Addiction is very much a repeating cycle — when the only normal one knows is an unhealthy addiction, their risks increase exponentially. For those who grew up in an alcoholic home, it can be hard to distinguish what is “normal” from what is healthy. The four tips listed below can help you to understand the effects alcoholism had on you while growing up, and how to break the cycle.
Understand the Risks of Alcoholism
While genetic links to addiction are only now beginning to be uncovered, it has been known for many years that those who grow up in an alcoholic home are at a greater risk of continuing that pattern. When you have been exposed to something for so long, it becomes your “normal,” making it difficult to see it for what it really is — an addiction. If you are the child or an alcoholic, or were otherwise exposed to alcoholism while you were growing up, it is important that you understand your risks of becoming addicted yourself.
Find a Support Group
For many who grew up in alcoholic households, support can be hard to come by. It is easier to pretend it never happened and hide the alcoholism from others. This is unhealthy and sure to land you in a bad place down the road. Finding a support group that you feel comfortable with is a great help for those learning to cope with their loved ones alcoholism. By hearing the stories of others, you will feel less alone and see that this is a more common occurrence than you once might have thought.
Learn How Your Loved One’s Alcoholism Affected You
Alcoholism in a loved one can really take its toll on you — physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You may wonder why your love wasn’t enough to stop them, or why they continued drinking despite their numerous promises. Alcoholism is an all-encompassing disease, for the alcoholic and their friends and family members. It is an addiction that can break up homes, cause harm to those around them, and even kill.
There is no doubt that your loved one’s alcoholism affected you in one way or another. While covering up the hurts is a normal reaction, it is not a healthy one. It will take some time, but understanding exactly what effect their disease had on you can help you to heal and grow.
Approach Alcohol With Caution
For many individuals who grew up exposed to alcoholism, choosing not to partake at all is a good way to avoid addictive behaviors. Since the science behind addiction is not entirely understood yet, it can be frightening to think one drink will push you over the edge into a lifelong battle with alcoholism.
However, for others, small amounts of alcohol here and there is not a problem. If one is cautious, they can examine their thought processes before partaking and determine if they want to have a drink, or are craving one. For those who feel the urge to drink, seeking help early can help you break the addiction before it even occurs.
Alcoholism is a life altering experience for all involved. To break the cycle of addiction, those who grew up around alcoholism should educate themselves on the risks of becoming addicted, find a support group, understand the effect that alcohol had and may still have on them, and approach alcohol with caution. Educate yourself — it is the best defense you have against a life of addiction.