From my un-steeped perspective it is a fellowship to support you in learning self care. The rules all talk about letting go, submitting to a higher power, etc. They also say, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
Well, I have had a spiritual awakening, an ongoing one, for over 20 years now. It’s evolving and I am very happy with it. I also like that it is not based on an addict in my life. And as I write that step here I realize why some of the members are so fanatical about the program, it's the 12th step to tell me and others. I also tend to disagree with their leaning towards co-dependency being such a bad thing. That went way too far with therapists, there is a science of healing to having healthy attached relationships. Emphasize the world healthy. The answer is not to swing the pendulum all the way towards independence. It just really feels a lot like a religious gathering and format, they have their own literature, they read from them in meetings, there are rules about what is allowable to be read and be said outloud, the same things are read each time a meeting opens and closes, etc etc. I see it as a replacement for regular religious practice, something I already have and am not interested in replacing. I completely get why this works for some people, but I somehow find it off in a way. Off and empty.
So I go, alanonless into the world, married to an addict and war survivor, struggling with his own ability to care for himself and not be addicted to self medicating in some way. And really, what can I do? I have learned a lot about letting go, personal self care, responsibility, communication, reactions, and more. I hear other people’s stories in an alanon room and realize how much I have learned that they are still trying to figure out.
IDK if I will be OK with my current support system and knowledge of navigating the array of illnesses in my family, but alanon doesn’t seem to be the place I want to hash that out.