Al-Anon Loner Service
Has your life been affected by somebody else's drinking?

Our loner service may be able to help you.

We can help; you are not alone; we do care.

Loner members writing in to the Loner Service were brought together to establish their own Al-Anon Family Groups in Gabarone, Lesotho, Middelburg, Nelspruit, Phalaborwa, Piet Retief and White River.

Where can I find Help?

If you want to make use of the Loner Service, please contact the Loner Coordinator at at one of our Area Offices.
Please click on the "MEETINGS" button for Area Offices locations.

Help is at hand...

By May from Botswana

My dear friend abandoned me. She went to Al-Anon and got a different kind of help than I could offer her and I felt abandoned. I fought off the pull of the Al-Anon program for as long as I could until I too succumbed. I have never done a more difficult nor easier task in my life. One of my strongest faults is self-will. Decades of this pushy, obnoxious, my way is the right way and none other will serve, type attitude - has kept me weak and guilty. I am still battling to let go and let God.

I live in a small community far away from any Al-Anon help or meetings. This was a huge difficulty for me as I found keeping the faith and following the program hard work on my own. My telephone account could not contain the depth and breadth of my troubles. One day in the terrifying start of my journey into Al-Anon before I went to my first and only meeting, I remember saying to my dear friend: "Be careful that this Al-Anon doesn't rule your life. Keep your mind open to other things as well."

My friend, please forgive my lack of knowledge. I did not know what I was talking about. Here I am nearly a year since my meeting and I remember those words to my friend and now I understand. Al-Anon is a way of life. Normal life. Real life. Better life. I have had great trouble with Step 3 - the decision to turn my will and my life over to the God of my understanding - it was and is tough work, but then all good things come to those who work on themselves.

I remember praying for understanding, pleading for serenity, begging for tolerance and never for guidance. After months of seemingly fruitless searching for that nameless something that would change my life, I finally asked for guidance. The request went out into the ether and in seconds I realised that my Higher Power had been trying to get in touch with me all along. All I had to do was listen. I have never been very good at listening. I prefer talking - yap, yap, yap, and to hell with the consequences. The chatter bubbles up all the time, but I am learning bit by bit to listen.

I read my ODAT and read my Courage to Change that my dear friend gave to me and then I listen. I ask for help and, miraculously, the tools for the help I seek are put before me. It is my choice if I pick them up and use them or not.

I have since found that the tools or lessons come in many forms. I read constantly - novels, biographies, self-help books - anything that catches my attention and, without fail, I have found the answers I seek when I have asked for the help. Al-Anon has been instrumental in showing me on a daily basis how to use the tools. For all of these gifts I am grateful.

All the things that I have learned have helped me to become someone I really like. I am a fun person. I am a good listener. I am a strong person and all of my friends benefit from my presence. I would not be in this wonderful place without Al-Anon. I am evolving all the time. Sometimes I fall down as we all do, but I have learned the art of forgiving others and myself our little mistakes. So what!! We are only human and we all make mistakes.

Thanks to Al-Anon and my Higher Power - it is great to be alive and okay.

UNITAS, November/December 1999

This article may be reproduced in its entirety without alteration using the following credit line: Reprinted with permission of UNITAS (South African Al-Anon family group magazine.)


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