Monday, 15 December 2008

Al Anon Meeting


"Yes, well, when she's on a binge it's pure hell. There is mess everywhere.......Am I boring you? What's the first step, Charlie, I've forgotten...............photo by maury.mccown

I went to my first Al-Anon meeting yesterday evening. I had resisted going to one because I felt that there was little chance of it being useful. I can't, obviously, talk about details but I can talk about it generally and how it went for me.

It was useful, however. For me, the usefulness comes from being able to express ones anger, sadness and frustration openly. I would never talk to my relations like I talked to the group yesterday. This helps off load pent up emotions. In my case anger. Anger not so much that Jane can mess up my life but anger at myself for being what I am in having to live with her.

I don't subscribe to the higher power thing, which is part of the AA and Al Anon concept. But despite that, it still works to a degree because it is the only place, for some people, where one can really express oneself on this subject.

I was surprised that some people at the Al Anon meeting are alcoholics themselves. In other word both alcoholics and the victims of alcoholics. I think this is called co-dependency. One alcoholic feeds off the other.

Incidentally, and I think I am permitted to say this, I was the only male there. I don't know if that presented a problem for the others. Without me it would have been a women's thing. Women together probably talk differently even though it was a formal meeting. So, perhaps they were disappointed that I turned up! Not sure, I doubt that but it may have some truth, particularly as they have all suffered at the hands of men, alcoholic men. Maybe they have learnt to hate men and I was boring them with a long monologue about my trials and tribulations.

I had plenty of opportunity to speak and used it. I'll have to be cautious that I don't overdo it as it will p*ss them off. To be honest, I think I understand the ideas and concepts of Al-Anon. It is largely about oneself, the victim of the alcoholic who has to deal with their partner's or relative's drinking in a way that allows him/her to live as normally as possible.

We didn't do any steps thing. We just kicked off by dealing with an aspect of the problems of living with an alcoholic, after we had a chance to introduce ourselves and our feelings.

I'll be going back as I felt better after the meeting. I felt more motivated to do ordinary things. That probably came about because of the off-loading of the anger etc. It de-burdens the brain of that poison for a while. I'd say that the Al Anon meeting was successful as a whole.

Al Anon meeting to Alcoholic Partner Chat

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I'd like to hear the experiences of both alcoholics and the victims of alcoholics, please.