New here and saying hi!




Hi there!

I’ve just recently joined these message boards and thought i’d introduce myself to everyone!

Unfortunately, both my parents are/were alcoholics. My father passed away when i was four years old due to his alcoholism, so i never really was able to enjoy having a father figure in my life. My mother is also an alcoholic to this day and was from way before i was born.

Growing up was turbulent to say the least. My mother’s marriage to my stepfather started okay but descended into conflict after a few years, the financial problems that come with many alcoholics also took hold around the same time, leading teenage years dominated by conflict, anger and debt. I can recall spending my teenage years feeling very unhappy with myself and surroundings. Extremely low on confidence, self esteem and feeling very much like an outcast.

Fortunately, as a young adult, i’m now able to live independently and feel free of all the uncertainty, shame and anger that came with my upbringing. However i will forever feel like the child of an alcoholic. But i can also appreciate the life lessons that sort of background taught me and would love to connect with any others that have similar feelings and experiences.

Above all else, i feel compelled to not let my experiences go to waste and be there for others who maybe are failing to find hope at the moment. It’s not your fault and things will get better, i promise.

I hope everyone using these message boards is finding them a source of comfort and hope i can be around to help anyone else, even if its just a little bit of support or someone to hear your stories.

All the best, everyone!

  • blue96

    Hey james954,

    Firstly, I'm really sorry to hear about the things that you've experienced over the years. I can empathise with the feeling of always feeling like the child of an alcoholic, despite moving on in life.

    Its really great to hear how positive you are about moving forward though and that you've acknowledged that nothing that has happened to you has ever been your fault, which is such an important message for all COAs to take on board.

    I also find these message boards to be a great opportunity to provide support to other people, but it also helps me to rationalise my own experiences so they're a brilliant resource all round.

    Welcome to the NACOA community!

    • paulb

      Hi also new to Nacoa, found this through MP on radio talking about his experience as a ACOA. I discovered a Dr Jan Woititz book on ACOA some years ago and refer to it occasionally;it is an enlighting book and is constructed simply to assist ACOA.I wonder if NACOA have a list of ACOA meetings?

      • listener

        Hi there Paulb,

        So pleased you have found Nacoa. I really hope you benefit from the website and other resources. Please know that if you'd like support, Nacoa also has a helpline you are very welcome to contact ( or 0800 358 3456).

        The helpline often researches support groups for callers when requested, so please do get in touch if this would be helpful.

        You can also find support groups in your local area using the following websites:
        ACA ( and Al-Anon (

        I hope this is useful. Please do continue using these message boards for support!

        Take care,

  • listener

    Hi James,

    Thanks for joining us and posting your story. I’m sorry to hear about everything you had to deal with growing up and the impact this had on you. It must have been really difficult to lose your father so early on in life, and the following years of conflict and financial problems couldn’t have made things any easier.

    You are not alone in feeling like an outcast, and feeling low in confidence. These feelings are very common consequences of a difficult childhood and I am sure many others will identify with what you’ve shared.

    However it was really great to read that things seem to have improved for you, and you’ve been able to move past the anger and are now able to live independently. Its really positive that you want to put your experiences to use to support others. I really like the message you’ve shared that ‘it’s not your fault and things will get better, I promise’.

    Thanks again for sharing, and remember that if you ever do want to talk or reflect you are always welcome to call the Nacoa helpline ( / 0800 358 3456).

  • uniquemind


    Low confidence is so common and you are not any different from so many others so do not feel like you are alone.

    Nice for you to post a comment. I relate to this on so many levels, I am also a child of an alcoholic who was very bitter through my teen years. Before I realised I can help others with all my life experienced and enrolled on a mental health degree. It's amazing you are so positive and are not letting your past experiences fully determine your future life. Using your life experiences to help others is also an amazing coping mechanism which will keep you on the right track for now. However, Accessing support to help you through past experiences is also an option if ever you are struggling, on this service or local services.

    Take care

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