Updating summer 2023- original post 2021-
Most of the people I work with are in recovery from the effects of addiction and codependency in their family. It’s no accident, because that is what I actively work on every day. And it is no accident, as addiction and codependency is a huge part of our culture- it just isn’t always recognized.
I’ve spent time with my family this summer (2021); my stepson, my sister, my husband’s whole family on the east coast, and everywhere addiction has affected us. Most of my family members have strong recovery, yet not everyone, and there was even a scary relapse in the family since COVID. Relapse is part of recovery for many people, it is always heartbreak when it happens, and then everyone hopes recovery is found again.
I am actually grateful for alcoholism, as it helped me find recovery from the effects of addiction (specifically alcoholism). Over a decade ago, when I learned about Alanon (the 12 step program for people affected by alcoholism) I had NO IDEA how I had been affected by this generational family pattern/disease/trauma/way to escape, whatever the label is. Going to Alanon meetings when I was deep in the effects of active alcoholism was clarifying! Each meeting my eyes opened up to the “codependent crazies” (as Melody Beattie calls them) that I lived and embodied. I knew that they were not serving!
My sister and I talk a lot about our daughters, and about HOW to keep them from falling into the patterns of addiction. How do we keep them from becoming alcoholics or falling in love with an active alcoholic? Is there an Addiction Inoculation besides putting them in a bubble and not letting them interact with the world? We know that the first step is healing our own shit, our own trauma, our own unhealthy patterns, and having strong recovery.
I definitely think an important piece is rewriting the story about addiction, learning and communicating about it, taking away the shame and blame, which is sadly still so prevalent in our society. It is important that we look at addiction as family patterns, which are in our DNA (epigenetics) and can be healed through openness with each other and the world.
My sister and I just started reading the book The Addiction Inoculation, Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence, by Jessica Lahey. A few chapters in, we are a little overwhelmed at what is now known about the brain chemistry and brain science of children from age 10 to 24, and the vulnerability of addiction during these years. And it is such a great read so far, looking at the history of alcohol use in our country, and I can’t wait to read what the inoculation is, which I know is not one thing! I keep thinking, BOOK CLUB!
A big part of my WHY in my work is to heal the effects of addiction/codependency and to take the shame out of it all. I lead a monthly circle of trust, which was a Tuesday circle of of support for 3 years, which is Alanon inspired (we focus on taking care of ourselves), and started with COVID. We hold space for each other, many people affected by addiction in their families. It is a circle that is able to talk about all the effects, and how we keep focusing on our own recovery and self-care. My Be Rooted program is a deep dive into our own healing, we focus on:
** changing patterns in our daily practices
**the language we use
**the energetic boundaries we set with others
**how to ground and take charge of our own energy with the practice of Reiki- levels 1-3.
I will keep talking about addiction and recovery without shame, as I know it is a big part of the addiction inoculation process. And I will continue to openly share energy work and conversations about healthy boundaries and how to hold them…. Of course… if you know my work at all, it is such an important piece! Reach out if you are ready to join BE ROOTED, start date is September 2023. Join a Q + A Session this summer!
Update 2023- I discovered an AMAZING program for children affected by addiction and it has served my family well- my 11 year old daughter has taken 3 in person classes with them and loves the programs. The first weekend was 2 days with the family and 2 days with kids only. It has given us the language and tools to talk about addiction- I cannot say enough about the Betty Ford Family and Children’s Programs- we are lucky to live near Denver to go to their in-person events. The last weekend my daughter attended there were families in town from Texas for the program. It has helped our family have the language and break down the shame of addiction and codependency.