The Child of an Alcoholic Parent- What must be confronted?

I realize (only now) that I was destined to become exactly like, or a slight version of the opposite of, my parents. This being contingent upon the fact that they were my role models. For me, this thrilling combination resulted in an addictively co-dependent underachiever with a superiority complex. Not the markers of success.

I had a tendency to let others dominate me (albeit with my permission) and then drink to escape the wrongs that had been done to me. I was ill-prepared for a career, marriage, and parenting. And the cherry on top was my profession that none of this was my fault.

The choice to stop drinking was the greatest decision of my life, because it gave me a life. I came to sobriety thinking I had a little drinking problem. I came to understand that I had a living problem, one that was handed down from many generations of sick living—sick thinking. Was this to be my inheritance? The hardest part of sobriety (once you actually stop drinking) is admitting you don’t have a clue as to how to live sober—unaltered is a better word here. So you just pretend you know and pretend others don’t notice and pretend you can just pull it off. The gift is when you recognize you needn’t pretend any longer. This IS the freeing moment.

How could I have expected to be different than my parents? They are what I witnessed during the most formative years of my life. They were my people, my tribe, my teachers, my mentors. You don’t get to choose what gets programmed in the subconscious mind. It gets programmed and at a very early age. My job as the child of an alcoholic was to choose to live different. I needed to program something different at a cellular level if I was to live—at all! Forget the not drinking part. What about the living part? I learned that no matter what I had learned I could unlearn it and replace it with something new. Not only could I, but it was now my personal mission and responsibility to myself, my children, my family, even society. What I say, how I act, the ideas I think; all of these are important and get to be treated with importance, with priority.

What was taught to me matters but what I do with it as an adult matters even more. I choose to step into my life today. My children will be the recipients of a different inheritance. One I am proud to give them.

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