Just having had lunch with my parents a flood of different emotions come up. The past can be a haunting that sneaks in uninvited. Therefor a big part of recovery from substance use disorder must be internal work. Brené Browns book Daring Greatly was a game changer for dealing with shame. See Book Here Coupled with a Clinical Counselor, allowing myself to be seen as not a bad person, but just someone who made poor decisions. This freedom is essential to my ongoing sobriety. Emotional intelligence is a learning I am forever grateful for. Being aware of my feelings and how they interact with my thoughts creates an emotional freedom of serenity.
To me being sober means being of clear mind. Not listening to that negative ego that lives in all of us. How did I learn that I was a bad person and didn’t deserve to be happy? From a continued distorted view of myself and the world around me. Coming from a loving home, hardworking parents, and positive role models. What happened? This scenario I hear often from clients. Yes of course many stories are riddled with what most consider “trauma”.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is a subtle enemy of all. Creeping in and attaching itself to a distorted perspective, we can be traumatized by insufficient attention from loved ones, a loss of a family member, a tone of voice, and many more actions that are seen as common life experiences. Trauma has guidelines; thus many “addicts” cannot understand why they ended up the way they did. I know for me this was exactly the case. As a non-medical definition, trauma can be any situation that creates a negative impact on one’s well-being. Dealing with trauma is needed to achieve emotional freedom.
Triggers and Emotions!
A well-known word for anyone who is in recovery. The lunch scenario with my parents is an example of a trigger. The difference today is that these do not consume me. Triggers do not create such an emotional turmoil that I feel I need to revert back to a substance. Freedom from active addiction is a wonderful way to live. Continued self-work and self-compassion is required not to be free from triggers, but to have the emotional freedom to deal with them.
What Can Family Do?
Walking on eggshells is no way to live. Family members and the one’s “addicted” need to find a way to communicate. My family sought out various avenues such as Nar-Anon, Al-Anon, Family Programs, and Clinical Counseling to name a few. Counseling for the family separately and eventually together with the one struggling can speed up the healing process.