So, less than 2 years after the first post, we have reached 100 posts on coaisathing.com. To celebrate, I thought I would make this post about the journey so far.
How did coaisathing come about?
The actual name ‘coaisathing’ was born out of my realisation that not only were the ways I had felt linked to having an alcoholic father, but they were common amongst all children of alcoholics.
It was literally born out of a conversation with Hilary, the CEO of Nacoa, where I actually said ‘This is actually thing isn’t it?! Being the child of an alcoholic is a thing’.
At that time, I was still travelling once a week to Bristol to help with the email help line and I already knew I wanted to get the Nacoa message far and wide. Then, when my daughter was born, it meant I wouldn’t be able to travel to Nacoa so regular so I had to think outside the box.
The more they got viewed, the more I felt like I wanted to keep putting the message out there. I knew I enjoyed writing and I wanted to get across just how much being a COA impacted my everyday life and so this blog was born. There was only ever going to be one name!
The Evolution Of Coaisathing.com
I created coaisathing.com using only my phone. I read about blogging online and just went for it. There was no real vision, just simply an idea, and that idea was no more than ‘I have some things I want to say and I want to get them out there’. I had no laptop, no blogging experience and no social media to share any of it. So, I set up a twitter account and started writing. My first post was ‘A chance to be free’. I followed no pattern, just started saying what I was thinking.
I started posting as often as I could. Once or twice a week, just putting myself out there and it began to grow.
By the time I had written my 8th post, I started to get people commenting, or messaging on twitter saying they would like to tell their story. Many said they wouldn’t be able to because of the importance of anonymity to them.
I knew this had become so cathartic for me and also knew it was helping me find more of myself and so I wanted people to have this opportunity. Thats when I thought about opening the blog site up and allowing people that space to tell their story. People could send me their story and remain completely anonymous should they so wish and I can share it on this ready made site!
I thought it would be great if I could do that for 1 or 2 people so I posted about my plan. The next thing I knew, people were flooding in asking to tell their story. This is less of a surprise when I think about it logically. Us coa’s have wanted to talk since forever, we have just never been given that space.
And so post after post I began drafting up and posting people’s stories, still only using my phone…. I actually didn’t get a laptop until February this year, so this whole site has been largely created through my phone!
Coaisathing grew from one person blogging on a phone to an online global community.
Where Is Coaisathing Read?
It amazes me how much and how quickly we have grown. As I write this, we are around 78,000 hits. Our main following remains the UK, but we have relatively large followings in America, Canada, Australia and India.
However, we have hits in over 100 countries stretching from most of Europe to the Philippines, to Brazil, Ghana, Bahamas and Sri Lanka. We really are being heard across the world!!
Coaisthing – The Community.
I started the coaisathing twitter page just to help the page grow but realised the value in the community that was born out of it. Very often I have found support in the group of people I have connected to on there. Twitter offers a kind of anonymity that helps with sharing.
More recently I started a facebook page. I recognised quickly that its much less anonymous on there and so created the secret group. I chose to make it secret as it offers the highest level of anonymity. It means the group can’t even be found on a search so nobody at all knows the people are in there. Thats grown and become one of my main resources for support. I really feel heard in the group and it continues to help me grow.
Coaisathing has become about the people. I always say I simply created a space, it’s the people who have grown this into what it has become. I hope it can continue to be of support to people impacted by a parents drinking, and here’s to another 100 posts and many more after.
I leave you with some quotes from the people 🙂 –
I just wanted to say that I’m so pleased I found Nacoa & Coaisathing.
It is a thing, yes! And the more people that begin to understand this the more coa will be understood.
I’m 37 yrs old now and I’m only just beginning to come to terms with how my traumatic experiences as a child, and adult child of an alcoholic have moulded me as a person. They don’t define me, but I believe I’ll always carry the classic traits of a coa for life now. What Nacoa and this forum have allowed me to do is to start feeling less alone. Time & time again I see the same things being said & I relate to them all.
“I feel different”
“I find it hard to relax”
“I have severe anxiety”
“I need order in my life”
“I worry too much”
“I’m very keen to please”
“I feel a huge sense of responsibility”
“I fear failure”
For me Coa has shown me I’m not alone. It gives me hope that one day children will not need to go through what I have. That they won’t be affected by the shame, the disappointment and the loneliness. The Coa community means for the first time I can share my experiences and people show empathy and understanding instead of sympathy or avoidance. Thank you Josh. I feel like this could actually save me x
I posted my story on coaisathing.com and it was the beginning of my life changing!
This Blog site has become my go-to resource..
Thank you so much for creating this site, I do not know where I would be without it.
Remember, if you want to share on coaisthing then please get in touch.