I Grew Up with a Family of Alcoholics

This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

Neagle Code Question

Hi David,

I grew up in a family of alcoholics, and there was not a lot of communication or love shown in my family. I’ve struggled with letting myself be free and open, and really going for what I want.

I’ve always felt like I’m capable of doing different things. But if I don’t reach my goal, or if things get too hard, it’s easy for me to jump ship and go to something else. It’s like I always jump from one thing to the next without letting myself get emotionally involved in the results. As a teenager, I felt like I didn’t have any passion for anything—and I still feel like that today. How can I overcome this?

Neagle Code Answer

If you grew up in a family of alcoholics, I want you to understand something very important.

The predominant emotional charge in families of alcoholics is shame. It’s almost impossible to get to passion when shame is overriding everything that’s going on. This has been known for a long time.

There’s a way to overcome shame and get out of it, but you have to consistently work at it.

Here’s the truth: You don’t have to live that way. You don’t have to let shame control your life. It’s a skillset, learning how to get out of shame. It’s a big issue to be in a family dealing with that much dysfunction. I know it’s hard.

But you have nothing to be ashamed of. And neither does anybody in your family.

The shame that families of alcoholics experience is projected by society. They’ve taken it on.

But you have nothing to be ashamed of.

The fact is, people who engage in substance abuse are trying to find a way out of some pain they feel. They just don’t know how to get there. Substance abuse provides a fast way out of the pain.

It’s actually a reflection of someone’s higher consciousness trying to get out of the pain, but they were never shown how. In the essence of that idea alone…there’s tremendous amount of pride and love that goes into that.

It’s not an addiction to alcohol that’s the problem; it’s an addiction to how you feel, versus the pain that you’re experiencing.

We want to get out of the pain. We want to step into the idea that:

“I can generate these feelings on my own, and I don’t need a substance to be able to do it. I don’t need to live in a bottle for the rest of my life, and I don’t have to succumb to the shame that society projects on me.”

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