“God (or our Higher Power) grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference”.

Although the programme is by no means religious it is a spiritual programme. Some people can struggle initially with the idea of God or Higher Power. Everyone is free to choose their own version of a Higher Power. While some members may connect their Higher Power to nature, others may feel connected to their Higher Power within the meetings and what they hear there. Others will believe in a God to whom they feel they can fully surrender. There is no obligation, it is a personal choice. Regardless of their spiritual belief, members often feel relieved to know that they are not alone in their healing process and that they are part of a community of seekers.

In the main part of the meeting a topic or theme is discussed, and readings can be read out from an Al-Anon book of daily readings. People are invited to share on the theme or on anything that they are currently feeling or experiencing. Some people may share painful experiences that they are going through or have been through whilst others may share their experience, love, strength and hope of how they are applying the Al-Anon program in their lives. The meetings last one hour. To close the meeting the Chair and members recite the Serenity Prayer.

Al-Anon members are encouraged to keep the focus on themselves, rather than on the alcoholic. Members believe changed attitudes can aid recovery. Having said that, the programme stresses that one person did not cause another person’s drinking or their choices or behaviours. We cannot cure alcoholism, and we cannot control the alcoholic. Some research shows that when problem drinkers enter a recovery programme, their chances for success are improved when they are supported by family members or friends who are in a family recovery programme such as Al-Anon.

Another member, Lisa, joined the Al-Anon group having been married to an active alcoholic who was by this time, already seeking recovery in AA. Even though her husband was no longer drinking, Lisa felt like the problems in their marriage had not vanished. Lisa admitted that it was her who needed to change. Lisa says “I needed to concentrate more on myself and my own recovery instead of obsessing over my alcoholic husband. Once I started to apply the Al-Anon programme to my life, my whole family started to feel the change and we are now living a more harmonious life instead of the ongoing drama it was before.”

It is often advised to try out several meetings before deciding whether Al-Anon is for you. In the path to recovery, we take “One day at a time” and it should not be rushed. Looking for the similarities and not the differences helps us connect and benefit from the 12 step programme.

How to join the Algarve Al-Anon Family Group
Al-Anon members are people, just like you who are worried about someone with a drinking problem. Alcoholism is a complex problem, with many related issues. But Al-Anon can help you learn how to cope with the challenges of someone else’s drinking.

Here is the schedule of the meetings of the Algarve Al-Anon Family group.
Meeting times (currently on Zoom):
English Speaking meetings
Sunday 10.30am (weekly)
Thursday 10.30am (alternate weeks)
Thursday 6pm (alternate weeks)
Portuguese Speaking Meetings:
Thursdays 9pm (every other week)

For more information about Algarve’s Al-Anon meetings and how to join, please contact us via email: alanonalgarve@gmail.com or telephone: 965122752
An important part of the Al-Anon group’s principles is that the groups are fully self-supporting accepting no outside contributions. There are no dues or fees to be a member of an Al-Anon group but members may make voluntary contributions to cover the groups expenses.