Growing up in an alcoholic family meant hiding secrets. Pretending things are fine when they are not. Not acknowledging dysfunction when it exists. Covering for the alcoholic parent when others ask what’s happening. It’s easy to lose yourself as you deny reality to yourself.

All of these behaviors stick with you into adulthood if we don’t address them. The mind is so powerful it’s amazing what situations we will find ourselves in or what reality we will convince ourselves of as adults without even realizing it. And, oh, the people pleasing we engage in just to make a bad situation ok only to realize we’ve just said yes (again) to a thing we didn’t want to do.

What do YOU want? What life do you want? What kind of work do you really want to do in this world? What do you want in a partner? Friends? My coach Gwen Dittmar has a great tool called “Ideal Scene” which requires me to get super clear on anything I want for my life. What does it look like? What does it feel like? What are some tangible parts of the ideal scene that you can write down and hold in your mind? This is so helpful for so many, but I find it’s particularly powerful for ACoAs as we often don’t know how to ask for what we want, don’t feel we deserve to ask for what we want and certainly don’t feel we will ever get it. And because we don’t feel we are worthy or it will ever happen for us, we settle for situations we don’t want. We say “ok” to the job, the relationship, the trip, the whatever and set about convincing ourselves it’s good enough. I want more for you. I want more for me. I want us to live the lives we’d love to live, not just the lives we’ve managed to cobble together on the other side of so much trauma.

If you find yourself living in a story you don’t want to be in, you can change it. No matter what you learned growing up. You deserve everything you hope for in this life. Everything. Let’s envision our “ideal scene”, let’s write it down and then make it come true. We deserve to live in a story of our own making, rather then acting in a small part off to the side or behind the scenes, in the shadows. We deserve magic.