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Children of Alcoholics

"Children of Alcoholics, Live in the middle of Life"
copyright 2011, all rights reserved

by Toby Rice Drews
author of the "Getting Them Sober" books

It is so difficult for persons from alcoholics families to "live in the middle of life", to be in the "gray areas".... not in the extremes of only "black or white".

Sometimes, of course, it is necessary to be at one end or the other..... but most of the time, life is about the little things, the 'mundane' things, the routines.

And in these times of national upheaval, of uncertainty about life and death issues, it is difficult for everyone -- but especially for families of alcoholics, who for the most part, are untreated for their "ism" that includes living in chronic emotional-excited-misery.

Thank God for recovery rooms that help us to differentiate between a true crisis and thinking everything is a crisis.

And for those of us who not only live with the national events, but who live with the chronic upheavals in our homes from addiction -- it is even more imperative to learn to be good to our bodies/our souls..... by learning to de-stress and therefore be able to better meet whatever comes our way as well as enjoying the life we've been given.

The concept of "detachment" is so imperative in these times. Learning that in the rooms of recovery can literally save our sanity.

This learning to reach out to others, help them when we can -- and yet keep enough of an emotional distance to continue to really live, is an art. It is so hard to not feel guilty, for most of us from alcoholic families, when we "go on with life" when others cannot. The rooms of recovery teach us to do just that. We learn that it does not help others when we are immobilized by depression and fear. That kind of "going down with them", emotionally, only brings on burn-out.

I think that is probably one of the main reasons why so many helping professionals from alcoholic families experience so much more burnout than those from more functional families -- we have not learned, as well as they have, to detach and go on while others suffer..... therefore, we often don't last as long as they do, in truly being able to help.

We burn strong, but we burn-out quicker.

We help so much, so intensely------ but we need to re-charge, and pull back emotionally, to get to that middle ground.... or we're no good to anyone. Most of us know this.... but I think it might be good to say it. I, for one, need to write this, to read it..... to drive it "more home" to myself .... I've been one of those taught to 'give all' and 'never stop giving' and 'feel guilty' if I enjoy life when others suffer.

That middle ground where I help and have compassion and yet still live is sometimes still very foreign territory. ----- best to all in recovery, Toby

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