I have been living with Alcoholism all of my life

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I have been dealing with Alcoholism all of my life. My mother and father were both functional active alcoholics, as well as my grandfather and brother. I thought the drinking, parties, abuse, and fighting were “normal.”

It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I sought counseling since my ex-husband was out of work for a year and we had 4 small children to provide for. I was surprised when the therapist said, “You are an “Adult Child of an Alcoholic.”

I was in big-time DENIAL and out of touch with myself and my feelings when I attended my first meeting and could only relate to one or 2 of the characteristics of being an adult child of an alcoholic. What I learned is that it can be an adult child of a divorce, gambler, food addict, shopper, workaholic, or codependent.

Thankfully, I continued to attend the meetings (although I didn’t think I needed them) as I saw something on the faces of the people attending the meetings. There was a peace that I knew I didn’t have and I wanted it. Before long, I related to all of the characteristics of being an adult child, especially people pleasing, not feeling good enough and worthy to receive love.

What a relief to learn about the 3 C’s in the program. You can’t Control it. You can’t Cure it and you didn’t Cause it. There were many things I learned that I still practice in my life today. I learned about the importance of detaching emotionally, feeling my feelings, loving myself first, taking responsibility for myself rather than judging, blame and shaming others. Through the program and a lot of hard work, I started to “grow up” and get healthy.

I was not only helping and healing myself, I was giving the gift of recovery to my children and modeling for them healthy behaviors. My childhood history of alcoholism prepared me for my life’s work and passion as an alcohol and drug therapist for 20 years. Although I wasn’t an alcoholic or drug addict, I loved what I did and identified with the pain and suffering of those who were caught up in the throes of addiction.

As I sit and reflect on my past and where I’ve come from and where I am today, I have tears of gratitude that I made it out alive and that I am thriving and living my life to the fullest. I was willing and determined to do the work of uncovering false beliefs and forgiving my alcoholic parents.

Unfortunately, my only brother who is 17 months younger than me wasn’t so fortunate. Although he managed to get almost 28 years of sobriety under his belt, today he is laying in a hospital weighing 110 pounds and not wanting to live. My heart is breaking and I feel so sad that at this stage of his life, he has nothing to live for. His wife and 3 children are devastated.

My brother fell about 6 months ago getting out of bed. He was prescribed a narcotic for pain. An addict cannot do a narcotic in moderation.  Before long, he was off and running and addicted. He fell again last month while high on the narcotic and broke his hip. He was operated on and now refuses to do rehab, which means he will never walk again.

I feel powerless as he won’t answer the phone or text and I have no communication with him. I pray and send him love which I know is the best thing I can do. I am allowing myself to feel all of my feelings and I allow the tears to flow when I think of him and his family.

What I know in my heart is that my brother is doing the best he can right now. It’s his journey and what he signed up for. It may be his time to leave the planet. I don’t know God’s plan. I will continue to send love and pray for a miracle and trust the divine plan for his life.

I believe all addictions are a cry for love, whether it be to food, drugs, work, shopping, or gambling. I feel compassion for all who suffer from any kind of addiction.

Do you have someone in your life who struggles with addiction? Are you able to let go and trust your loved one to Spirit? Sending love and prayers to all who read this and to let you know you are not alone.

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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