Sunday, January 20, 2008

Meeting Format - Work-Anon

Work Anon Meeting Guidelines
v1.3

Opening:

Work-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of workaholics who share their experience strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe that work addiction is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.

Work-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization, or institution; does not engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Work-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.

Work-Anon has but one purpose: to help families, friends, and co-workers of workaholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps and Traditions of Work-Anon.

For Newcomers: (or For newcomers but to be read each meeting as a reminder to all)

For some of us, Work-Anon was a last resort: we were in pain, we were desperate, some of us had abandoned hope. We came to our first meeting – and we kept coming- to find relief from the terrible pain we had grown accustomed to feeling. We knew that our suffering was related to someone else’s work addiction, and we knew that we were unable to lead a normal life because of it.

As newcomers to Work-Anon Family Groups many of us wondered what the group would be talking about. The things we heard – and did not hear- at meetings may have surprised us. We may have thought members of Work-Anon might teach us how to stop the workaholic from acting out with work. Some of us had come into the program believing that once the workaholic found abstinence, our pain would magically disappear.

A great many myths were laid to rest at our meetings. We heard that we could not make another person stop working compulsively; that abstinence does not necessarily mean “happily ever after;” and that we are each responsible for dealing with our own pain. We also heard about placing our trust in a Power greater than ourselves.

When we first come to Work-Anon Family Groups, full of hurt, frustration, and anger, we may see the workaholic as the immediate source of our pain. Our impulse may be to focus our discussion on that person. We may also be so unaccustomed to looking at ourselves that we tend to talk about everything but ourselves. In Work-Anon we come to realize that much of our discomfort comes from our attitudes, and to learn about our responsibility to ourselves. This helps us discover feelings of self-worth and furthers our spiritual growth. The emphasis is lifted from the workaholic and placed where appropriate – on ourselves. When we tell our story, therefore, it is not the work addict’s story, it is the story of our own recovery.

We continue to come to Work-Anon because it succeeds in reminding us to focus on ourselves. It succeeds because it is a positive program that is grounded in the common experiences of its members; people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s work addiction. We welcome you and hope that here you may find experience strength and hope and learn how to recover through using the Twelve Steps and this fellow-ship.

Closing:

In closing we ask that all respect the anonymity of everyone here and all that was shared. At our meetings, we share our experience strength and hope with one another, keeping the focus on ourselves and on the Work-Anon tools of recovery. Personal recovery through spiritual growth and the common welfare of the group are of prime importance. By concentrating on our own feelings and attitudes toward our situation, rather than on the details of the situation, we contribute to the group’s unity and our recovery. We talk about how the disease of workaholism has affected our thinking and our behavior. We talk about the part we played in our problems and how we change our attitudes and actions by applying the Work-Anon program to our lives. We may find that basing our group discussion on a Step, Tradition, Concept or Slogan or various other program tools helps to improve our understanding of the program, foster growth, and bring serenity.

Will all who care to join me after a moment of silence, please join me in the Serenity Prayer followed by “Thy will not mine be Done.”

God, Grant me the Serenity

To Accept the Things I cannot change,

Courage to Change the Things I can

And Wisdom to Know the Difference.

Thy Will Not Mine be done.

Amen

Updated 8/19/2007
Corrections 01/20/2008 and 5/11/2009