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Alcoholism and the Twelfth Step in Alanon
Alanon Becomes a Way of Life for Most of Its Members
Living the 12 Steps of Alanon
Alanon is an organization for people who care about an alcoholic, whether that person is a family member or not. They follow a 12 Step program similar to the one that is used by members of Alcoholics Anonymous. The program has helped millions of people, including this author, find peace and serenity in their lives, whether the alcoholic they care about ever stops drinking or not.
The final step of the Alanon Twelve Steps occurs naturally as we begin to live, blossom and grow in our new lives.
The step says: "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."
This does not mean that we go out and tell everyone we know that they should join Alanon, or any other 12 Step program. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, Alanon is a program of attraction rather than promotion. Tell people about your meetings if they ask why you seen so much happier with your life. Otherwise, live a good life, enjoy yourself despite the alcoholics that surround you, and be a good example of an honest, caring person who also understands how to set limits. This is how to practice the Twelth Step of Alanon.
You will discover that, from time to time, someone may privately confide to you that they have a family member who is suffering from a drug or alcohol problem. When this happens, let them know that you attend Alanon meetings and you have found a lot of comfort in the program. You may also want to give them an Alanon devotional or another item of Alanon literature. Later in this article you will see some examples of Alanon literature that you or your friends can purchase on Amazon. Many people prefer the confidentiality of being able to buy their literature online ... at least until they start going to meetings where most Alanon literature will usually be available.
You do not have to share the specifics of what brought you to Alanon, if you are uncomfortable doing so. You can simply say that a relative's drug or alcohol use was really upsetting you, and Alanon has helped you learn how to cope better with the situation. You can invite them to attend a meeting with you, or give them a schedule of meetings in your county. After that, leave it up to them to decide if they want to give it a try. Don't mention it again, unless they do.
I Have Found Alanon Literature to be Very Helpful
This is the book which Alanon members use to learn more about all the steps, including the 12th Step. I have had my copy of this book for decades and still consult it regularly.
Having a Spiritual Awakening
One of the aspects of Alanon that you may not have noticed is that you have found a new type of spiritual life. You are no longer bothered by the religious beliefs of other people. Your connection to the God of your understanding seems stronger and healthier than ever before, and you feel a personal connection to God, as you understand Him.
By now, you may also have seen God working in your life and in the lives of the people you care about. Things may not have turned out the way you planned or expected. However, your life has gotten better, and you now have a richer, deeper connection to God. This is your spiritual awakening.
Carrying the Alanon Message to Others
Now that you feel comfortable with the Alanon 12 Step program, and you have worked the steps yourself, you may discover that you have many opportunities to share your experience, strength and hope with others. Perhaps you will sponsor other members. You may become a speaker. You will undoubtedly have the opportunity to lead meetings. You may even be surprised by a friend or co-worker who privately reveals that he or she is feeling stress as a result of living with an alcoholic. However it works out best for you, there will be many times when you are able to carry the message to others. You don’t have to accost strangers on the street. God will provide you with plenty of opportunities to reach out to others.
Always remember that Alanon is a program of attraction rather than promotion. Allow people to come to you; you do not have to force your enthusiasm about the program onto them.
Practicing the Principles in All our Affairs
Finally, Alanon teaches us the value of honesty, faith and prayer. More and more we will turn to God to help us deal with problems and difficulties in every area of our lives. We will apply the Alanon principles in our jobs, at school, with our children, and with our non-Alanon friends. The program will begin to permeate every aspect of our lives … and that is just what it is meant to do!
One step many people have learned to take is to read as much Alanon literature as possible. Even after years in the program, most members continue to read some Alanon literature every day. Sharing your books and literature with others is a wonderful way to help the people you know who may also be dealing with an alcoholic or drug abuser.