My sister is coming into town in just over a week from Germany. I’m super excited to be seeing her again so soon. After so many years of her not coming back to the US for visits, it’s nice to see her twice a year. She’s changed so much, and mostly for the better. It’s taken a lot of therapy time and uncomfortable dialogues with herself to reach the point she has. Anxiety is something I think just about everyone has to deal with at some point in their life. I suppose whether or not a person chooses to actually deal with it is up to them.
I know that growing up, anxiety wasn’t something she or I were able to express in a healthy way. Having an alcoholic parent means that you quickly learn how to hide or bottle your emotions, so as not to upset the addict. Anxiety was a surefire way to get our mother to drink more. That meant we weren’t able to show our emotions around her. Neither my sister or I wanted to be the cause of our mother’s drinking. As adults we now know that no matter what we did, our mom was going to drink.
Even today it’s like that. Our actions are not to blame for her decision to drink. Logically we both know this. Getting your mind to actually accept that can be easier said than done.