Link – Adult Children of Alcoholics and the Need to Feel In Control

Feeling out of control is scary for most people, but even more so for adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs).


Living with an alcoholic or addict is scary and unpredictable, especially when you’re a child. Trying to control people and situations is a coping strategy that children of alcoholics develop to deal with chaotic and dysfunctional family situations. It is normal and adaptive. In other words, your desire to control everything in your life is an understandable outcome of growing up in an overwhelming and traumatic family environment.

It’s an understandable outcome, but it’s a very difficult way to live. It’s one of many ways that what are normal reactions to abnormal childhoods hurt us later in life. Instead of embracing change and the unknown, we live in fear of it, missing out on tremendous growth opportunities.

I’m glad that I worked on this issue enough to have been able to put myself in uncertain situations and grown from them, but I also recognize how much my instincts still try to push me to avoid them and control everything around me, and how much that reaction still causes me to miss opportunities.

We are all still learning.

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