I’m scared I’ll never be free




I’m 27 now and my mum has been an alcoholic before I was born. She is currently homeless living in a family members spare room, with no ability to change her situation. Her drinking has led to a total personality change and serious physical deterioration. The hardest part has always been that I still love her. I feel terrified that I will never be able to live a normal and happy life whilst she is still alive, because the emotional weight I carry makes me feel so shameful, I feel I can’t form normal or healthy relationships. I feel so different to everyone else’s like I’m experiencing this a million miles away from even my closest friends. I feel so lost and defeated, and I just can’t see a way out.

  • listener

    Hi Zeebee,

    I'm so sorry to hear all that you're going through and how you are feeling. It is so hard when you feel unable to live a normal and happy life because you're carrying an enormous weight on your shoulders.

    I want to reassure you that you are not alone in feeling different from everyone else, feeling a sense of shame, and feeling unable to develop healthy relationships. These are very common in people who have grown up with an alcoholic parent. Although that doesn't make those things any easier, I hope it helps you to feel that there is nothing inherently wrong with you - you're experiencing a normal response to this incredibly difficult situation.

    I wonder if it might help to connect with others who are going through similar. It's great that you're posting on these message boards and I hope that helps. You might also find it useful to read through some of the personal experiences on the Nacoa website: https://nacoa.org.uk/support-advice/for-adults/experiences/

    Another thing that might help with that feeling of isolation is going to a support group where you could meet others who are experiencing similar things. If you want any information of that, you could always contact the Nacoa helpline (helpline@nacoa.org.uk / 0800 358 3456) and they could give you any information and support you in any way possible.

    Take very good care of yourself,

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