May 12, 2022


by Lisa A. Romano

#codependency adult child of alcoholic

Growing up as a grandchild of an alcoholic can result in codependency and addiction but in this part of the blog, I’m going to break down the ways in which you can break free.

Overwrought With Faulty Belief Systems 

By being embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help means that we become overwrought with all of the family dysfunction and faulty belief systems that we then end up taking into our intimate relationships. We find ourselves taking on the role of the person who has it all together, I’m the one that you can rely on to figure out all of your problems.

We don’t realize that by functioning this way, we are falling apart on the inside and that definitely happened to me after 12 years of marriage. I could not pretend that I was happy any longer, I had to tell my husband the truth, I had to tell him that I was miserable. Something had to change and getting a divorce was the answer. But during this time, I just pretended that I was happy and took the reign of looking after everybody else except myself, resulting in my body falling apart and not being able to handle the stress anymore. 

“I was so sick, but I was so used to being detached from my internal world, I didn’t even know how sick I was.”

If you are someone who ignores how you feel physically, you should investigate why you aren’t taking care of yourself. Accepting the fact that you need help is one of the biggest steps you can take. If you were gaslit by dysfunctional family members and if you were raised to believe that getting sick meant you were weak, this would have made it even harder for you to reach out. 

“It is scary for us to admit that we’re not perfect because we’ve been conditioned to believe in this perfectionist facade.”

And now when someone says, ‘Hey, you know, I think you’re a little bit too rigid about this’ we end up getting very defensive.

We become very reactionary after living our life surrounded by pain, we can triage pain well because it is what we are used to. We are used to chaos, craziness and emotional upset as grandchildren of alcoholics and I just want to encourage anyone out there that there is help.

There Is A Way Out for Grandchildren of Alcoholics

I want you to know that there is a way out and that learning about your family history is going to serve you. There is nothing wrong with looking at your family objectively, I think it’s absolutely imperative that we all do this. 

Recognize that there might be an inner child inside of us that feels like we’re being disloyal to our families especially if we have a mom who is an alcoholic and glosses over everything. We don’t want to talk about how you were affected by your mom’s alcoholism or grandmother’s alcoholism, I caution you if that’s the road you take because that most likely won’t end too well. 

You may end up stuck repeating the past especially after building coping mechanisms that have kept you safe, 

If this resonates with you and you believe that your family has been affected by alcoholism then I do really encourage you to look at your family more objectively to recognize that your family system wasn’t perfect. It is not your fault you were born into a family system that was affected by alcoholism which was affected by the inability for people to acknowledge that there was a problem. But I can tell you that if you develop codependency as a result of it then until you take stock of how your life has been affected by your past you’re doomed to recreate it. You may marry an alcoholic, you may end up with addiction issues or you may end up with anxiety and that life is just passing you by.

Healing Your Inner Child

You can heal your inner child and you can learn to speak to your body from a higher state of awareness. You can learn to change the way that you think, you can change your goals and create new dreams! 

I'd like you to know that I've created a 12-week breakthrough coaching program specifically for grandchildren and adult children of alcoholics. This is a program that is intense but it takes you on a healing journey where you acknowledge the wounds of the inner child; something that you weren't allowed to do as a child growing up in a dysfunctional family.

We talk about how you were affected by feeling abandoned. We talk about how you can tune your focus to things that you want. Adult children of alcoholics and grandchildren of alcoholics are very clear about what they don’t want but not very clear about what they do want!

I just encourage you that if you are a grandchild of an alcoholic or an adult child of an alcoholic to never give up! There is a way out and to know that codependency is often a big part of the way that we relate to the world. We just don’t feel good enough and we don’t know why sometimes but how sad is that? That we operate below the veil of consciousness seeking approval from other people and being a fixer. We give others unconditional love but not ourselves, we wait for someone else to tell us that they approve of us. 

I hope this has been helpful and I highly recommend this book by Ann W Smith, it’s an oldie but it’s golden. It’s called ‘Grandchildren of Alcoholics, Another Generation of Codependency

Thank you so much for wanting to learn more about your past, how you can evolve from past childhood trauma and how you can recognize programs and patterns in yourself. And ultimately how you can rise above them and make your life better than it was before.

You can also check out the rest of my website for some more resources, as well as my 12-Week Breakthrough Program and Codependency Quiz.

Namaste everybody, thank you and until next time!