Nar-Anon can give everyone insight and community in addiction recovery.
Often, we talk about addiction recovery by focusing on the people who currently walk the recovery path. We give “in-recovery” tips and we tell “in-recovery” testimonies, two great things to support our community. But what about the loved ones of those in recovery?
That often means members of Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. For now, we’ll get into why Nar-Anon holds value for anyone that attends it (we’ll touch on Al-Anon later this week).
What is Nar-Anon?
It’s a worldwide fellowship for those who love people suffering from addiction. The autonomous peer meetings give social support to members, along with a safe place to share memories, successes and hardships. And who can become a member? Any friend or family member of someone in the throes of addiction who’s willing to join and to begin their own recovery journey.
After all, Nar-Anon draws from the 12 Steps recovery teachings (specifically adapting its principles from Narcotics Anonymous). As its website explains, “we only ask for the wisdom and courage to see ourselves as we really are, to do something about ourselves with the help of a Higher Power as we understand this, and for the grace to release our addicts with love and cease trying to change them.”
You can read how Nar-Anon serves a simple and crucial mission: support for those who love addicts. But the meetings might serve more people than just affected friends and families.
Nar-Anon Can Help Everyone
Whoever you are, you might want to attend a Nar-Anon meeting. Especially if you’re living your own recovery from drugs and attending NA meetings. You’ll learn things about your own loved ones that may not have occurred to you before.
Note: if you do attend a Nar-Anon meeting, respect your peers and maintain the safe, enclosed space you find there. Listen closely but don’t repeat others’ stories. Anonymity is worth respecting in Nar-Anon’s vulnerable recovery journeys. Now, what can a Nar-Anon meeting teach you?
Nar-Anon Gives Empathy
If you’ve attended peer recovery meetings, you know that brave members volunteer to share their stories. Not just any stories—their darkest memories, or their hardest days. When Nar-Anon members speak about loving someone caught in addiction, they’re vulnerable in a way you might never hear anywhere else.
And so, if you’re recovering from your own addiction, you’ll learn more about how you once impacted your loved ones. You can always remember how you’ve hurt loved ones in the past. But hearing them say it in their own words, through their own experience, can teach you much more than memory can. Even when you don’t know the speakers and have done nothing to them. Learning their stories can help you admit what you once did to your loved ones, and teach you how you might make the right amends to them.
Nar-Anon Creates Community
You’ll learn more than the pain of your own loved ones, however. Sitting in on a Nar-Anon meeting will teach you that no one who loves an addict is alone. Nar-Anon meetings show you that there’s community available, whether you go in person or attend an online meeting here at In The Rooms.
Part of it is seeing the Nar-Anon members (in one way or another). Even at an online meeting, visibility happens and and moves the meeting forward. Another (more important) part is hearing the Nar-Anon members share their stories. If their stories sound anything like your loved ones’ experience, that means your loved ones aren’t alone. Their pain becomes a shared pain, which might make it a little lighter. If your loved ones don’t know that, they should.
So What Now?
Try to make time to attend Nar-Anon, if you haven’t already. Every Wednesday, In The Rooms members host meeting for anyone who’d like to come by. And if you’ve already attended Nar-Anon meetings, why not spread the word? You’ve read our thoughts on how Nar-Anon can help just about anyone.
All you have to do is join In The Rooms for free! Visit our online recovery community today and learn how we can serve you.