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Alateen & Al-Anon: It’s Not About MY Drinking

Growing up in a household where someone has a drinking problem is extremely difficult. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, grandparent or even a friend, but growing up surrounded by addiction has lasting effects.

I grew up in a family with an alcoholic parent and I have to say I simply learned to survive the best I could. At the time I didn’t know what ‘dysfunction’ was, or that I was even unhappy. I just thought this was the way everyone lived, and pushed forward. It wasn’t until many years later, once I got out on my own and started living my life amongst others that I began to realize the insanity of my childhood. It’s no wonder that my subconscious led me into the arms of an active addict. It’s all I knew. It’s what I was comfortable with. I’ve since learned to call that being ‘comfortably uncomfortable.’ It’s like I knew it wasn’t what I wanted but it was all I knew – all I deserved.

Alateen and Al-Anon were both around back then, and although my alcoholic parent found sobriety when I was fifteen, it was still hard for me to figure out how to attend. My parent offered to take me, but for me it was ‘hey, you take care of yourself, I’m fine.’

I think back on that statement and know that I obviously wasn’t, but it’s part of the disease of addiction. I wasn’t using drugs and alcohol back then. Although I’d probably drank once at a party, I felt that as long as I didn’t overdue it, I would be fine. I didn’t want to be associated with my parent and this disease. There was a lot of shame back then, so I felt if I could just bury it, push it down, then it wouldn’t be a problem. Great coping skills learned at the knee of an alcoholic.

Due to the stuffing of my emotions, I began to mask my pain with alcohol and other drugs. It took a while for my addiction to take hold physically, and I think that’s because I worked hard at just not drinking or using drugs for many years. I didn’t want to be THAT parent I grew up with. Before I knew it though, I found myself coming through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous, and it wasn’t until many, many, many years later I found myself walking through the doors of Al-Anon.

Al-Anon just seems different. It’s not about MY drinking. I think what I’m learning is how to live MY life around people who drink socially or abuse alcohol. Time remains, and this is not a quick fix. I feel better and coping better, which is what it’s all about.



Recovery Rob BIO

Recovery Rob is a 47-year-old man who has more than nineteen years of sobriety, whose drugs of choice at one time were alcohol and drugs, and he has worked in and around the field of addiction for more than 20 years. Recovery Rob is a professional writer who has published two novels and is currently working on his third. He has been writing and working as Pat Moore Foundation’s premiere blogger and content writer, which helps keeps Pat Moore Foundation’s addiction and recovery blog top-rated.