Information for the Newcomer
Nar-Anon is a Spiritual Program
This means that we accept the idea that we are dependent upon a Higher Power for help in solving our problems and achieving peace of mind. A member's individual religious beliefs are a personal matter, and we make it a point to avoid discussions regarding any specific faiths.
Each meeting will have a literature table where you will find information about Nar-Anon. We suggest you first read the literature in your newcomer packet and then visit the literature table. Remember that our literature is to help and guide you as you recover and continue to work the program. It is not intended to fix all your problems; it is to help you in your journey.
Types of Meetings
Since each group is autonomous, they can decide, by a group conscience, how their meetings will be conducted. However, this is always done in accordance with the Nar-Anon Traditions. Meetings can be held by having group sharing, step and/or tradition studies, topic meetings, or speaker meetings.
At Nar-Anon meetings, only one person speaks at a time. Anyone may express an opinion during their sharing. We do not engage in dialogue, debate or cross-talk during the meeting. We do not comment, correct, or judge others as we share. What is true for one may not be true for another. Those who would rather just listen are free to do so. Remember, we are not here to talk about the addict's problems but to keep the focus on ourselves and our own recovery. If you have questions, you are encouraged to stay after the meeting to speak with others, or you may want to use your phone list during the week.
Nar-Anon Spoken Here
You may notice that Nar-Anon members have a language all their own. This is one of the reasons we ask members to keep coming back. At first the new words and phrases you are hearing may appear foreign to you. This may be a little overwhelming to the newcomer. You will learn about the steps, traditions, and slogans and find helpful information in our Nar-Anon literature. Sometimes you may wonder why the same readings need to be repeated at each meeting. As you continue to attend meetings, you will find that those readings and slogans will become a part of your everyday recovery.
Contributions are Voluntary
Our 7th Tradition in Nar-Anon states: Every group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. As all contributions are voluntary, a member may give what he or she can afford when the basket is passed. Group funds are used to purchase literature, pay rent for their meeting place, and make periodic donations to their area, region, and World Service Office (WSO). A group may also decide to purchase refreshments and serving supplies.
Members can be of service to their group before the meeting by helping to set up chairs, put out literature and make refreshments, and cleaning up when the meeting is over. After you have attended meetings for a while, you may want to lead a meeting, or serve as group secretary, treasurer or group service representative (GSR). We have found that doing service work has been helpful in our recovery.
These 20 questions allow us to evaluate ourselves to see if Nar-Anon might be right for us. Ask yourself the following questions and then answer them as honestly as you can.
Is Nar-Anon for Me?
We welcome you to the Nar-Anon Family Groups and hope that you will find comfort and support in our meetings. We believe that by sharing our experience, strength and hope we can learn from each other how to deal with the pain and heartbreak that comes with loving an addict. This pamphlet will explain how our program works. If you have any questions, please ask them before or after the meeting.
We encourage you to attend at least six meetings before deciding if Nar-Anon is right for you. You will hear stories from our members that are similar to your own. You will find help in our literature that you can read between meetings. As you learn about our program, you will gain strength by realizing that you are not alone. There are many tools that can be used to help you during this difficult time. Not everything you hear or read will apply to your situation, so take what you like and leave the rest.
As you work the Nar-Anon program, you will come to appreciate the widely divergent ideas that are expressed here. In Nar-Anon, as in life, we all come from different backgrounds, bringing with us our own thoughts, ideas and instincts, and we are striving to be the best individuals we can be. We learn that we can work this program in our own way and in our own time.
There are no professionals or experts in our meetings, only other members who have had to deal with the addiction problem of someone they love. No one will tell you what to do or how to do it. We can only share our experience, strength and hope so that we might learn from each other in order to make decisions that are right for us.