The AA 3rd tradition: The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
The one for Al-Anon is a bit different.
The Al-Anon 3rd tradition: The relatives of alcoholics, we gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an Al-Anon Family Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.
I love going to my home group meetings, they really help me out. I am sometimes asked what you need to be able to go to a meeting. An open heart, an open mind and the want to get better. But when they say you must have someone in your life, a family member or a friend who has a drinking issue – well that’s almost everyone. Anyone who is a heavy drinker effects everyone in their life.
How many of us went through all the pain and suffering of watching a loved one fight their demons and not be able to offer any help? It consumes you, it fills all of your thoughts and your time, the disease now becomes ours as well and we start our denial. I know, cause I have been there – I thought that the only way to love him was to take care of all of his short comings. I had to help him fix everything, I had to help him cover up things, I had to continue with the lies he started.
I sit in my home group and hear everyone’s stories, spouse, best friend, parents, children – who ever it is that has the issue – it consumes our lives juat like it did theirs. Even if their addict isn’t getting better, or is not in program, they are still getting better. My addict is getting better, he is in program and we are recovering together. Our marriage is recovering, our lives are recovering, I could not imagine going back to they way it was 9 months ago. Heck, even 6 months ago we were still not really sure what was going to happen between us.
If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!