Adult Children of Alcoholics – The First Step

We all live in this world surrounded by our own particular desires and needs. All of us however are unprotected to the same triumphs and defeats. Growing up today and managing our lives in adulthood poses the same trials and challenges as would have been experienced in any bygone century. No matter what we go by in our lives, every one of us is capable of experiencing the same feelings that another has been by in spite of of personal finances or social position.

People who have been affected by the chronic chemical addiction suffered by a parent possess psychological damage that is rare to the adult child of an alcoholic. The damage exhibited by an adult child of an alcoholic can be equivalent to a form of child abuse as the adult child lives with thorough feelings of guilt, shame and low self worth. It is important that they seek help in the form of psychological counselling to help them to make sense of their jumbled thought patterns and early established dysfunctional behaviour.

Many people who have grown up in homes affected by alcohol addiction have become successful in their particular fields of endeavour. The adult children of alcoholics are not automatically doomed to low paying jobs or to be found with substandard educational achievements. Many of them will be in this category just as in any stratum of society but unfortunately wherever an adult child of an alcoholic succeeds it can be seen that they will have all the dysfunctional symptoms particular to their condition expressed in some other area of their lives.

There are many avenues of help for people who have grown up living with alcohol addicted parents. Many will look for help after years of confusion and self doubt have pushed them to despair. Counselling is usually the first specialized choice for many. Counselling provides a safe place to express the inner feelings and confusing thoughts to a person who is non judgemental as adult children of alcoholics are people who have a very hard time dealing with rejection. During their formative years they will have suffered greatly from a parent who continually would reject them. They would be rejected by the alcoholic parent who would rather give attention to a bottle of whiskey instead of give love to their child who is considered less important.

Counselling is useful on one level and helps the adult child to release many layers of dysfunctional thinking but the next place that they can find substantial tools for recovery is called al-anon. This is an off shoot from alcoholics anonymous but the sessions deal with children, adults and loved ones of alcoholics to find healing and recovery. The recovery course of action is done in group sessions where verbal participation with equally affected members is promoted but not compulsory. The format for sessions is based on a recovery course of action using a twelve step program. The first one begins with the phrase: ‘We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable’. This phrase sets the starting assumption for recovery and is known to be highly effective when the complete twelve steps are completed. Those who complete the course discover that they are an thoroughly new person who is released from their former dysfunctional thinking and who are people that possess a deeper understanding of human interaction and that every person should be valued with the respect and dignity that they all deserve.

Leave a Reply