How To Cope When You Are The Adult Child Of An Alcoholic

When most people think about alcoholism, they think solely about how the condition affects the person with the addiction. However, alcoholism and other addictions have a much wider scope of influence than just the person who has an alcohol abuse problem. If you are an adult child of an alcoholic, you might feel powerless and unsure of how to deal with your parent and your life in general. This is completely normal. Get to know some of the steps that you can take to grapple with the issues of being an adult child of an alcoholic. Then, you can be sure you are doing everything in your power to get your life on the right track. 

Go To Adult Children of Alcoholics or Al-Anon Meetings

One of the things you may not know about group meetings related to alcoholism is that they do not just offer them to alcoholics themselves. There are two other types of alcohol abuse-related meetings that those family members affected by alcoholism can attend. The first is Al-Anon. Al-Anon meetings are designed for the family members of alcoholics; this can be parents, children, spouses, or other relatives that need help in coping with the ways addiction affects their lives.

These meetings help to create a sense of community among families of alcoholics, as well as explore the ways in which having an alcoholic in the family affects family dynamics as a whole. Al-Anon meetings talk about how to approach the issue of substance abuse treatment with an alcoholic family member, how to not be an enabler, how to handle the situation when an alcoholic family member will not quit drinking, and more. 

There are also group meetings for Adult Children of Alcoholics specifically. These meetings are based on a book written many years ago about what it means to be the adult child of an alcoholic. The meetings will address characteristics that adult children of alcoholics have, as well as strategies to cope and to learn about functional, healthy relationships with oneself and with others. Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings are especially helpful to people who grew up in a household with an alcoholic, as they can see how being in such a dysfunctional environment colored everything that they do and think, even in adulthood. 

Consider Getting Substance Abuse Treatment Yourself

Many adult children of alcoholics end up developing substance abuse problems themselves. It can be an alcohol addiction, but could also be an illicit or prescription drug problem as well. Sometimes, binge eating disorder or gambling addictions can also develop, which are  themselves a type of substance abuse disorder. The trend of adult children of alcoholics having substance abuse problems may stem from the behavior they saw modeled as a child. It could also have something to do with genetics. 

Most adult children of alcoholics have an especially difficult time recognizing that they have any kind of substance abuse problem. They likely grew up always thinking that they would never be like their alcoholic parent, but somehow because of environment, biology, or other circumstances, they do just that. It can also be an unhealthy coping strategy for all of the emotional damage inflicted by being the adult child of an alcoholic. 

If you feel that you have any form of substance abuse problem, no matter what that "substance" is, it is important to seek out help and treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you cope with your own issues, the sooner you can cope with the issues related to your childhood and learn how to live a healthy, productive life in spite of your childhood. 

Now that you know a few of the ways to cope when you are the adult child of an alcoholic, you can start taking steps to deal with these issues as soon as possible. Contact a business like Bridgeway Recovery Services Inc to learn more.