Nar-Anon Family Groups
Posted By Kim Swindell Wood | December 2, 2019 1:26 pm
By Rachel Auberger
An area chapter of the national Nar-Anon Family Groups has begun meeting weekly in Van Buren County.
The Nar-Anon Family Groups are support groups primarily for those who know, or have known, a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very near to them. Members of the groups have navigated or currently are trying to navigate the troublesome road of attempting to set healthy boundaries as well as develop their own methods for coping with the emotional trauma that can come from loving someone suffering from an addiction.
“This is not a place to come and talk badly about your loved one,” Tracy, one of the Van Buren County group’s founders, said. “We share experiences so that we can help each other attempt to understand why they do what they do and so that we can support each other. No one is alone in this.”
Tracy said that when individuals come into the family group, they are among true friends who understand their problems as few others could. Part of the group’s mission is to give those who attend the meetings the assurance that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness is too great to be overcome.
The national program, which is not a religious one but claims to be a spiritual way of life, is based on the 12 Steps of Nar-Anon. The hope is that the working of these steps will bring the solution to practically any problem. Members are urged to take this program and its 12 steps seriously, attending weekly meetings on a regular basis.
“Once you become familiar with the program, you come to crave that connection,” Tracy said. “You need to be able to come and feel the support that comes from the group.”
Nar-Anon is a non-professional fellowship whose members share their experience, strength, and hope to solve their common problems. Things like avoiding standing in the way of the addict’s recovery, understanding that addiction is a disease, and realizing that regardless of how much a person might love someone, they can never have power over another’s life are all topics that are frequently discussed in the weekly meetings. While Nar-Anon cooperates with Narcotics Anonymous and other recovery programs, they don’t affiliate with them specifically, and they are careful to remind members that the group is not a replacement for professional treatment nor does the group provide professional treatment.
“We just want to offer hope and support,” Tracy emphasized. “How you react with an addict has a lot to do with the relationship you want to maintain with them. It isn’t easy, and we want to be a safe place to come and share experiences and receive the support so many friends and family members need.”
The area Nar-Anon Family Groups meets in the old Masonic Lodge building behind the library, in Spencer, at 427 College St., at 6 p.m., every Tuesday. Anyone coping with the stress and trauma of loving someone with an addiction is encouraged to attend.