AL-ANON and Me

by compound complex 15 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • bikerchic

    robic I experienced the same things as what you said at AL-ANON meetings;

    I (and others) secretly feel they have given up one addiction (alchohol) for another (AL-ANON).

    After leaving one cult I wasn't about to jump into another.....that said I do understand why a recovering alcoholic needs to immerse themselves in a new life style, but at some point they really need to put what they have learned to use and live life without a crutch ie; alcohol or the need for an organization.


    I went more to ACOA meetings (Adult Children of Alcoholics). It actually was my first step towards leaving the WTS. I received much help and support, things that I had not found in the WTS.

    That was the beginning of my leaving the WTS as well. I also liked the format of the ACOA group (at least the one I was in) which was really helpful in that they would call you to task and not let you get away with stinking thinking™. What I found and didn't like about AL-ANON was how they wouldn't call a person on their repetitive bad actions and just listen to their stories and at the end thank them for sharing......I found this to be defeating and not helpful at all. What were we there for if not to really help a person see that they are just repeating what got them in AL-ANON in the first place? AL-ANON calls this cross talking I just didn't get it and it kept the person stuck I could only figure out that eventually after being stuck and miserable for so long the person would figure it out for themselves and finally figure out how they contributed to their own downfall. How many times must a person fall in a hole before realizing they shouldn't go down that path again? I guess I liked the way ACOA brought the hole to the person and made them realize it was the wrong path and nip it in the bud fast!

    AL-ANON also does not let you use any material or discuss anything which is not AL-ANON approved which was a red flag to me. There is so much good material out there which can help a person learn about the what's, why's and where to go for help out there yet they capitalized on my way or the highway approach which I didn't like.

    Bottom line is if AL-ANON is helping you now you just might out grow it and please be open to other avenues of healing, dealing and coping with the addict in your life, it's not the end all and you can get caught up in the endless doing this and that with the organization (AL-ANON) that you are just another spoke in the wheel which reminded me too much of the WTS.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Thank you Bikerchic for information I otherwise might have never known. I totally agree about not getting involved so readily with another organization. I'm only reading so far; that much has helped me to say NO with no guilt.
    Thank you again,


  • restrangled


    I think one of the most important aspects of understanding how Al-Anon works and why they follow the format that they do, is by reading and understanding the 12 traditions of Al-Anon. There is a format, just as there is a format for using this forum.

    One of the reasons that people have misconceptions about Al-Anon or AA is because people go to one or two or even fifty meetings, then give their personal interpretation of what they think that it is. It is a program of anonymity and recovery and working the 12 steps, so every single person who breaks that by going on Oprah or Larry King is not following the program of AA or Al-Anon. They relapse and the general public gets a skewed view towards the program.

    The person who is back to using states "I tried it and it doesn't work".

    The people who are successful in these programs follow the 12 steps and understand and follow the 12 traditions. Simply attending a few meetings and bailing is not working the steps.

    There are 12 steps and 12 traditions, this is the program of Al-Anon. If you read the 12 steps and 12 traditions, you will find that you don't have to swear allegience to anybody or anything, whether you believe in a higher power is your choice. How wrapped up you get in it is your choice. No one will turn you away at the one will hunt you down if you stop going.

    A good understanding of the 12 traditions should give you enough discerment to identify when someone is either overstepping or goosestepping.

    r's hubby

  • restrangled


    Let me make this comparison. I have never been a JW. I've been married to a JW for 27 years. I know a lot about the JW's however, I've only been to one Watchtower study, one memorial. I don't know how their format operates, therefore my opinions on how they count time, conduct a Watchtower study, etc are just that...opinions based on limited experience compared to a JW who lived it.

    r's hubby

  • blondie

    I understand the reasons behind not bringing in outside material. Al-Anon and ACOA have good material. I don't want to come to an Al-Anon, AA, or ACOA meeting and have someone pull out WT magazines, or magazines from their Lutheran Church, or make it a Bible reading group, and a political discussion, etc. I was at a meeting once where some new attendees made it an opportunity to start "witnessing" or "testifying" to us about God and Christ. I was not surprised when the man conducting the group asked to to "stand down" politely.

    I have found that groups vary by location in city (village, town, etc) and by city and by state. The personalities in each make each one unique.

    One thing to remember that many of us who were part of an alcoholic family usually played the enabler role, someone who wanted to control the person and the situation. I'm not surprised, bikerchic, that the process might have been disappointing. The hardest thing I learned was to step back and take care of myself and let the person with the alcohol problem take care of themselves (that includes people who are "co-dependent."). If it hasn't become evident on the board, I would like to control everyone and everything and make it perfect...probably why the WTS line appealed to me.

    I know of people who attended AA meetings off and on and kept drinking. The people at those meetings (the ones I attended) had a polite and to the point way of telling people to get off the pitty-pot.

    If you can, shop around and find the group that is best for you. It is not like the WTS where you are assigned to a book study and have to go there.


  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Greetings R's hubby and Blondie,

    Thank you for the further information and your perspective. Juni wrote a description of trolls [22 Feb. 07, 18:14] and I was incredulous how there is such similarity in personality traits between them and my friend: attempts to divide and conquer, making themselves savior to you, trying to impress with their knowledge, threatening you, and most importantly - to me - having serious personal issues that lead them to try to control others [me]. I have FINALLY stopped responding to his rants.
    I am overwhelmed by the silence.

    Thanx again,


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