Saturday, October 27, 2007

Singleness of Purpose

Sharon got me thinking about the singleness of purpose within AA. I read a pamphlet put out by AA that was reprinted from an article written by Bill W. about why the focus of AA should be on alcoholics.

I've talked to my sponsor about Al-Anon and how there are lots of AA's that come into Al-Anon. I've never been troubled by that because the purpose of Al-Anon is to help families and friends of alcoholics. Many alcoholics come from an alcoholic family where they have been affected by someone else's drinking. My sponsor has told me of Al-Anon groups though that have become dominated by AA's to the point that a split occurred in the group.

One of the things that I have noticed in the Al-Anon meetings that I attend is the focus of members on the drug addicted family member, usually a child. For some reason, it's hard for me to relate largely because I have no children and have not been affected by someone else's addiction. However, there is always something in their story that makes me think and learn. So my attitude has been one of Live and Let Live when it comes to Al-Anon. I think that it provides a great learning and spiritual tool for anyone affected by someone else's drinking.


  1. As a recovering alcoholic, I feel right at home at Al-Anon meetings because most of the people I know today ARE alcoholics. I deal with them and their "stuff" every day.
    I also have to deal with me and my stuff. LOL

  2. As a recovering Al-Anon, I do not always feel comfortable within the meetings of AA - - - because I cannot identify with the chemical addiction. I can, however, identify with some of the pain expressed, and very judgmentally believe that 'they' have had an easier time of it in recovery than I!

    Now to clarify this paragraph. In the beginning, my sponsor worked intensively with me in the study of the Big Book, emphasizing that this book was merely to reinforce my need for knowledge about a cunning, powerful, and baffling disease.

    I also needed to learn (since one of my shortcomings was the need to be needed) to keep the focus on myself, allowing AA's to help AA's, and keeping myself within the realm of the Al-Anon recovery program and my sponsor. It was difficult for me to learn to 'butt out' of their business. After all, I had successfully kept my spouse alive (not sober, mind you) for over 30 years.

    Because of his alcoholism, I was qualified to be in the 12-step Al-Anon program. Since I am a purist at heart, I asked - Why not AA? My sponsor very patiently said, 'because you do not have that obsession.' So, Al-Anon was the next and closest to the AA program I was willing to learn about.

    I have listened in meetings to many AA's who have not yet addressed their chemical problem, only coming at the urging of their sponsor. I find that many AA sponsors are not actually taking time to work the steps with their sponsees, and many have passed this job on to Al-Anons.

    I have the greatest admiration and respect for AA's who have worked the steps diligently, and who do - and are welcome to attend Al-Anon after 3 or 4 years sobriety, since it takes about this long for them to rise above their chemical obsessions.

    As for narcotic-addiction children - their parents - there are few programs available for them to attend, and Al-Anon for the most part has taken them in by way of helping them learn to detach with love. Focus on the 12-steps and on self is strongly encouraged, also.

    I have rambled enough, and pray that I have not stepped on too many toes. All of these thoughts are my own opinion and experience.

    May the peace and guidance of a HIgher Power always be with us all!

    Anonymous #1

  3. the only thing I object to is when they talk about their alcoholism in our AlAnon meeting. I do wish they would keep their anonymity.

  4. At the AA meeting this morning a list was passed for people to sign who would be interested in doing 12 step calls for our answering service. The singleness of purpose is important here. It could mean a difference in getting someone sober. Even tho there were addicts there, I believe this was for alcoholics. One alcoholic talking to another, that's why it works. Or one addict talking to another. But this was an AA meeting.

  5. Strangely enough, I was toying with going to ACOA meetings before I got sober because of my mother. Anything to avoid AA. At some point I may need to figure that part of my life out but for now AA is what this alcoholic needs. I do appreciate reading your blog however and the comments from others in Al Anon because it helps me to understand my husband a bit. I hope that someday he finds the desire to want to understand himself as well and gets himself to Al Anon. He's not there yet.

  6. I would feel like I belong at a Alanon meeting, went to Alanon when I was young kid. Then I ended up in AA go figure.

  7. I am passionate about AA's singleness of purpose, but a friend reminded me that our code is love & tolerance, I kind of lost sight of that. So, I guess I need to back off a bit. I love my beloved AA. I'm codependent too, & have been thinking of going to Alanon again (I didn't go long before) one day a wk. We don't have ACOA here. A few AA friends of mine said Alanon helped them a great deal. No, I would not talk about my alcoholism. I don't like it when an addict (esp. in a closed meeting) talks about their addiction, it's then I have to remind myself about the love & tolerance.

  8. I have a tendency to think of my alcoholism as more of a sickness of my spirit, and as such, I talk more about what I have gained since being in AA than my drunken escapades when I am in meetings. Or if I talk about my troubles, it focuses on the issues rather than my "cure" of wanting to drink. As such, I guess I would want Al-Anon to be open to me if I felt it would help me deal with someone in my life who dealt with their issues like me. But I don't know. It may be different for other people. I've never been to an Al-Anon meeting. I've debated it - my father has what I think is a problem with alcohol, but I think he's got a load of other issues too. I think alcohol is just the tip of the iceberg with him. I don't think Al-Anon needs me to dump all his crap there, lol.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.