sale."
It was held at a rehab, and really seemed geared toward people who had someone at the rehab, so maybe that was why. I feel like my home group does a much better job of welcoming newcomers. We give a copy of How Alanon Works to every newcomer who attends. The newcomer meeting didn't even have a welcome packet put together for people. Maybe I just went on an off night, but I haven't been back to that one.
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