This is a blog for Adult Children or Grandchildren of an Alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional upbringing. We come together to express ourselves and share how our lives have been helped since coming to ACoA. This is where we "conquer the fear that has kept us from expressing the pain of the past and from feeling alienated from the world." (Jenny M.)
Love for ourselves and other members is what helps us choose love over fear.
There are two moments in my life where I began to understand just what that meant.
First, when I realized one of my parents was an alcoholic.
Second, when that parent handed me the book, Daily Affirmations for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Rokelle Lerner.
I was often depressed in high school. After my parents divorce we moved three towns over as I was entering my sophomore year. My parent began drinking more and more frequently.
Blaming "family problems" I pushed away my friends, ignored my schoolwork, came home each day and stuffed my face with sugary, high fat foods. (Thankfully today I am in a regular exercise program!) I craved comfort and though I had seemed to always have a boyfriend, overall I was lonely. I began to see a school counselor more often though I wasn't sure if it was just an excuse to get out of class.
She asked me if it was possible my (parent) is an alcoholic. I didn't answer. I couldn't answer for a long time and I remember feeling like I had been living in a constant night time with no stars, no moon, no light whatsoever and somebody just shined a bright flashlight in my face.
Do you realize your parent has an alcohol problem?
The rest of the school day is a blur but I arrived at the day care center where I worked an hour early for my shift started and walked to the empty playground, sat down on a bench and cried. I cried a a big healthy sob. I was finally accepting my mother did in fact, have a problem--and so did I. Although mine wasn't with drinking--it was with acceptance, anger, resentment, fear and every other emotion you can think of.
Several years later I had been living with roommates and attending college and that parent told me they had been cleaning out the clutter from their house. "I have a book for you." I was handed a thick palm-sized book of Daily Affirmations for Adult Children of Alcoholics. Whoa! I remember feeling both relieved and confused. No explanation at all, no apology, no "Hopefully this will help you, " just "Here." I was speechless.
Even still, I dutifully placed the book on my nightstand that night and tried to get in to the habit of reading a passage every day but before long I put it away with the rest of the books on my shelf.
Almost a decade I discovered an Adult Child of Alcoholics meeting I realized the group sometimes reads from a similar affirmations book. For those of us who want to view and use the daily affirmations on a daily or regular basis I've decided to post daily, some inspired directly from the affirmations, some are taken from other books. All attribution is given.
I'll offer my own reflections but others are always welcome to comment! Thank you.