rebelling against low expectations

My Parents Are Alcoholics: Doing Hard Things No One Ever Sees


I’ve read Do Hard Things. I found it very inspirational. Then a video popped up about a kid who can explain the fourth dimension. I’ve yet to watch it, as I don’t understand what that would be.

Then I started browsing the other videos.

Some of them are like, Learn How To Build Robot Arms, or a kid builds a multi-million dollar industry, or some girl is shot by the Taliban. I will admit, I haven’t watched any of these yet to view their content, but when I saw them, my first thought was, Well I do small things, too.

I do small things that nobody in the world sees or recognizes. I put my parents to bed when they’re too drunk to do it on their own. Since I was 8, I’ve been my mother’s in-home psychologist, listening to every word she says for hours, until 2 or 3 in the morning, regardless of school or not.

I’ve chosen to love and forgive my parents for the verbal and, in a few cases, physical abuse they’ve caused for me. But they don’t know what I’ve done for them. No one does. It was in the secrecy of our own house that all of these events took place, and my alcoholic parents don’t remember anything that happens after 5 p.m.

The point is, people seem to be praised for doing these “amazing” things, while many of us are limited to doing small things in our own homes, not unlike many others of our kind, and we are too preoccupied remaining safe from our parents, making sure they are okay at the same time, and trying to love them, regardless of the hurt they’ve caused us.

Those people need to be recognized, too. There’s no video to post, or amazing article written by someone who is astounded at the acts these people have taken, but we rarely get credit for the things we’ve done, the things we’ve survived.

Let me tell you, being raised by alcoholics is one difficult thing to do.

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Photo courtesy of FixersUK and Flickr Creative Commons.

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About the author


is 18-years-old, and trying to make a difference in the world. Her goal in life is to help people in such a way that their memories and pain don't prevent them from living healthy, happy lives.


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  • Wow! I’m blessed to be in a Christian home and I’m very grateful for my parents. I can’t imagine what it’d be like to be in an alcoholics family.

      • What Christian parent would go out and get drunk over and over again? The Bible is clearly against alcohol and even the churches that believe it’s ok to drink alcohol don’t believe it’s right to get drunk. If her parents are Christian they should be very ashamed of themselves for hurting themselves AND their children, as well as other Christians and people. I don’t want to be judgemental, I’m just saying that if my parents were alcoholics and Christians, they would very likely become ashamed of themselves and overcome their addiction… in fact, my mom used to drink before she got saved, I don’t know if she was an alcoholic, but after she got saved God gave her the strength to resist temptation and as far as I know she doesn’t even get tempted at all. My mom got saved as an adult. Both my parents are very ashamed of what they did when they were my age and older than me and I don’t think that a Christian parent (unless completely backslidden) would get drunk continually.

        • I do agree, you can say that your a Christian but not act like one. That is kind of being a hypocrite.

          God Bless,


          • But then again, doesn’t that make us all hypocrites? We say we are Christian, yet we all have lied, argued or thought impure thoughts more then once (or, continually). Just throwing out thoughts here! 🙂 And even though being an alcoholic sounds bad, there is really no difference between that or murdering or talking back. Sin is sin to God.That said, if we are going to say this girl’s parents are not Christians, than neither are we. However, there is a difference between saying you are a Christian, and living as a Jesus -follower, I must agree. I hope you both don’t think I am being argumentative, Grace and Liam, because I really do see where you are both coming from, and you have good points. It just makes it more aware to me that I am not living as a Jesus follower, which is painful but helpful for me! So thank you! 🙂 I have a feeling that the author of this article did not see the comments going this way! 😛

          • Yes I completely agree with both points. We are all sinful, but the beautiful thing is, Jesus died for us! We are redeemed!

            God Bless,

            Liam Siegler

          • I’d say the main difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is repentance. Non-Christians will not repent of their deeds until it is too late. However, Christians see how evil their hearts really are and repent, they ask for forgiveness in front of an all-powerful God, and he has mercy on those that truly repent. ~Grant

          • Great point Grant! I thing one of the keys to living a Christian lifestyle is to “go and sin no more.” I addition, as Christians, we have the promise that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all
            unrighteousness.” – 1st John 1:9. What an amazing promise! God, the creator of the universe, would pick us up out of the mire of sin and help us to live a righteous lifestyle!


            James W.

          • Yes, but are we as Christians really called to,”go and sin no more?” Or was that a special command for someone else? (I noticed that because I’ve dealt with Christians that use that verse to say we are supposed to be sinlessly perfect)

          • I believe that “Go and sin no more” is a command to all mankind. However, I may be taking that verse out of context. But, there are many other verses that instruct us to be holy. For instance, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [lifestyle]; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. – 1st Peter 1:15-16. We are also instructed to “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:5. I believe that we are called to live a holy and upright life. Yes, we will fall and sin. But, by the grace of God, we can get up and continue on the path of righteousness.


            James W.

          • Ok then, that’s good. We are in agreement on all of this. I only wanted to be sure of your meaning, now that the assurance has been attained.
            I wish a good day to you ~Grant

        • Grace – you simply don’t know what addiction is and how it works. Christianity isn’t an immunization against sin or illness. Additionally , sanctification is a life long process. Not all changes come about instantly.

  • Miranda—I too grew up in an alcoholic home, my brothers and I putting our mother to bed and her still to this day not remembering any of it. God is watching you and blessing you for your compassion. Doing Hard Things shouldnt’ simply be about the fame, money and adulation from a large audience of Christians who gauge their level of blessedness by the material things they accomplish. Sometimes just getting through another night dealing with an alcoholic parent is harder than anything the over-acheiving Do Hard Things crowd could ever fathom. God bless you! You will make it through these hard years and be stronger and hopefully have a more mature and compassionate outlook than most your age!

