Both of my parents are alcoholics; then I married an alcoholic. I thought I was the only sober one, but I wasn’t. My addiction just manifested differently. I didn’t drink all day long, and I didn’t drink and drive, so I thought I didn’t have a problem. Then one snowy night, I ran out of booze.
We had at least six inches of snow and counting and not a snow plow in sight. I wasn’t going anywhere. Besides, I had been drinking; I wasn’t going to drive.
The minutes ticked by; then a couple of hours had passed. I headed for the liquor cabinet. Damn! I forgot I was out. That’s when it started getting harder.
That storm turned out to be a blizzard, and I was stuck in the house for three days. I was no longer just dying for a drink. I had started to go through withdrawal, and I was really dying. At least, that’s what I thought. I thought I was going to die.
The roads opened, and I drug myself out to my car and tried to shovel it out. I couldn’t do it. I was so weak from being sick that I simply couldn’t keep lifting the shovel. I slid down the side of my car and cried. That was my moment. Trapped by my drinking; that’s when I knew I had to stop. I knew I was an addict, and I knew that it was slowly killing me.
Everyone has their own particular moment, and while it’s different set of circumstances for everyone who experiences it, we can all relate. However, there is another place where many of us meet: We blame someone for our drinking. Children of alcoholics often blame their parents for their addiction. I know I did for a long time.
The Blame Game
Blame is all around us, and while it isn’t exclusive to our addiction, these are the thoughts that derail us from getting on the track to recovery.
- We blame our parents for passing on “the gene”, or we blame them simply because they drank their way through our childhoods.
- We blame our friends for encouraging us to drink with them.
- We blame ourselves for being a coward or selfish or choosing drinking over our loved ones.
Most of the time, I didn’t blame myself. That road was too painful to travel. It was so much easier to blame someone else for my addiction.
During the early stages of my recovery, however, I learned that blame is not the answer. It’s an exercise in futility, because it doesn’t change anything or make it better.
When I blamed my parents for my addiction, I was actually giving myself permission to continue drinking. After all, it was their fault, right? I can’t help myself; I have to drink.
The truth is much harder to accept, but once I did, I realized that by playing the blame game, I didn’t give myself a chance to overcome my addiction. In fact, when I began my recovery, I still played the game. I figured that if I did have a setback, it wouldn’t be my fault. And guess what? I had setbacks, a lot of them.
It wasn’t until I took responsibility for my addiction that I learned that by holding on to those excuses, I was eliminating any chance for recovery. I learned that blame is not healthy, but accountability is. By accepting responsibility, I freed myself to live a life of sobriety. You can, too!
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, or you just have questions, please call Lighthouse Treatment Center today. We are happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced treatment advisors. Help is available today.