How can I sum up my experience in so many words…


I feel lucky and unlucky as a result of growing up with alcoholic parents. My father is 15 years sober but AA has become his addiction. My mother began to drink years after my father stopped.

He was what people expect an alcoholic to be. But as a kid, Daddy was just crazy. A bit mad. Or you’ll see Dad in the morning, if you don’t hear him come home before. My mother was my safety net, but looking back I think I was hers. I experienced life with the alcoholic and life away from them, worrying, and always hoping they would be OK. That Dad would be there to have us when mum couldn’t.

But then he got sober and after a while, he invested so much of himself in his recovery, that I didn’t really know him anymore. This wasn’t the Dad I knew. And then my mam started drinking more. It was gradual, over time. And I’d watch the clock, checking, hoping she hadn’t drank as much as I knew she did. I love her when she’s sober. She’s my heart when she isn’t drinking but I see how lost she is when she drinks. I lose a part of her.

This is all so personal. But I actually don’t really mind. I’ve been in therapy for a long time now. I needed to be and it had changed my life – as cliché as that might sound. Now I can love my mam and my dad, drunk or dry. I love them even when I don’t love their actions. There’s enough good now to out weigh the bad. I guess I have my own good. They’re not my whole life anymore. I get to mind myself now too. Even though I do love a good hug from them both.