What to Expect At Your First Meeting
Most people are nervous and upset about attending their first Al-Anon or Alateen meeting.
What to expect?
A warm welcome, understanding of your situation, listening ears, and love. Everyone in a meeting is an Al-Anon member, and has been affected by the disease of alcoholism - just like you. We understand. For many of us, meetings are the place where we really feel "heard".
Anonymity is an important principle of the Al-Anon/Alateen program. What this means is that your presence at a meeting, and what you say at a meeting, will not be repeated. Knowing this is one way that we learn to trust one another in the program.
Every meeting is different:
- open discussion
- some are book studies (using Al-Anon literature, written by members)
- some are "topic" meetings. In some meetings, members take turns going around the room to share
- and in other meetings members share whenever they wish
There are also ways in which meetings are the same:
- everything spoken or heard at a meeting is totally confidential - nothing will be repeated
- every Al-Anon meeting is lead by an Al-Anon member
- some meetings have a different meeting chairperson every week, others by month
- every meeting opens with a moment of silence, followed by the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Because not all meetings are exactly the same, we encourage new members to try different meetings.
You may find that a particular meeting is the best "fit" for you. We are lucky to have so many meetings in our area - feel free to try meetings until you find one that "feels right". Many long-time members say it takes at least 6 meetings to see if Al-Anon is right for you.
As always, we're glad you're here.