In my A-Z of alcohol misuse, today’s letter is P for Peace. I think one of the main things daughters of alcoholics strive for, is finding peace when affected by a parents drinking. Usually many years have passed, and you realise that your life isn’t the one you want in some ways.
I didn’t really know I needed peace, when you get used to chaos it’s your normal. Many years after my fathers death and a lot of self development, I realised that life can be calmer.
I’ve done a bit of research recently and finding peace is something that a lot of families of alcoholics want.
What is peace?
freedom from disturbance; tranquility.
I’m not sure how realistic that is in real life, but I think we have moments of it. How long those moments last is uncertain, we certainly can’t control it all.
What does peace look and feel like?
Well that is totally unique to the person, what one person thinks is peaceful another won’t. I love to be floating on top of the water in a pool, I find that very peaceful (as long as no one else is jumping around me).
Some daughters of alcoholics will need total silence when they do things, do that resonate with you? No TV, music in the background, just pure uninterrupted quiet. Often it’s because you have too much going on in your head, and are unable to concentrate with an added distraction.
Within your body, you’ll feel a sense of calm, no restlessness or agitation. Just a sense of bliss. Your mind will be quiet and thoughts won’t feel intrusive or consuming.
Inner and outer peace
Finding peace when affected by a parents drinking seems like the hardest thing in the world. I created the process below which I believe identifies the different steps we go through when we make changes, which eventually lead to peace and contentment. You can watch the video about it in more detail by clicking here.
When we seek outer peace it’s more about the people in your life, the environment, social situations and generally anything outside of yourself.
If you’re looking for inner peace, guess what.. that’s more about you. What is going on inside of that head. How you feel about yourself, how you treat yourself, expectations you have, aspirations, beliefs, values and so on.
The more I worked on myself, the more peace that I found. When you compromise yourself as daughters of alcoholics will do, you will start to lose who you are. Focusing more on others than yourself. Then all of a sudden you realise, you don’t want to do that anymore. You still want to help others, but you also want to help yourself.
Finding peace is something I feel was connected to acceptance, acceptance of myself and others. Acceptance of situations and the past. When we’re holding on tightly, we keep ourselves stuck and that doesn’t bring peace.
If you feel you’re fighting with emotions and feelings or are in conflict, that won’t bring peace either.
I’ve done a lot of posts and resources around values and beliefs, because if you’re life is led by values and beliefs that may no longer be true for you, you won’t find the peace you seek. We often take on the values and beliefs of parents, but as adults they may not be what YOU believe.
How can you find peace?
There isn’t a one answer for this, however there are answers and you’ll find them as you carry on through your self-development journey.
Here are some of my suggestions for finding peace, a mix of internal and external factors you can consider.
Evaluate your social circle, are there specific people that bring drama?
What areas of your life cause you disruption and take away your sense of peace?
Is there a particular activity you do that brings you calm and peace? Do more of it! If not, start to discover them
Be mindful of your commitments, do you underestimate how long things will take and what you can “fit in”, rather than allowing enough time before and after commitments?
Look into Bach Remedies, I highly recommend White Chestnut for overthinking (I’m no GP, but they are natural remedies) always seek advice from the retailer or the Bach website
Review your values and beliefs to make sure they’re still valid for you – check out this video my good friend put together for a webinar we did.
What is your sleep like? Sleep is related to mental ill health so if you’re struggling, look at what’s on your mind (I don’t recommend getting into sleeping tablets, short term they may work but they are just a sticking plaster)
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Remember you aren’t alone and you can always join my Change Your Mind Facebook group, where other families of alcoholics support each other with challenges they experience from the past or present. You may have lived with an alcoholic in your past, but it’s still impacting you in the present.
I also run a podcast with my sister, click here to find out more.