Adult child, lost family to addiction

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crohnie

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Adult child, lost family to addiction
« on: March 07, 2017, 08:03:35 PM »
I'm writing about this because it helps to just put it out there.  There's only so many times my friends can hear this stuff!

I consider the first five years of my life to be pretty idyllic.  My mom, brother, & I spent our days together - playing, running errands, going to the park, library, etc..  I feel very lucky to have had those years.   My dad's alcoholism was the first to take center stage in the home.  He relapsed in his recovery several times before becoming serious about AA.  Once he got sober, my mom's alcoholism became the family focus. 

It's noteworthy that while all of this was happening, I was diagnosed and trying to survive with Crohn's disease, but my health was often the warm-up act for someone's addiction.  I learned to be self-reliant, often to the point of self-isolation (something I struggle with very much now).  My mom got sober ten years before her passing, and I was so proud to have two sober parents (although they had both had smoked since their early teens, and had no intention of quitting). 

It was around the time of mom's sobriety that my brother's alcoholism began to escalate.  His disease was more challenging to live with, since he had become a high functioning alcoholic.  By the time of his passing he was drinking a case of beer each day.  He and I were just a year apart, and were extremely close.

Between 2007-2013, each member of my family died - my dad from emphysema, mom from lung cancer, and my brother from liver disease.   I still have moments of frustration and anger when I miss them.   At the same time, there is a certain level of relief that comes from no longer having an active addict in my life.   Of course I wish my brother was alive, but in all honesty his addiction caused a lot of heartache and stress. 

For the past 3.5 years I've worked to put my own life together, with no apologies.  My husband and I have been together 18 years (legally wed in 2010 when it became legal in DC), and he has been sober for 32 years.  I don't drink.  We don't have alcohol in our home. 

I've been working with a wonderful therapist for about 15 months now, and a new psychiatrist (my previous one wasn't very effective).  I am currently trying to climb out of a 2-3 month relapse of my depression/anxiety, but I know that if I continue to see my therapist & doctor, I will eventually see improvement again.   

I am grateful today that I have found this site.  The symptoms of CPTSD seem to be so universal, which helps to normalize the life I've been living for nearly 45 years.   Thank you for the space to share this part of me.   

Hope you all are making time to take care of yourselves today. 

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Three Roses

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Re: Adult child, lost family to addiction
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 08:26:40 PM »
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Hope you all are making time to take care of yourselves today.

What a lovely sentiment!  :hug:

This forum has been a godsend for me. I've learned so much! And if I ever need to get something off my chest, there are great listeners here with wonderful insight to share. Glad you're here.  :hug:

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sanmagic7

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Re: Adult child, lost family to addiction
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2017, 10:35:07 PM »
strange how the focus changes in the family according to, seemingly,  who 'needs' it the most.  sorry about all your losses, tho, but i'm glad you found us and a place to let the poison out.  yeah, our friends can only take so much.

my hub and i are also sober, about 16 yrs., and we have no alcohol in the house either.  i know of people who would keep alcohol for guests, but that never made sense to me.  once i got sober, i didn't want to be around a bunch of drinkers anymore.

it sounds like you're moving forward.  keep going - you're doing great!