For me, the hardest part of this tradition is maintaining autonomy in a personal relationship. I have to work at keeping the focus on myself. I like the idea of people working together in unity but also maintaining their own interests. Coming from an alcoholic marriage, I could often want too much "togetherness" and that is confining and unhealthy.
Autonomy doesn’t mean you don’t need the other person, but it means that I don't give up who I am to be in the relationship. I can maintain my goals, desires, and dreams but also respect and support the goals, desires, and dreams of another and allow them to be who they are, not who I want them to be. I think that this makes a healthy relationship.
In Al-Anon meetings, it's important that each group not be a carbon copy of the other. I like individuality with the groups. In some birthdays are celebrated, in others there are speaker meetings. What I think makes Al-Anon special is the way that we can each express our thoughts without fear of criticism, interruption or gossip. We can in short be ourselves within Al-Anon.