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What to do when you're the child of an alcoholic

My dad was an addict, and growing up with him taught me a lot.

Photo with permission from writer Ashley Tieperman.

Ashley Tieperman and her father.


There was never just one moment in my family when we “found out" that my dad was an addict.

I think I always knew, but I never saw him actually drinking. Usually, he downed a fifth of vodka before he came home from work or hid tiny bottles in the garage and bathroom cabinets.

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Anyone who has gone through the process of disentangling themselves from an addiction knows it's an ongoing, daily battle. It may get easier, and the payoffs may become more apparent, but it's still a decision someone makes each day to stay detached from their substance of choice.

Seeing someone who has a long record of sobriety—especially after a very public struggle—can be motivating and inspiring for others in different stages of their recovery journey. That's part of why actor Rob Lowe's announcement that he's reached 31 years sober is definitely something to celebrate.

"Today I have 31 years drug and alcohol free," Lowe wrote on Twitter. "I want to give thanks to everyone walking this path with me, and welcome anyone thinking about joining us; the free and the happy. And a big hug to my family for putting up with me!! Xoxo"

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Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

There are superheroes among us.

Disguised as ordinary moms and dads, members of this league of extraordinary parents change diapers, pack lunches, and tuck kids in at night just like the rest of us. But behind the scenes, they battle forces of darkness none of us can see.

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CW Valor

Even as a child, Kathryn Thomas knew she wanted to be a helicopter pilot.

After watching a helicopter demonstration at 11, her dreams were set in motion. Thomas earned her wings of gold in 2009, certifying her as a U.S. naval aviator.

But while on deployment, Thomas broke her ankle and later suffered complications. She was told she'd never fly again.

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