Al-Anon Groups Express Gratitude During the Holidays

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Families and friends of alcoholics get the chance to experience peaceful feelings on Thanksgiving, maybe not at home, but at local Al-Anon family group meetings.

Al-Anon Family Groups - Strength and hope for friends and families of alcoholics

Al-Anon Family Groups

Sometimes we talk about what brought us to Al-Anon, what Al-Anon has done for us, and what our lives are like today. It’s the kind of honesty I always wanted my family to share on holidays, but... too much drinking always got in the way.

Al-Anon groups that meet on holidays offer opportunities that alcoholic families don’t often get. “Thanksgiving is traditionally the time to express gratitude and appreciation for each other and the many blessings that life brings,” Al-Anon Information Analyst Pamela Walters said. “Instead, the focus in alcoholic families is often on the angry outbursts, or on simply staying out of the line of fire,” Walters said.

Jack is an anonymous Al-Anon member who always wanted the peace and serenity of a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving dinner with his family. He envisioned each relative around the table taking turns saying how he or she was feeling, and describing at least one reason for being grateful. Jack finally got the chance to experience such peaceful feelings, not at home, but at his local Al-Anon group.

“My group always meets at ten o’clock in the morning on Thanksgiving,” Jack said. “We bring munchies to share and we sit in a big circle. We take turns introducing ourselves by first name only and we talk about what’s going on in our lives. Sometimes we talk about what brought us to Al-Anon, what Al-Anon has done for us, and what our lives are like today.” Jack said, “It’s the kind of honesty I always wanted my family to share on holidays, but we never did. Too much drinking always got in the way and spoiled things for all of us.”

Al-Anon Family Groups are for families and friends who have been affected by a loved one’s drinking. Nearly 16,000 local groups meet throughout the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico every week. Al-Anon Family Groups meet in more than 130 countries, and Al-Anon literature is available in more than 40 languages. Al-Anon Family Groups have been offering strength and support to families and friends of problem drinkers since 1951. Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. acts as the clearinghouse worldwide for inquiries from those who need help or want information about Al-Anon Family Groups and Alateen, its program for teenage members.

For more information about Al-Anon Family Groups, visit al-anon.org and read a copy of Al-Anon’s annual public outreach magazine “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2016.” Find a local meeting by calling toll-free: 1-888-4AL-ANON.

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Pamela Walters
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