CAL – Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2008 (Item # N/A)

Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2008 - thumbnail

WHAT I LEARNED: 1. In keeping with the same printing schedule as the first Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2007that came out in September 2006, the subsequent annual edition, “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2008,debuted in the fall of 2007.  (From 2007 to 2019, the outreach magazine had only 2 print runs each year, so Al-Anon members could order in the fall for the upcoming year’s issue & then again in the following spring.  Because there were only those 2 order windows, as a former LDC, when the order deadline passed & I would receive a late order from a member, I typically had to scramble to find more magazines from other Districts & hope they could sell me some extra copies. 🥺🙏  Ah memories of panicky outreach  Since 2020, I’m glad this service tool is now available to buy year round, but I digress…  I just wanted to point out why back in ye olden times, each issue for a particular year actually came out the year prior.)   

2. This 2008 issue looks a bit different than the inaugural 2007 magazine.  Perhaps that’s because suggestions from the Outreach to Professionals Advisory Committee “were also implemented in the 2008 printing” according to page 82 of the 2008 World Service Conference (WSC) Summary(item # P-46).  Here are some of changes I noticed:

  • There seemed to be more of a focus on the Newcomer experience;
  • A majority of the articles were shorter;
  • There are more references to other Conference Approved Literature available;
  • Al-Anon terminology, slogans, & the Serenity Prayer show up consolidated onto one page (rather than highlighted as asterisk notations throughout);
  • “COA” (Children of Alcoholics) is mentioned.

3. In my review of the previous 2007 issue, I listed some common effects/reactions to alcoholism, however in this 2008 issue, I switched my focus to any word in the magazine that described some of the possible benefits of the Al-Anon program & here is what I found (listed in the order that they appeared):

  • Happiness
  • Connection
  • Balance
  • Self-awareness
  • Acceptance
  • Action
  • Hope
  • Care
  • Support
  • Health
  • Relief
  • Productive
  • Miracles
  • Grace
  • Serenity
  • Love
  • Gratitude
  • Find your voice
  • Insight
  • Understanding
  • Purpose
  • Heal
  • Focus
  • Calm
  • Progress
  • Clarity
  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Self-worth
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Perspective
  • Unburdened
  • Sleep
  • Joy
  • Compassion

Wow!  I again feel overwhelmed by this list, but in a good way!  On page 2 of the magazine, there is a quote that comes from the first line in Chapter 3 (“Finding Help”) of the book How Al-Anon Works” (item # B-32 for softcover, eB-22 for the e-book version, & eA-22 for the audiobook) that mentions taking the risk to “go to that first Al-Anon meeting.”  But I believe there was also a risk for me to not go.  Instead of risking growth, I risked repeating.  I risked never finding out about my true self & always feeling like I was existing only to fight an unwinnable battle.   

If I didn’t go to Al-Anon, I was probably not going to learn (as page 16 puts it), a way to “engage in a healthy fashion with this disease.”  The only way I related to “health” was in my deterioration of it.  And my definition of “helping” essentially meant that I was passing on the message to my loved one: “You are not enough & your Higher Power is not enough.”  I felt I was all he really needed, which is paradoxical since deep down, I didn’t even feel like I was enough for me. 😔

This magazine reminded me of how much “unlearning” I did in the beginning.  In order to re-cover, I had to re-discover, re-learn, & re-store the wonderful qualities listed above.  It made me think about Step Two & this line from How Al-Anon Works(page 369):  “only things of value get restored – Victorian homes, antique cars, & me!  By working this – & all the other Steps – I have learned that I do have something to offer.  I am worthwhile.” 🤗

4. I have 2 favorite lines:

From page 22: “Misery became a bigger factor than shame” 

From page 26: “for years my daily routine began with washing my face, brushing my teeth, & sharpening my tongue.”

5. Lastly, there is a quote on page 17 from a clergy member that “Al-Anon meetings are an essential pastoral tool that should be in every pastor’s wisdom kit.”  I know Al-Anon has been considered several things such as a:

  • Worldwide fellowship
  • Recovery program
  • Mutual support group
  • Spiritual program
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Community resource

but I never considered it as a “pastoral tool.”  (Maybe that falls under “Community resource” in my list above.)  

Quick bad joke I just thought up:

A priest, rabbi, and an atheist walk into an Al-Anon meeting & say to the chairperson

“At least we didn’t walk into a bar!” 🤣 🙄

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