By Kim Hutchison
Anonymous, confidential support for anyone troubled by the effects of a loved ones drinking, whether the drinker is actively drinking or not; living at home or away; or living or deceased, is available in Ponoka.
The Al-Anon Family Group meets at Trinity Lutheran Church every Tues. at 8 p.m.
Benefits of al-anon include a sense of belonging by identifying with others who have experienced the same kind of dilemmas and difficulties, coping strategies for dealing with negative emotions, a sharper focus on one’s own goals and aspirations rather than on someone else’s drinking, mutual support, a healthy alternative to keeping secrets and a structure for spiritual healing and discovering a sense of self-worth.
“No one can understand this situation unless they have been in it,” said a group member. “This group provides support and give serenity to family members and friends of alcoholics,” she said.
Past trends have shown an increase in attendance during the holiday season, but the group openly welcomes new members anytime of the year. Each group is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions so no dues or fees are required. No advance notification of attendance is necessary. Beginner kits are available at the first meeting you attend to help decide if this is right for you.
For more information about the group in general or for directions to the meeting location contact Irene at 403-783-4557.
A large amount of free, helpful information including frequently asked question and a six series pod-cast (an internet based broadcast) is also available by visiting www.al-anon.alateen.org. Alateen is a support group for teenagers whose lives are effected by alcoholics. There are currently no groups in Ponoka, but there are groups located in Red Deer, Wetaskiwin and Leduc. These locations can be obtained from the website provided as well.