Child of an alcoholic – it’s not just you
COA week 2024 marks my 3rd COA week, that I have known of. Obviously, this week has been dedicated to raising awareness of children of alcoholics long before this, but my introduction to this great awareness week began three years ago.
My mum was an alcoholic and unfortunately, her struggle took her away from us 3 years ago, far far too soon. Grieving my mum is something I carry every day, and it infiltrates every aspect of my life. I will never get over, but I am learning to process it.
Finding my voice
Since my lovely mum has passed, I have begun to find a voice. Day by day I am learning that it is wonderful to speak about her, and also the things we went through. As the days pass, I am also moved by how many others are affected by a parent drinking. And I’m also moved by how many people have found comfort in me speaking openly.
So many of my close friends and people online have reached out to me to say they are going through the same thing. I’m almost sad that it took mum passing, to open up and create this space to encourage us to openly talk about the struggles we go through. However, as children of an alcoholic so many of us survive the memory of our loved ones. Something I think that rings absolutely true is the quote:
“Perhaps you went through it and survived it so you could help someone else make it through”.
1 in 5
1 in 5 children are affected by a loved ones drinking. Think about that. Just in one classroom of children that number is astonishingly high. In one meeting room, that number is too high. And yet we are all going through it, and there are so many people that aren’t able to voice it. The Nacoa community is amazing. Each day we learn that it isn’t your fault, and most importantly you are not alone.
My dear friends, thank you for confiding in me and thank you for having the confidence to admit your vulnerabilities. I have been fortunate to have open and honest conversations with those closest to me about our own relationships with alcohol and what being a COA means to us. While everyone’s journey is different, I find myself feeling thankful that I am part of a generation who are asking the questions, doing the work and making the effort to break this cycle of heartache that affects so many families across the UK. People are incredible, and COA’s are the strongest people I know.
So perhaps this is my message for the upcoming COA week, it isn’t just you. You are not alone in this, and you can make it through this. However, being a COA affects you, if you are angry, sad, embarrassed, or lost, it isn’t just you. And you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of at all.
Read more personal experience stories by visiting our Support & Advice pages.