  • God bless you and give you strength, for what you are doing. I don’t know what the circumstances surrounding your situation are, but I promise you: “Your Father which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly…” Thank you for being brave enough to share your story- you have my admiration.

  • Hey Miranda! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m sorry that you are hurting. I want to encourage you that even though your parent’s may never remember let alone care, Jesus sees your loyalty and love for them. No act of kindness ever goes unnoticed by his watchful eye. And I promise you that He is SO proud of you! So on those nights when it seems like no one will ever understand, and your secret labor of love will never be recognized to the extent it deserves, I’m praying that you will feel His presence like you’ve never felt it before. May He overwhelm you with His love and be everything you need. Although people view making robotic arms or such as “admirable” the hard things you are doing everyday are creating an amazing and beautiful person out of you–You are a hero! I know God has incredible plans for your future!

  • As hard as it might be you must always trust in the Lord. He will guide and comfort you day and night. Give you the strength to start the day.

    Just ask the Lord for healing and guidance. 🙂

    God Bless,


  • It’s these small things which are the hardest because nobody notices and even if they do, they don’t always care. But you aren’t alone. Caring for family members is a huge burden but God sees. On the Last Day I’m sure that those who do the Invisible (because they aren’t actually that small) Hard Things will recieve a ‘well done, good and faithful servant.’ x

  • Miranda, I know what you mean, thankyou for sharing this!
    I have been thinking a lot about where I am in life lately and I have realised that even though I have the best of intentions looking after my parents, it is actually starting to damage me. I too have been my mother’s psychologist and hidden the alcohol – and been sleep deprived looking after my parents (and because of them my younger sister) without them ever realising.
    I think though what I have realised is that I need to look after myself as well, because I have seen what happens if I don’t. I’m fifteen years old and on new years I was drunk for the first time. I went to this party just feeling so down about the coming year and my family situation that vodka just seemed like a much easier option of handling things. After that I was more easily influenced and party after party I struggled to not end up wasted. In fact I still do. I have always had a strong faith and I don’t want to give that up, yet sometimes it’s just hard to cope with things. For me not coping means alcohol and being too submissive to other people – doing things because they ask or demand it of me and without thinking about whether I want to or if its good for me. I accept responsibilities that shouldn’t be mine. My family often takes my support for granted, but they shouldn’t. My support is a gift I want to give them, but I still need time to myself.
    So this month I have decided that if I’m going to look after them and hold our family together, I need to look after myself more. I am about to start being discipled by a beautiful older woman, I am concentrating on eating healthily and exercising, saying no to alcohol and having a quiet time every morning. I also am learning to say no to my parents needs (when I can) so I can spend chill time with my friends or get out of the house for a bit. I have told my friends about my situation and I have an open invitation to go stay at their houses whenever I need to. If I do all these things and lead a balanced lifestyle, not only is my life better but I can better handle the needs of my parents and sister.
    So what I’m really saying is that I think you are an incredible person, and good on you for loving and caring for your folks. But like me, remember to look after yourself as well, because it’s easy to slip up like I have when you give too much of yourself away.
    I don’t know where you stand with God right now but I hope it’s ok if I pray for you and encourage you that he does love you, so very very much. All the best my friend.

  • My prayers are with you <3 I hope that you and all those who are in these heart breaking situations keep you eyes on god and use him for strength <3

  • You are so right, there is more to doing hard things than the glamorous, noticeable things! And I love how everyone has their own struggles, and each is so different. Prayers for you as you do hard things! 🙂

  • Miranda – thank you for being so transparent. I know God will reward you richly for every unseen hard thing you have done…your story is a great encouragement to me, so thanks once again.

  • hey, Miranda wow you are awesome! and im not like, just saying that. that is epic. thanx for sharing that. its incredible.

  • Wow. You are such a brave and strong person. It would be extremely hard for me to go through what you’re going through. But, remember, If you have believed in your heart that Jesus is Lord and confessed with your mouth that God raised him from the dead, then you are saved and then you can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength. God cares about you and your hard situation. Even though it may seem like it, God has not abandoned you. If you are a Christian (By asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins and be the boss of your life), then God will help you through this and it wont be nearly as hard, because you know no mater what, you are a child of God.
    Thank you and God bless you!
    – Trent

  • Woe that it’s intense and a serious thing you go thru. I can relate in some parts but I completely agree with you and you are a really strong person for this much stronger then me and slot of people I know. I hope some things will turn around in your favor and you will fight to be strong and able too brake through this mess and being your family through it too. If you can still see this and you need someone to talk too let me know. I can go on and on too the relation of this subject in small manner but my compassion for you and just like everyone who reads this is real and I know compassion won’t save you but the thought can turn into help. So I wish you all the hope for a better and brighter future. As I said before people probably tried but if you need help I’m here too talk and as many are. Also there is always help and your not alone.

  • That is a difficult place to be in. I am so glad you shared this. And you’re right. It is most often the little things we do that never get noticed. Things that are done when no one watches, when no one cares. But we need to continue doing them. No matter how little they seem to be. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Wow!! Thanks Miranda for posting. This was an inspiration and an encouragement that even the small hard things are important, rather people see them or not. I’ll be praying for you. Keep it up, and remember God sees all and knows all. He’s right there with you everyday. Always remember that He loves you so much!!

    In Christ’s Love,

  • I wish I could have your attitude about it. I hate living at my house. My mom promised so many times to stop but yet here we are AGAIN I am tired and sick of it. And then i feel bad I am sick and tired bc at least she doesn’t get that drunk. I know I have to love her but it’s so hard and then since its hard to love and forgive I feel like a bad Christian. She doesn’t even love me when she is drunk.

By Miranda
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →