Find Al-Anon Meetings in Orlando
If you just completed an alcohol and drug rehab treatment program in Orlando, Florida, you are likely familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) but are you also familiar with its related organization, Al-Anon? Al-Anon (and also Alateen) are organizations related to AA but specifically recognize loved ones and friends of the individual who struggles with alcohol addiction. It is no secret that alcohol abuse doesn’t just affect the person partaking in the drinking; its effects can begin to seep into all areas of life and impact friends and family.
Al-Anon, like AA, is a support group for people whose lives have been affected by a friend or family member’s drinking. Here, people meet and share their experiences and learn the fundamental principles of the Al-Anon program. These principles can help the loved ones, and friends heal while also bringing positive change into their lives, regardless of the person with the alcohol addiction admits to the problems, is seeking help, or is still in denial.
By attending Al-Anon meetings, participants will learn the guiding principles that can help them create change in their lives, encourage and support one another, and access various literature and other informative material that discusses addiction and addiction-related issues. In addition to all that these meetings offer, they are also free of charge, though donations are appreciated and help further create more materials.
With Orlando, Florida being such a large region, there are various Al-Anon meetings (as well as Alateen) that occur in different areas of the city throughout the week. Like AA meetings, each group has a different vibe, and you may feel more comfortable in one session versus another. This is why it is important to try different Al-Anon groups if you do not feel comfortable at the first one you attend.
Al-Anon currently offers different types of meetings, both in-person and virtually. For those who prefer to meet face-to-face, an in-person meeting would be best for you. Depending on your geographic area and COVID restrictions, a virtual connection is also possible. These connections occur in various ways, including online conferencing apps like Zoom and WebEx, on social media, through email messages, blogs, chat rooms, and over the telephone. All of these ways make Al-Anon even more accessible to people across the United States, especially those in rural areas who may not have access to in-person meetings. For people who enjoy reading literature and learn best through the written word, Al-Anon also makes their materials extremely accessible by publishing English, French, and Spanish resources.
Al-Anon Meetings in Orlando
When you decide to participate in an Al-Anon meeting, you are becoming part of a supportive, loving group that understands the struggles you have been through. In Al-Anon’s literature, it shares that the meetings have but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. This takes place going through the 12 Steps, comforting family members, and learning how to encourage and understand the people in your life who are struggling with alcohol.
Now that you know more about Al-Anon and what type of support and encouragement you can expect to find there, it is time to discover various Al-Anon meetings in your area. The Greater Orlando area is largely populated with more than 2 million people. Depending on which direction of the city you are located in, you will have different Al-Anon groups. Here are a few of the most popular:
St. Luke’s Methodist Church
At St. Luke’s, you can join a Sunday Step Study at 4 p.m. This location is handicap accessible, and you can decide if a Zoom meeting or in-person is better for you depending on how you are feeling and if you have transportation, etc.
West Orange Church of Christ
If weekend meetings do not work for you, there are plenty of Al-Anon meetings that take place in Orlando during the week. At West Orange Church of Christ, there is a Monday Miracles meeting at 7:30 p.m., again with both Zoom or In-person options. This location is also handicap accessible.
St. Mary’s of the Angels Episcopal Church
Another option for a Monday night meeting is the Pinecastle Friendship meeting that takes place at St. Mary’s. This happens a little bit later, at 8 p.m., and also has Zoom and in-person options.
St. Matthias Episcopal Church
For anyone who prefers meetings later in the week, there is a Discovering Choices meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Sunday School Building on the church property. For those who do not want to attend in person, you can join their Zoom option.
Benefits of Al-Anon for Families of Alcoholics
If you have a friend or loved one struggling with alcohol use disorder, you may have been told to try attending an Al-Anon meeting for support and resources. If you haven’t ever participated in a session, you might wonder what benefit you could reap from the experience. Here is what you can expect and what you might take away from attending an Al-Anon meeting near you.
First, meetings begin with the Serenity Prayer – in short, this prayer talks about finding acceptance with the things you cannot change, courage to change those you can, and wisdom to know what falls into each category. To start, you will learn that while you can support the person in your life struggling with alcohol, a large part of what happens is out of your hands. You can only control so much. Through meetings, you will learn that while you cannot be with them every single minute on their journey to recovery, or just on their journey (if they don’t believe they have an alcohol abuse issue), you can have moments or particular interactions where you can influence change or be a supportive light in their world.
Many people in Al-Anon meetings have many suggestions for changing the things in your life that you do have control over – such as your atmosphere, self-care, and how you treat yourself. What does this mean exactly? Let’s say your loved one is about to return home from a drug and alcohol rehab treatment program, and you want to prepare your house in some way, so the atmosphere is calming and positive for everyone living there. Now might be a great time to incorporate some healthy diet changes or add a daily exercise program into the mix, such as yoga, meditation, stretching, or something fun like dancing or Zumba. Not only will these things help keep your physical and mental health at optimal levels, but they will also have an influencing effect on your loved one that is returning home from rehab and needs to focus on how to take care of their body correctly.
In Al-Anon, you will also have a better understanding over time of what your loved one is genuinely dealing with regularly. In addition, as you learn and practice the 12 Steps, you will better understand your place in the treatment of your loved one and how you can support him or her in your role. Understanding these roles and boundaries will help you better relate to your friend or loved one and help in the healing process for you and everyone else involved.
Breaking the codependency cycle is yet another benefit of attending an Al-Anon meeting. When we love someone, we usually go out of our way to help them, whether through financial means, allowing them to live with us, or helping them with other things they cannot provide for themselves. With addiction, many family members or friends who continue to do this even when they are unable to help themselves begin a pattern of enabling. The more you allow someone, the less likely they are to get into recovery and start building a productive life for themselves. The support you will find from other group members and learning about their experiences will boost your need to recognize and discontinue enabling behaviors that might be taking place.
There are so many excellent benefits that can happen when you begin attending supportive and loving groups where people understand what you are going through because they have been through it themselves.
If you have a friend, family member, or partner who has not yet started an alcohol treatment program, now is a great time to reach out to WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab and learn more about the programs and resources available. With locations throughout Florida, there is a unique setting and program that is ideal for helping the person in your life that is struggling with alcohol abuse disorder. Call us today.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.