Sibling round table – Episode 38


Today, we’re doing another roundtable episode with siblings of alcoholics and addicts. Jane and Rick share their experience growing up with alcoholic brothers. We ask them questions such as the following:


  • If your sibling started drinking in the home when you were a minor, how did that affect your relationship with them growing up?
    • Did you feel you had to hide their drinking to keep them from getting in trouble with your parents?
    • Did you feel you couldn’t bring friends home?
    • Did you feel unable to socially engage with them?
  • Did you feel that you were recruited by your parents to help “fix” your sibling’s drinking?
  • What sorts of things did you try to manage growing up?
    • Parents’ happiness?
    • Sibling’s drinking?
    • Protecting your family?
  • Did you feel that there was additional attention and pressure upon you as the non-addicted sibling to be “good”? Or did you feel that you didn't get enough attention because the family was focused on your addicted sibling?
  • How did you live your own life growing up as opposed to trying to manage your sibling and avoid taking their inventory? How do you do this today in recovery?
  • How did you talk about difficult topics? Has this changed?
  • How did you define love during this time in your life? How has this definition changed over time?
  • Have you noticed your childhood relationship with your sibling mirrored in other relationships, pre- or post-involvement in recovery?


Our topic for next week is self care. Do you find yourself often running low on sleep? Do you miss meals because you’re too busy? Do you ever neglect your own basic needs in order to take care of someone else? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

We plan to record the episode live starting at 10 AM EDT (1400 GMT) on Saturday August 31. Join us by clicking on the listen live link at the right.

Music from the show

Bruce Springsteen – Highway Patrolman

Imagine Dragons – Demons


1 comment on “Sibling round table – Episode 38

  1. Ruth says:

    Great episode! Special thanks to Jane and Rick for their openness.
    Two things which I could resonate most:

    I had a problem with not close people touching me too. In my first Al Anon meeting I had to ask people not to hug me after the meeting because it may draw me away. Than I had been only joining meetings were it was not usual to hug each other. Years later I attended another meeting were people hugged afterwards and I get “caught” before I even noticed. By that opportunity I found out that it didn’t felt so odd anymore and I could notice that some healing had happen.

    When Jane was talking about her aunt who unconditionally loved her I could remember two persons too. Two people that gave me the unconditional love I was longing for as a the child I was. Knowing this is like having two sparkling diamonds in my treasure I can look at and enjoy.

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