I wouldn’t say I had what most people would call a “normal” childhood. I found out from my neighbor, when I was eight years old, that the person I thought was my biological father actually wasn’t. It was around that time that he and my mother got a divorce, and I slowly stopped seeing him. My mother got remarried when I was approximately ten years old to an individual who also suffered from the disease of addiction, but (to my knowledge) did not do anything to overcome it. I started seeing my biological father regularly starting around the time I was twelve years old, and my mother got a divorce from my second stepfather when I was approximately eighteen years old.
The reason I am incorporating this brief history of my childhood is that I believe it affected my desire to develop a family. To be honest, I have been scared to start a family because I would never want to bring a child into the world to have to deal with dysfunction, and I do not wish to have a dysfunctional marriage. Fortunately, I now realize that dysfunction most likely will not be the fortune of my child or my marriage AS LONG AS I REMAIN SOBER.
I can only imagine how my behavior, while I have been intoxicated, would have affected my child (if I had one). I already know how my behavior when I was intoxicated affected my romantic relationships during those times. Although I do wish I would not have put those individuals through what they went through because of my drinking habits, I am glad that in each case, we were able to go our separate ways, and no children were being affected.
I am the first person to admit that I am far from perfect, but I am confident that I come much closer to the mark when I am sober! I realize too that there are probably people reading this that already have families. I am not insinuating that your family is dysfunctional. Whether that is the case or not, I do believe that the potential for a dysfunctional family increases substantially with active addiction. In fact, the divorce rate among couples who either both drink or neither drink is 30%, compared to a 50% divorce rate among marriages in which only one person drinks in the relationship. If you believe your family may be dysfunctional, you are taking a great step in changing that by remaining sober! Today you can take the steps necessary to have a healthy family life!
(Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash)