Person learning how to forgive an alcoholic parent while hugging them

How to Forgive an Alcoholic Parent

When a parent is an alcoholic or struggling with another type of addiction, the children suffer. If you had an alcoholic parent, learning to forgive isn’t easy. Maybe you were abused verbally, emotionally, or physically. Perhaps you had to take on more responsibilities than a child should, like caring for a younger sibling. It may also be that you didn’t get the attention, affection, and love from your parent that is every child’s right. Whatever your experience was, learning how to forgive an alcoholic parent will empower you and bring you peace.

Learning how to help an alcoholic parent can be the first step. Call 844.875.5609 to speak with someone from Promises Behavioral Health about our alcohol rehab programs throughout the United States and how you can encourage a loved one to enroll and accept the help they need.

Learning How to Forgive an Alcoholic Parent

Remember that your parent has their own set of flaws and life experiences. Addiction takes a toll on everyone involved, including family members. When you think about forgiving your alcoholic parent, be mindful of this reality and try to extend some empathy toward them.

Know What Forgiveness Is

Most people don’t understand forgiveness. If you think it’s impossible to forgive your alcoholic parent after all that has happened, that may be because you don’t know what it means. 

Forgiving someone doesn’t mean forgetting what happened, and it doesn’t require the two of you to reconcile. Forgiveness is personal. It’s something you do for yourself and your well-being. You don’t even need your parent to apologize to forgive. You must be willing to let go of the past that is still harming you.

Reflect on How Forgiving an Alcoholic Parent Will Help You

It can be hard to recognize how vital forgiveness can be to the one giving it. If you have always thought that forgiveness was for the one being forgiven, you need time and reflection on what this really means. Think about what harm your parent caused you and how it still affects you today. Think about how it would feel to let go of all the negative feelings associated with that hurt and no longer be the victim.

Actively Choose to Forgive

Forgiveness is not something that comes to you. Your parent’s substance use and abuse have far-reaching effects, and without conscious effort, you won’t ever be prepared to forgive. It would be best if you made a choice actively and then forgave your parent.

The act of forgiving is just for you. Write it in a journal, say it aloud, and think about it daily until it sticks. Feel the tension, anger, and grudges leave your life like a weight lifting from your shoulders. Of course, forgiveness is even more potent if you can say it to the person you’re forgiving. Unless your parent is completely resistant or unavailable, forgiving in person is worth trying. You may even get an apology, but if you don’t, let it go anyway. Your forgiveness is for you and you alone, and once you give it—however it happens—you will be ready to move into a new, more satisfying, and happier stage of your life.

Learn How to Help an Alcoholic Parent with Promises Behavioral Health

Forgiveness can be difficult, and healing from an alcoholic parent’s actions does not happen overnight. If you are interested in helping your alcoholic parent, contact Promises today at 844.875.5609. Our alcohol rehab programs offer hope and support for those struggling with active addiction or abuse. With the help of our caring and compassionate team of professionals, you can give your parent a chance to start a new life.

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