Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Truth

Not to be too serious or anything, but I think it's about time that I addressed some of my previous posts more directly.  For the past 24 years I've grown up with a father who is an alcoholic.  Because of this I've put a large amount of time and energy into working through what this means to me and truly making healthy decisions for my life and the future.  (It was a vow I made to myself a long, long time ago). Alcoholism is a serious disease and addiction that effects not only the alcoholic, but also the other members of the family.  What I'm getting at is that lots of the previous posts on here are about dealing with an alcoholic father.  

Recently, I had a conversation with my dad that caused me to revisit a wound that has been healing for some time.  The good news is that..

Today was a much better day, and I'm grateful!  I don't do well as a drama queen, but I also don't do well when people act like one. But in all honesty each time I have to deal with the bouts of an alcoholic father, I go through a little bit more of the grieving process.  I take it in, have to find a way to deal with it, and then accept, and recenter.  It's been work, but not work I regret having to do.  In the end we all have our unique stories and things we have to deal with. This just happens to be mine.  And I also know the strength that has come from this. Thankfully I have a very patient boyfriend and wonderful family that are awesome.  But I also am very diligent about maintaining and making my own healthy way of life - doing things I like, working out, cooking healthy, sleep, positive relationships.  This is part of it - making my own way.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that when I am centered I feel great, and I really do appreciate and treasure that feeling and enjoy life that much more.  It was interesting to experience these past two days again and the fear that came over me when I got sad.  Growing up, I never felt room for my feelings to be expressed because him and his addiction were always the things in need of real attention.  I know I didn't really open up this can of worms until 3-4 years ago at the end of college. When I was reminded of the characteristics shared by adult children of alcoholics it made more sense.  Although I know that some of these are my innate personality traits (like being responsible, I enjoy it) - I know they are also things that came out of dysfunctional family roles. 
- An overdeveloped sense of responsibility (me wanting to take care of my mom and sister, do well in school, planner, etc.)
-People pleaser to protect ourselves so as not to upset the environment or cause more trouble
-Anxious - always scanning the environment for potential problems and fear of not being able to control a situation (me not knowing what it would be like when I would come home)

What I make of this is that it can help bring a sense of awareness to things.  It doesn't so much pigeon hole, but more-so helps to bring a heightened awareness to strengths overdone. And with that awareness I am able to balance better, and say okay, I'm in a healthy, safe place now that I don't have to react in these ways.  In addition, it helps those who I am close to help understand things and gain more perspective. While I think it's good to gain understanding, I also don't like to dwell on the "effects" of the alcoholic family, but rather focus on the empowerment in choices and decisions I can make for myself. 

The blessing in all of this is that it is in the past and I am moving forward! I've made some great decisions so far and want to continue on this path! And my promise to myself and those I love is to always remember the blessings in my life, communicate, and keep growing and striving in health and happiness.  This being said, goodnight all, it's time to recover some lost sleep!:)
*ps - it really does feel good being honest and writing this here. 

1 comment:

Kaivalya said...

What an honest, moving blog post! And I really like your positive take on your experiences.

Many of us (adult children) are out there, me included, doing our best to live life to the fullest and not allow the past to determine our future.

My father's life was difficult and far too short, due to his struggles with alcohol. But I believe that if I can live a joyful life, contributing to the world in a positive way and being of service to others, then it gives additional depth and meaning to his life, troubled as it was (and even though he's been gone for many years).