Flap Your Wings

Flap Your Wings

Stopping the Cycle of Generational Alcoholism

I was disgusted with my parents’ alcoholism. So this is how I handled it; I took drugs instead. It made total sense to me at the time. Drugs were clean. I could hide them more easily than my mother’s 5th of Vodka. I could take certain types and instead of getting sloppy and mean I could laugh and have fun. And of course, I could stop whenever I wanted. As long as I never stayed with one class of drugs for too long, I would never get addicted.

Of course we all know the folly of that kind of thinking. Drugs just about destroyed me. It clouded my judgement so that I allowed hurtful people to have access to my life. It kept me numb to pain so that instead of dealing with each hurt as it came, I stuffed it all until it exploded into serious mental illness. It took years to recover.

And with all the care I took to keep from getting addicted, the chickens came home to roost many years later when I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my neck. With my brain primed for addiction through the use of drugs in my teens and early twenties, it was no time at all before I became seriously addicted to the opiate pain killers prescribed by my family physician. I soon found out what the hell of withdrawal was like.

Being an adult child of an alcoholic means having to learn new ways of living. It’s not easy, but there are many who have traveled the road before and shine the light so we can follow their path. The video below is a wonderful example.

Did you recognize yourself in her words? If so, reach out to someone for help. Stop the cycle of alcoholism in your own family line. I like to say, “Be a butterfly.” One small flap of your wings can change generations of your family. Do this for yourself, your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren, and your great-great grandchildren. You get the idea.

Can you relate? In what ways have generational alcoholism touched your life? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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2 thoughts on “Flap Your Wings

  1. My Dad’s mother died when he was eleven. It was cancer, and it took many months before it finally let her rest in peace. By the age of fourteen my Dad was already drinking and smoking like a pro. He’s been in AA for more than twenty years now, thank God. Still, heavy addictions twist your personality and there is only so much that can be undone in therapy. For me, the most difficult part has always been the “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” act – my Dad’s oscillation between one of the most caring, loving, warm, smart and funny adults I’ve ever known and an explosive, angry, vicious, manipulative and vulgar teenager. I’m pushing forty but still there are times when I find emotions – my own and other people’s – utterly confusing. On the one hand, everyone is capable of everything in my experience, but on the other, it always comes as a surprise.

  2. Hi Mona,
    I so relate with your comment. It is just recently that I’ve been able to separate the sweet intelligent mother I had from the “crazy” person she became when she was drinking. It has helped to gain insight and understanding into why she did this…how coping with alcohol seemed to be her only option at that time. She’s been gone since 1986 and I’ve finally found peace about it. It leaves scars though. Figuring out my own emotions was a process. When I learned about dialectical behavior therapy I realized that I there was a way to circumvent some of the time it took to get there. I didn’t have that luxury. Thanks for sharing with us your own experience.

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