Alcoholism is often called a family disease. When a loved one develops a chemical dependency on alcohol, everyone around them is effected. Often, the alcoholic is unaware of how their drinking problem affects other people. After all, as they will often argue, it is their problem and shouldn’t have an effect on anyone else. Unfortunately, it does. The family members and loved ones of an alcoholic have to watch as the person they know slowly turns into someone they don’t. Sometimes, alcoholics can become violent, abusive, and hurtful. Other times they can become withdrawn, neglectful, and absent. No matter how an alcoholic might try to hide their drinking, things still change, and that change is felt by everyone.
Al-Anon is not affiliated directly with the global recovery support fellowship Alcoholics Anonymous. Rather, it is considered a sister program. The one goal of Al-Anon is to help families of alcoholics. So much love, support, time, and energy, goes into supporting the alcoholic. Trying to get them help, cleaning up their messes, coping with their behavior- the family members can easily become exhausted. Al-Anon is a safe and anonymous place where family members can receive the support they need to continue living a healthy and autonomous lifestyle despite the alcoholism of their loved one.
Participating in Al-Anon is never a requirement when a loved one enters treatment for their alcoholism. However, it is commonly strongly suggested. Going to Al-Anon gives family members their own set of tools for recovery; for, when the alcoholic begins to recover, the whole family is in need of recovering as well. Learning to detach and realize that one will never have any control over the alcoholic is difficult for family members. Out of their love and devotion, they will spend every last dollar and bit of energy trying to control their loved one. This is just one area that Al-Anon covers.
Opportunity to Connect
More importantly, Al-Anon meetings are an opportunity to hear the experience, strength, and hope, of families who are learning to live together in recovery. It is easy to think one’s family is the only one struggling with the problem of an alcoholic. Through the meetings, stories are shared of similar trials and tribulations, as well as survival and growth.
In addition to the family therapy programs provided by most treatment facilities, Al-Anon is a wonderful supplement. Healing is possible for the whole family.
Recovery is possible for the whole family, too. Avalon By The Sea understands the importance of bringing recovery into the family dynamic and personal relationships. We offer intensive family therapy programs, regular family counseling, and relationship counseling for all of our treatment programs. If you’re ready to bring healing into your life, call us today for a confidential assessment and more information on our facility: 1 888-958-7511.