The Bill of Rights

I have a right to all those good times that I have longed for all these years and didn’t get.

I have a right to joy in this life, right here, right now — not just a momentary rush of euphoria but something more substantive.

I have a right to relax and have fun in a nonalcoholic and nondestructive way.

I have a right to actively pursue people, places, and situations that will help me in achieving a good life.

I have the right to say no whenever I feel something is not safe or I am not ready.

I have a right to not participate in either the active or passive “crazy-making” behavior of parents, of siblings, and of others.

I have a right to take calculated risks and to experiment with new strategies.

I have a right to change my tune, my strategy, and my funny equations.

I have a right to “mess up”; to make mistakes, to “blow it”, to disappoint myself, and to fall short of the mark.

I have a right to leave the company of people who deliberately or inadvertently put me down, lay a guilt trip on me, manipulate or humiliate me, including my alcoholic parent, my nonalcoholic parent, or any other member of my family.

I have a right to put an end to conversations with people who make me feel put down and

I have a right to all my feelings.

I have a right to trust my feelings, my judgment, my hunches, my intuition.

I have a right to develop myself as a whole person emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically, and psychologically.

I have a right to express all my feelings in a nondestructive way and at a safe time and place.

I have a right to as much time as I need to experiment with this new information and these new ideas and to initiate changes in my life.

I have a right to sort out the bill of goods my parents sold me — to take the acceptable and dump the unacceptable.

I have a right to a mentally healthy, sane way of existence, though it will deviate in part, or all, from my parents prescribed philosophy of life.

I have a right to carve out my place in this world.

I have a right to follow any of the above rights, to live my life the way I want to, and not wait until my alcoholic parent gets well, gets happy, seeks help, or admits there is a problem.