According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of the US population drinks alcohol. Not everyone who drinks has a problem, but drinking to self-medicate for depression or anxiety can quickly lead to trouble.
When addiction takes hold, it warps the body and mind and could lead to irrational choices and self-destructive behavior that affect those close to them. As family members and friends helplessly watch their loved ones spiral out of control, they end up experiencing mental, physical, and even financial anguish.
If you’re a loved one or someone struggling with alcoholism, you don’t have to go through this experience alone. Groups like Al-Anon are specifically designed to provide incredible support to families of alcoholics.
What is Al-Anon?
Al-Anon Family Groups, often abbreviated as Al-Anon, are not the same as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Anne B. and Lois W., wife of AA co-founder Bill Wilson, recognized that the families impacted by alcoholism also needed support, so they created Al-Anon. It shares some concepts like the 12-step process, but it is translated to meet the alcoholic’s family’s needs.
For kids who have a parent or other family member suffering from alcohol abuse, there is Alateen. Alateen is a subgroup within Al-Anon targeted to help teenagers work through issues caused by a loved one struggling with alcoholism.
How Does Al-Anon Help Families?
As the spouse, child, or parent of an alcoholic, you are in a particularly vulnerable position. You may be dealing with shame, secrecy, manipulation, financial trouble, legal issues, and various physical and emotional trauma resulting from your loved one’s addiction. Al-Anon puts you in contact with other families experiencing similar struggles. You can seek confidential counsel from people just like you and share your successes, failures, and concerns in a supportive, nurturing environment.
Al-Anon can help whether your loved one is still drinking or is in recovery. Unless the family works to heal the damage caused by addiction, anger and resentment can continue to wreak havoc in your home. Al-Anon can help you work through those negative feelings, so you can understand your loved one’s chronic disease and learn to forgive their behaviors and actions caused by addiction.
Al-Anon Can Help with Self-Blame and Self-Esteem Issues
Many people struggle with self-blame over their loved one’s addictions. When your loved one was in the thick of the addiction, you and your family may have fallen into the victim triangle, taking turns:
- Smothering your loved one
- Persecuting them for not being able to stop drinking on their own, and
- Getting down on yourselves for not being able to stop the addiction
But the reality is, alcoholism is a chronic disease that isn’t anybody’s fault. Al-Anon helps you break free of these victim triangle habits so you can begin to recover from your loved one’s addiction.
By keeping the focus on yourself and what you can control, you can begin to change your own attitudes and actions in ways that will foster healthy growth and development.
Alcohol Rehab at Cycles of Change that Heals the Whole Family
If your family is ready to heal from alcoholism, Cycles of Change is here for you. Whether you need help with an intervention or therapy designed to repair your familial relationships, our luxury residential rehab center in Palmdale, CA, is equipped to deal with your unique situation.
The experienced, caring staff here is fully invested in helping your loved one achieve and maintain sobriety, as well as assisting your family throughout the recovery process. Talk to one of our specialists today and begin the healing in your home.