Because my Father was an Alchohalic, Im having problems as an adult. Should I just pray or can i do something else?

By all means, pray. God's power is the key to the coming together of your life. When I was in a similar situation, God responded to my prayer in this way: two friends, quite independently of each other, introduced me to a fast growing organization called, Adult Children of Alcoholics. Both my friends had parents who were alcoholics.

When I mentioned that there were drinking problems in my family, my friends treated me with all solicitude and lent me the latest books by psychologists working with the adult children of alcoholics.

I have found the reading material on ACA very helpful. And as I share in my sermons and talks some of the fears and obsessions that I have developed because of the alcoholic situation in
my childhood, I find that significant numbers of Americans share my struggles. Certain common characteristics are found in children brought up in households where there is an alcoholic or chemical dependency.

We have come to feel isolated, uneasy with other people, especially authority figures. To protect ourselves, we become people pleasers, sometimes losing our identity in the process. We either become alcoholics ourselves or marry them - or both. Failing that, we find another compulsive personality, such as a workaholic, to fulfill our sick need to be abandoned. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. We prefer to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. We somehow get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves rather than give in to others. Thus we become reactors rather than actors, letting others take the initiative.

We are dependent, terrified of the very abandonment we have sought. We are willing to do almost anything to hold onto a relationship in order not to be abandoned emotionally. Yet we keep choosing insecure relationships because they match our childhood relationship with alcoholic parents. We learned to suppress our feelings as children, and as adults we keep them buried, confusing love and pity, tending to love those we can rescue. Because of the prevalence of anger in our family of origin, we have a hard time expressing anger and dealing with it in others. Even more self-defeating, we become addicted to excitement in all our affairs, preferring constant upset to workable relationships. The road to recovery is a spiritual road similar to that of the twelve recovery steps for Alcoholics Anonymous. If you find that I have struck a nerve or two, I hope that you will do further reading on the subject and then perhaps join a weekly support group.

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