Self Talk From A Child Of An Alcoholic

23 October 2015 Written by 

What is Positive Self Talk? : I don't know about you, but all day every day I have a nonstop stream of thoughts in my head that go unspoken. The sad reality is most of them are negative and depressing. For me it is a habit I got from growing up in an alcoholic home. And that habit has to be broken. Breaking this bad habit can be done by shifting the negative thoughts into positive ones. This is not to be confused with naive “everything will be ok” thoughts. Positive talk is a conscious effort to outweigh the pessimistic thoughts with optimistic ones like, “I am going to do great in my class presentation today,” or “I am so fortunate to have my health when some people do not.” I didn’t grow up hearing positive talk, so it's new. I grew up with an alcoholic father, and alcoholism makes everything confusing, especially to a little girl.

Life Without Encouraging Words

As a young child I remember running from the dinner table at night sobbing, because my father was picking on me for the way I would chew my food or drop my fork. Anything I did could become a reason to strike at me. Because Dad did this, my brothers would often join in and make me an easy target for their teasing, too. I began to believe I somehow deserved this treatment. It was my normal. Who would do well with this normal?

Turning The Corner On Abuse

You don't overcome years of bad feeling overnight. What happened is I got used to expecting the worst from other people and also from myself. And this meant I couldn't reach my potential, or be really happy. Living in constant self-reproach or self-criticism keeps the pain going. Change happens literally by asking for help from people outside the family, like school counselors, teachers, mentors, support groups, and seeking friends that support healthier thinking. You can't change your whole life view by yourself, and it takes time.

My Choice Now

I grew up in a family with addiction and received a lot of non-stop negative messages, but that does not mean I can’t reinvent the way I feel and think about myself. Now, I don’t forget to whisper sweet nothings to myself daily about all the amazing things I have discovered. Even if I don’t yet believe it all yet, I say it anyway! I owe it to myself. I owe it to that little girl.

A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By The Intern



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The Intern

The Intern is a college senior, sorority sister, child of a father who passed away from alcoholism. The intern tells about college life and what it's like to look for normal when you've never known it, and can't share your story with your professors, and friends.
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