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22 Top Al-Anon Family Group (AFG) Suggested Meeting Topics

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Are you leading an Al-Anon meeting soon or for the first time? Are you looking for topics to discuss? We’ve got you covered. Below are the Meeting Topics we like. Of course, there are many more; these are just a few we love to hear about.

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Meeting topics for Al-Anon meetings

1. Acceptance

This is the first step towards recovery: accepting that the disease of alcoholism controls your life and that you are powerless over the problem. After many years of denial, it is a crucial part of recovery for family members to accept that their loved one has the disease of alcoholism and they are powerless over the problem.

2. This Too Shall Pass

Situations arise in recovery. Some are difficult, and we may have strong, uncomfortable feelings. This slogan is good to remember during these times. This topic resonates with many Al-Anon members.

3. Let Go and Let God

As a family member to an alcoholic, we will do everything we can to get them to stop drinking. When we let go and let God, we let go of trying to control the situation and give it over to our Higher Power.

4. Spiritual Awakening

A spiritual awakening can mean many things in recovery. It’s not a bolt of lightning, although some personal experiences seem to feel this. One way to look at the spiritual awakening is to think about how we come to understand our own Higher Power.

5. Powerless

Discuss Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives were unmanageable. How did you admit powerlessness over the alcoholic? Over your life? How did you keep an open mind? This topic is good for beginner’s meetings or someone’s first Al-Anon meeting.

6. Detachment (with love)

Before Al-Anon, my life was about being enmeshed with my family and my alcoholic. I could not see where my life ended, and their life began. Through Al-Anon, I have clear boundaries and I am able to detach from situations in a loving way for my sanity. Detachment is a powerful tool for Al-Anon members. We can remove ourselves from situations that may harm us, make us uncomfortable, or for any reason we feel necessary. We have the power to make the decision to detach.

7. Enabling

In their efforts to assist, family members and friends of an individual with a problem of alcoholism often become enablers to the progression of the disease. The enabling phenomenon allows individuals with the condition of alcoholism to avoid the consequences of their actions.

Protecting your loved ones from the consequences of their destructive behavior only enables their drinking problem since they feel secure knowing no matter how many mistakes they make, you will be there to rescue them. It is essential for family members and friends of alcoholics to identify the signs of enabling that actually hurt their loved ones rather than help them.

8. Anger

Anger is an intense emotion arising from being wronged, unmet expectations, and our inability to control the outcome. Many arrive to Al-Anon very angry with their family member with the alcohol problem. Anger is a feeling that we all deal with from living with the effects of alcoholism. Recovery helps us to deal with that anger constructively.

9. Living in the Present

Dreaming of the future instead of living in today is a way of escapism. In Al-Anon, we learn to be present at the moment, to enjoy each day, a day at a time. Slogans work to help remind us to live in the present. “One Day At A Time,” “Just For Today,” “How Important Is It?” “Keep It Simple”. These slogans help us to let go of yesterday and the future and to stay in the moment.

10. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a process we all work through. This topic can bring up a lot of discussion. Working on the steps, we learn forgiveness, and we continue to work on it each day. 

11. Change

Changes in life are inevitable. Significant changes such as divorce, the death of a loved one, and moving to a new place can bring on stress. We can turn to our Al-Anon toolbox when we encounter change.  We can go to a meeting, call our sponsor, call a friend, go for a walk, say a prayer, journal, read A-Anon literature, or listen to a recovery podcast.

12. Choices

We have a right to make individual choices and accept the things we cannot change. You are not obligated to accept unacceptable behavior and are entitled to make decisions in your best interest. When it is in your best interest and for your well-being, you can choose not to be around alcoholic behavior and walk away from arguments and fights that affect your mental and emotional sobriety. Have you found the courage yet to make this decision for your good? It’s OK to walk away.

13. Unreasonable Expectations

One of the challenges of dealing with an alcoholic is setting unrealistic expectations. Individuals with alcohol addiction will, on many occasions, swear to you that they will not consume alcohol going forward. While this may be comforting, it is unrealistic, and this expectation turns unrealistic for the alcoholic. It is unreasonable to expect honesty from individuals who cannot be honest with themselves.

14. Emptiness

When a loved one suffers from alcohol addiction, our lives are filled with emptiness and the constant need to seek approval outside of ourselves. Emptiness can feel like low-grade depression and lead to destructive behavior to fill the void.

People struggling with alcohol addiction may not be in a position to provide you with the kind of love you want all the time. Being present is even more challenging when the person we depend on is unpredictable, and we harbor resentment against them.

15. Control issues

When dealing with a loved one, it is a common experience to try and control them and solve their problems. Yet by doing this, we rob them of the dignity of being able to make their own mistakes and learn from their experiences. One of the best ways of handling issues with a problem drinker is letting go and letting God deal with the matter.

16. Gratitude

Gratitude lists can improve our daily mood by helping us focus on the positive. They have the power to turn a negative attitude into a positive one and lift us up when we feel down.

17. Honesty

Being honest about your challenges with alcohol addiction is not just about telling the truth. It’s being genuine and authentic with yourself. Being dishonest about your recovery journey will trap you in active addiction.

If your loved one or friend is experiencing challenges with alcohol addiction, coming to terms with their addiction helps you to rebuild your own life and find effective ways to help your loved ones, such as family therapy.

18. Serenity

The Serenity Prayer is a great source of comfort and strength during stressful situations. Sometimes, the Serenity Prayers is said during the beginning of the end of a 12-step program meeting.

The Serenity Prayer

God, Grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference

19. Self-love

Practicing self-love means being intentional about looking after yourself and addressing your challenges so that you are not contributing as much to the confusion and chaos in your own life. While this might not stop your loved one from drinking, your attitude towards the situation will be changed.

20. Live and Let Live

Learning how to live your life without revolving around an alcoholic can be challenging. We learn to live our lives and let others live their lives.

21. The Three C’s

“I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it and I can’t cure it.” Remember that active alcoholics are people who drink. It’s not because of who we are or what we do. These three sentences work for other situations, too. Maybe at work when our boss is in a bad mood. It might not be about us. We can remember the three C’s.

22. Self Love

In Al-Anon, we learn self-love. We learn that our negative character defects do not define who we are, and we have many positive character defects.

These are just a few suggestions for Al-Anon meeting topics. Al-Anon literature is filled with excellent topics, and specific Al-Anon principles can be used as topics.

Sources: Hope For Today, Al-Anon Family Groups

About the author
Shannon M
Shannon M's extensive experience in addiction recovery spans several decades. Her journey started at a young age when she attended treatment aftercare sessions for a family member and joined Alateen meetings, a support group for young people affected by a loved one's addiction. In 1994, Shannon personally experienced the challenges of addiction and took the courageous step of joining Alcoholics Anonymous. This experience gave her a unique perspective on the addiction recovery process, which would prove invaluable in her future work. Shannon's passion for helping others navigate the complexities of addiction led her to pursue a degree in English with a minor in Substance Abuse Studies from Texas Tech University. She completed her degree in 1996, equipping her with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide compassionate and effective support to those struggling with addiction.