WHAT I LEARNED: “…if no one knows us as we really are, we run the risk of making ourselves victims of our own self-hatred. If we can be loved by somebody who sees us as we are, we will then be able to accept ourselves. Others rarely think we’re as bad as we think we are.” – from Alateen ― Hope For Children of Alcoholics (item # B-3), pages 17-18.
WHAT I LEARNED: The opposite of judgement is acceptance.
WHAT I LEARNED: 1. My next podcast guest said that “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2017” was her favorite outreach piece that she wanted to talk about on my “CAL Chat” show, so it was time to read it all the way through! I had read entire versions of previous ones so I was struck by several “firsts” that this 2017 magazine has & have listed them below:
A) Ever since this magazine debuted in 2006 (for the 2007 edition), the first page inside always featured a “Dear Reader” welcome letter from Al-Anon’s Executive Director, Ric B. However, now that Ric B. has moved on (as of April 2016), there is no letter in the 2017 edition. It has been replaced with 12 questions to help someone identify if Al-Anon is right for them. We’ll have to see if next year’s edition goes back to having a letter because I have to admit, I kinda miss it. It seemed to make the magazine more personable, but maybe that’s because I enjoyed the 2 times I was able to talk to Ric himself. He was instrumental & supportive when I mentioned to him that I wanted to start this blog about CAL literature & it was his suggestion to start every entry with “WHAT I LEARNED.” Thanks Ric! I’m still learning!!!
B) This magazine also now has the toll-free number & website listed on the right side of every single page. I think this is very helpful! Especially if someone only has enough time to read one article, then that info is right there & they don’t have to hunt for it.
C) On page 18, you’ll find the first time that there’s a page dedicated to just finding Al-Anon on Facebook & it includes 4 QR (Quick Response) codes people can scan with their phones. Why 4 of them?? 1 each for English, Spanish, French, & Alateen! Whoo-hoo – go Alateen!
D) Last but certainly not least, the best thing about this 2017 edition, in my opinion, is that the cover prominently features a black mother & son (& the mom has a tattoo no less)! Per page 29 of the 2016 World Service Conference (WSC) Summary, this is part of their effort to include more people from diverse backgrounds. I love seeing this & it ties in well with the most recent version of the outreach bookmark (item # M-76). In fact, when I leave these outreach magazines various places, I think I’ll put a bookmark in each. That way, if someone doesn’t want to take the magazine, maybe they’ll at least take the bookmark!
2. My favorite line comes from page 24: “My first Al-Anon meeting was the one I didn’t attend.” …Intrigued?? Since this is an outreach piece available to all, I’ve posted the entire magazine here at this permanent link so you can read the rest of the story by clicking here to download it: Outreach Magazine 2017-English.
3. Pasted below are screenshots of this magazine throughout the years that you can also find at my Instagram account that celebrates all things CAL: www.instagram.com/calchatfan1. Al-Anon, you’ve come a long way baby! 😉