Growing up with an alcoholic parent, we were taught to see things in extremes. It was either the best possible thing that could ever happen, or the worst possible thing that could ever happen. Our parents had been taught, and were passing on to us, the lesson that people in the world are good or bad, right or wrong, smart or stupid, strong or weak. If something bad happened, we often heard phrases such as, “I should just give up, then.” Our world was framed around these extremes. We have extreme reactions to situations and people in order to get what we want.
Being an alcoholic or a para-alcoholic, manipulation is part of our tool belt. We can whip it out at any moment, and craft any situation in order to gain the upper hand. Our ego rules us, believing that we are the most important, right now, and that is what needs to get taken care of. If it doesn’t get done, we can whip out our other handy tools, shame, blame, and guilt. We can throw them at our enemies with great precision, and back them into a corner. This is our game, and it is how we win.
It is time we realize that life does not have to be this way. We can take off our blinders and see the world for what it really is. Just because we have not been living our life in a loving and healthy way for ourselves does not mean there is no hope for us. There is always hope. There is always another option. There are always grey areas. We do not have to let our pasts define us. We can find a way forward, out of the black and white, and step out into the sun to see the colors as they really are.