Thursday, November 13, 2008

Al-Anon closing

I've always liked the Al-Anon closing statement. But this part of it I have found particularly moving:

"A few special words to those of you who haven't been with us long: Whatever your problems there are those among us who have had them, too. If you try to keep an open mind you will find help. You will come to realize that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened."

These lines told me what I needed to hear most: that I was not alone, that you have been where I am, and that no matter how bad things may seem, there is Hope for the future.

The closing offers a great promise that if I take away the walls that I had erected between myself and others in the program through denial then I will move towards recovery. At the time I started the program, I knew that I needed help but I didn't realize how much I wanted recovery. I had to learn to let down my wall of shame about myself and my relationship with the alcoholics in my life.

The words of the closing and the promise offered is still true today. I've learned by listening to the
recovering stories of others I have met along the way and by taking advantage of talking to others and to my HP in order to get a clearer view of my situation. This has helped me to avoid avoidable mistakes, slips and pitfalls by shining someone else's light on my blind spot. I may not always like what I hear, but by doing this I am reinforcing the notion that I am not alone with my problems.

In keeping an open mind, I've had to examine my motives and attitudes. Here are a few questions that I have to consider:

Am I motivated by a desire to help myself and others in this, or am I more interested in swaying someone else to my way of thinking?

Am I listening to the perspectives of the group or my sponsor and actually considering them, or am I awaiting the next opportunity to share my own thoughts?

Am I truly placing the principles being discussed above the personalities involved?

If my answer to any of these questions is a no, then I'm probably not keeping an open mind. If I get over myself and remember: "Keep an open mind, and you will find help," and "Take what you like and leave the rest" then I'm going to find what I need.


  1. "You will come to realize that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened." Fitting for me today. Thank you Syd.


  2. I also like the part about (paraphrasing)

    Although you may not like us, we already love you.

    That always gives me comfort and security that I need to keep going.

  3. that IS a great closing statement. thanks for the reminders!

  4. I really like that thanks for your support ☺

  5. Great closing, sounds like the promises and the steps combined, thank you for sharing!

  6. Thank you for this Syd. I had many dark areas in my life, some so dark I could not even begin to imagine they existed. That light you talked about started with the people who 12 stepped me, then the programme, then God, not necessarily in that order. The more I worked it the wider that light shone.

  7. Great principles for anyone to live by.

  8. I remember my first meeting, it was about my dad. No, it had NOTHING to do with me. Yeah right...5 years later. I still live by the words one day at a time. Once I got past the part of unsticking that word Alcoholic from my throat, and getting it to come out past my lips. I was finally able to hear what everyone else had to say. I think it's a process though...listening isn't automatic, you have to want to hear it to. Thanks for this post. (Hugs)Indigo

  9. Thanks Syd for a great post. I always have trouble keeping my ego in check. Many times I think I'm open minded but am not. jeNN

  10. I always appreciate your posts. They are so well written, thoughtful, and on-the-mark.

    I loved what you wrote, "..shining someone else's light on my blind spot."

  11. These were the words I most needed to hear today to make me go forward and past the fear, thank you so much for your sharing...

  12. Those are really wonderful words in the closing statement. I'm glad you shared those.

  13. I reckon your right its easy to say we have a open mind but in reality its very difficult to achieve.
    Yes I am enjoying my new job, just trying to get all the systems set up and learning the ropes that will make it easier for me going forward

  14. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Bill and his wisdom and courage.

    Here by Shadow.
    Pleasure to have found you.
    I can see that I will enjoy following you as we both journey similar paths.

    Make it a wonderful day!

  15. I have found many people do not give it a chance. I'm glad I stuck with it.

  16. I have never heard the al-anon closing before. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Love it too! I was glad to find this blog. I have asked if anyone in one of the 3 meetings I attend did a blog & got a few blank stares (probably looks like me a good share of the time...still in early recovery).
    One of my VERY FAVORITE slogans is "we will love you until you can love yourself." So powerful - especially when you know that it's true. What a gift this is. I cannot believe I said that - I NEVER thought I'd be grateful for this, but I AM VERY grateful! Thank you for your blog

  18. Ok, I had to laugh, because when I read the title "Al-Anon closing," I thought "What? The Al-Anon group in your area isn't going to meet anymore? How can Al-Anon go out of business?" Oh, not that kind of closing!


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