A Family Affair
(Growing up under the secrecy of alcoholism)
At first glance Sam Edwards had a good start in life but despite his private school education and wealthy parents he always fell short of fulfilling his potential. From a young age he experienced the impact of alcoholism in his family and the secrecy needed to hide this from the outside world.
To the onlooker Sam appeared to be coping well with everyday teenage life. However, deep down inside he felt like an outsider with a dark secret about his family that he couldn’t share with anyone. Internally he was plagued with worry about his parent’s drinking and dysfunctional home life.
Not knowing the impact that growing up in a family with alcoholism and addiction could have, Sam sought escape in different forms from the constant dread, hyper vigilance and uncertainty that overshadowed his teenage years.
Feeling like he was having a continuous nervous breakdown, any plans or ambitions for his life had ceased. At the age of nineteen he found himself looking for a way out.
Being an adult child of an alcoholic is a recognised condition in its own right. Care must be taken to avoid unhelpful coping traits developing. Thankfully today with a healthy support system in place Sam leads a manageable, productive and happy life.
He is now passionate about talking to young people about growing up in a family with alcoholism; the effects this can have on a child even after leaving the family home and the high risk of teenagers developing the same addiction as their parents.
Sam’s experience and insights into growing up with addiction in the family and to dealing with his own problem makes this a highly relevant talk for young people today.