My name is April, and I was born 33 years ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I grew up as the oldest of three girls and the daughter of an adult grandchild of alcoholics and an alcoholic. My father quit drinking when I was about 11, but he began working as much overtime as he could get, side jobs and the like, so I never really knew him growing up. My mother, although not an alcoholic, had been profoundly affected by the disease having been raised by an adult child of an alcoholic and a father who had faced his own traumas early in life.
I won’t go into detail about my grandfather’s trauma out of respect for him (and that I don’t know a lot of details, just the general story of having lost his mother early on), but I will elaborate on some of the terms I have used so far. An alcoholic is pretty self explanatory, someone who has a problem with alcohol or drinking. An adult child of an alcoholic is someone who was raised by one or more unrecovered alcoholics. Now, quitting drinking is not the same thing as being recovered. Being recovered involved examining and facing the issues that led to the drinking and resulted from the drinking. An adult grandchild of an alcoholic is someone whose grandmother or grandfather was an alcoholic, and generally speaking, they were raised by an adult child of an alcoholic, particularly one who is not in recovery.
So does this make me an adult child of an alcoholic? Yep, it does. And I still do have some issues stemming from this, but I have gone through a lot of years of recovery to get to where I am today. On April 5 this year I will celebrate 11 years of recovery, not including the three years prior to that I spent working on issues on my own without Al-anon. Now, Al-anon stems out of AA and is for friends and family of the alcoholics.
Between Al-anon, my faith (I’m a liberal Christian-definitely not a fundamentalist here), yoga, my pet parakeets, and writing have all helped me to find my way and not necessarily in that order. These and music are all things that are important to me and have led me to where I am today. And today, I am a behavioral counselor working with children with autism, a graduate student working on my master’s in psychology and specializing in ABA, an anti-human trafficking activist, and a writer. My interests are extremely diverse as are the topics you will find on my website and blog. The month of January is focused on human trafficking for human trafficking awareness month, and next month will focus on psychology, touching on ACAs and Al-anon, among other addictions issues, autism and ABA, and more, and don’t forget human trafficking–even though human trafficking month will be over, I will still be posting on the subject and on my experience as an activist. Stay tuned and witness my journey!