“The Life of a Breck Girl,” Creative Nonfiction, in Booth

There’s no shortage of books and scholarly articles about the effect alcoholism has on families. The most cursory Google search will turn up countless pages of entries, few suitable for the faint of heart. In “The Life of a Breck Girl,” my hope was to convey what I suspect is the most damaging consequence of growing up in a household where drinking complicates daily life: the feeling of isolation, the gradual realization that the world you’re part of is very different from the world outside. I imagine families who live in remote areas, miles from their nearest neighbor, or families from tightly knit communities, who cling to long-held traditions, might feel a kind of isolation. But for children of alcoholics the isolation is laden with shame, and for me, the shame couldn’t begin to abate until I understood that we can’t measure our worth by what’s gone wrong or what we’ve missed out on, but by what we’re willing to strive for. https://booth.butler.edu/2024/01/05/the-life-of-a-breck-girl/