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"Participation
Is the Key To
Harmony"

      -- Concept Four

Al-Anon Newcomer Topics

Al-Anon Family Groups suggest these topics for beginners meetings, which in the face-to-face world typically last for six weeks. Here we have archived with permission some of the shares that Key to Harmony members have posted in the past on each of these topics as an introduction to the Al-Anon program of recovery.


Part 1

Step 1 - Introduction to the first step

A Different Approach
Before I practiced the principle of the First Step I had only "taken" it in my head, not my heart.

The Three Cs - You didn't cause it

We Have Choices
I learned that justification and rationalization go hand in hand with the disease.

A New Set Of Choices
To realize that there is no Cure for alcoholism was a shocker. It was not the moral issue I had believed it was.

Out of My Hands
Although I had not yet expereinced a spiritual awakening, I had an intuitive sense that I was hearing the truth.

A Family Disease - The impact of alcoholism

Walking on Eggshells
I had reached my bottom and didn't want any more problem people in my life.

Growing Up with Alcoholism
The very good news about the effects of alcoholism on family and friends is that they can be reversed over time.

Breaking the Chain
I not only can recognize my emotions now, I can feel them and deal with them.


Part 2

Step 1 - Continued

Powerless
Knowing these steps and accepting them on an intellectual level does me no good until I know them in my heart.

Unmanageable?
I finally had the realization that what it really means is "impossible to manage."

One Day at a Time

I Only Have Today
One of the best lessons that I "got" when I came into these rooms was that I was totally powerless over the past.

I Needed Time
As it turned out, I needed nine months in the program before I came to any "decision."

A Clean Slate
If I am not careful I waste all of my todays by troubling myself with the mistakes I made yesterday.


Part 3

Al-Anon Slogans - How they work

Live and Let Live
I had been saying to myself, I'll only be really happy when this or that happens, instead of living life as it comes along.

Keep It Simple
When you get right down to it, it IS simple -- it's just not always easy!

Mind Your Own Business
Today, I have the freedom to choose not to participate in someone else's insanity.

Listen and Learn
If you can listen with an open mind, you can learn all you need to find peace and serenity.

How Important is It?
When I use the imagery of "war" and "peace" in making my decision, I'm much more apt to choose peace.

Just For Today
Over the years, I have learned it is okay to plan actions, just not predict results.


Part 4

Step 2

My Willingness
There were two things in this Step that struck terror in my heart when I first read it.

Committees in My Head
To me Step 2 is all about being willing to let go, gradually one day at a time, that I don't have all the answers.

The Serenity Prayer

Acceptance
But "acceptance" does not mean that I have to like it, or condone it or even ignore it.

Sanity and Serenity
When I started going to meetings and listened, I learned just how distorted my thoughts were about me, not him.

Grant Me the Strength?
Sometimes accepting is a hard thing to do, even when itís as plain as the nose on my face that itís what I need to do!

Finally Came to Accept
Now I could make choices based on the reality of what was, rather than on the way I wanted things to be.


Part 5

Step 3

The Surrender Step
I am not asked to "turn myself in" for punishment, but rather "turn myself over" for care.

Mutual Trust
I really don't have to do this alone by the seat of my pants any more.

Understanding Ourselves

Brand New Outlook
I found that a big part of my problem turned out to be my attitude about the problem.


Part 6

What Is an Al-Anon Sponsor?

Empowering Feeling
Then I got a sponsor. She helped me to stop obsessing and to accept myself just as I am.

I Needed a Sponsor
By limiting myself to myself, I wasn't able to conceive of or explore new possibilities.

Group Structure

Fellowship of Equals
In Al-Anon, no single member has more importance than another.

Feeling of Belonging
Just by showing up and participating I am just as much a part of the group as the oldest long-timer.


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