I grew up in a home with two alcoholic parents. I knew this on some level and I didn’t on so many others. Over the years, I’ve read all the books you are supposed to read. I first bought them all when I was 16 and desperate. They were helpful in the moment and offered some “I’m not alone” relief. But invariably, I’d be in a moment of crisis (my step-father throwing a pumpkin through our sliding glass door, my mother drunk and passed out again just in time to miss my graduation, 16th birthday, soccer game, homecoming speech and on and on) and I’d forget what I’d read in the very 70’s looking books so long ago. I went to awful Alateen meetings. Nothing stuck.
My mother died of cirrhosis of the liver my freshman year in college. I bought all the books again.
In my 20’s, I bought the books all over again. Went to the same not-amazing meetings again.
In my 30’s, I bought all the books and re-read them again. I started seeing a therapist regularly. None of this ever came up.
At the age of 40, life events cracked me all the way open and I finally (finally! finally!) came to fully acknowledge that growing up with alcoholic parents has affected every aspect of my life. Every relationship, every go-to behavior, every choice I’ve made. It was finally time to really understand that, face it, learn how to shift my behaviors and find a way forward that was no longer living in the shadow of the alcoholics in my life. Through meditation, breath work, yoga, mindful movement, an enormous amount of reading, a phenomenal therapist and a brilliant life coach, I am on the other side of so much understanding and healing.
If I had access to this kind of care when I was younger, my life would have been radically different. It is not ok that I needed a lot of time, money and access to incredible therapists to get better. I don’t wish that for you either.
So – I have taken all I’ve learned over these many years to create something I wish I had when I first bought those books all those years ago:
- A community of women at all ages who are sifting through the same painful material.
- A place where I can learn what it means to be a child of an alcoholic and all the behaviors that might be present in my life because of it.
- A place where I can learn how to heal – how pain and trauma live in our bodies and how vital it is to engage in regular self-care and mindful practices to move that pain out of our bodies and into the world.
- A place where we can heal together through shared activities that are proven to promote health (nature, movement, laughter and storytelling) and guest speakers who’ve been there themselves.
- A safe community where we can simply be and be inspired to create something that is truly ours, free from the painful memories of our past.
This is only the beginning and there are so many of us. In the coming weeks and months I’ll be hosting events and inviting amazing speakers and healers to join us. Stay tuned and please join the email list to be notified of all the goodness ahead. Our stories matter and telling them is the key to our healing.