Why did I feel afraid to go to my first Al-Anon meeting?


There are a variety of reasons why people are reluctant to attend their first meeting.

Foremost among these reasons: they’re so deeply engaged in trying to cope with a stressful situation that it’s hard to break away from engrained patterns of behavior.

On the one hand, we know that any possible solution is likely to be found somewhere we haven’t looked yet. But on the other hand, it can be worrisome to try something that seems to be entirely new.

Many Al-Anon members struggled for many years with the difficult challenges of coping with the effects of alcoholism. It’s often easier to envision continued difficulties than a positive solution. That’s why it’s easy to think of so many reasons not to attend a meeting.

If you feel anxiety about attending an Al-Anon meeting, you’re not alone. Many people have felt that way. But overcoming that reluctance is an opportunity for personal growth, the first of many that the Al-Anon program offers. It’s the first step on your road to recovery.

Don’t worry about whether or not you want to become a “member.” Just visit a variety of different meetings to gather information—to hear how the people there handle their issues with problem drinkers. It may be that some of their experiences will be helpful to you.

Here’s what one first-time visitor experienced.

There are no dues or membership fees. Al‑Anon is supported by members’ contributions, which are entirely voluntary. Each group has expenses—rent and literature, for example—and each group is self-supporting.

Al‑Anon has no membership list, and does not take attendance. You’re welcome to attend as frequently or infrequently as you choose. There is never any obligation. You can choose to share your full name or not.

Here’s more about Al-Anon meetings

What do members say?


How did I feel at my first Al-Anon meeting?