anguishThis post is authored by John
As adult children (of alcoholics) we often live within a framework of shame. One symptom of this is we minimize our achievements, feelings, needs, or opinions. Behind that is our feeling that we aren’t and can’t do anything special. So it figures we would find a way to discount whatever we do.

We recently put up some crown molding in our den which has a peculiar slope. Figuring out how to make the cuts upside down and backwards was extremely difficult especially in the last corner. Finally after several trials we just got close and used filler to cover the gaps. We are very proud of how it looks but find it difficult not to point out to others where we had to “fudge” or “cheat” to make it come out even though we have an excellent finished product. It is our way of saying “I don’t count” or “I can not do anything significant”. We point out our own weaknesses before others can see them.

We may have the opportunity for achievement but decline saying to ourselves that “we can never do that” or “I do not deserve better.” We sometime go to great lengths to prove ourselves right. We give strength to minimizing words such as “just” and “only” to discount what we have achieved. We “only” live in a two bedroom house. We “just” finished high school.

But of course we do count, we do deserve to be successful, we can be worthy to receive blessings. We deserve better, it is part of learning to be honest in our recovery How freeing it is to grow to the place where we can say “look at what we accomplished,” . Let’s recognize our achievements. Let’s recognize our own needs are important and let’s give honest opinions on issues that matter to us.