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Letter To The Many Adult Children Of Addicts & Alcoholics

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

It’s all about falling in love with healing yourself

“I can only love myself as much as I believe I’m lovable.”

Al-Anon/ Alateen

Photo · Kat J · Unsplash

Dear You:

This open heart letter is to those of us who grew up in terrifying and disrupted homes with alcoholic or addict parents — to the children, now grown into adults ourselves — who developed many ways to survive in the midst of often severe extremes of frightening emotional violence and chaos.

Almost as though living in a constant state of deadly warfare, or in a never-ending screaming tornado, smashing our windows, our doors, our home and our life…

Always waiting, wide awake and on red alert for the next serious life-threatening attack from out of left-field — the next violent physical, psychic, emotional, spiritual or sexual assault.

And it’s my experience that many survivors of an abusive and frightening childhood develop a state of ‘hyper-vigilance’ .

This is where our whole being is wired to be almost constantly on high alert for danger.

An extremely draining way to live.

And I’m here to tell you this exhausting sense of emotional rawness can be turned into a blessing.

Yes, it can.

Our highly switched on awareness of everything around us can actually be fine-tuned into strong intuitive abilities.

Once we turn it down, by calming our mind, our heart, our breath and our adrenals, our energy can rise again.

Evanescence · Call Me When You’re Sober

Not only can we see our own life clearly, we can see into the life of others, as our vision clears to laser sharp. And let go of what’s not needed within our own world.

Offering experienced help where asked or invited. Sometimes just listening and acknowledging the impact of another’s addiction on someone’s life is the beginning of a very deep and profound healing.

Being heard by an intelligent and understanding listener is one of the world’s greatest medicines there is.

And the codependency of the hyper-vigilant and worn-out child of addicts then evolves into empathy, which eventually deepens into a profound compassion for ourself and also for others.

Love. You. X

Alexander Krivitskiy · Unsplash

“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.” - Author Unknown

Note: Al-Anon members are people, just like you, who are worried about someone with a drinking problem or other substance addiction. It turns your attention back toward yourself and your own life, and away from the self-obsessed addict.


Copyright 2020 © Julie Von Nonveiller Cairnes. All rights reserved.

First published in MEDIUM on May 22 2020

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