“Why not ask a Loving Parent to help us reclaim our childhood innocence and to live more gently today?”
This week there has been a theme of addiction with my clients. Alcoholism and drug addiction affect the whole family. I remember when I first became a chemical dependency counselor back in the early 1980s. One of the poems I loved was this one. Maybe you can relate.
Daughters of the Bottle
until I was twenty-two
I didn’t think anyone else
had a drunk for a mother
then I met lori, joannie and susan
I recognized them immediately
by their stay away smiles
they were leaders in their work
who would say they were sorry
if somebody bumped into them
on a crowded street
I call on them
once in awhile
they always come
children of alcoholics
Juggler in A Mirror
Thank God for acupuncture. It’s been around for 2000 years. It’s not going anyplace and people use it all of the time for a variety of cures and to avoid illnesses. – Tim Daly
Over the years I have referred many clients of mine (as a mental health and chemical dependency counselor) to acupuncture. It has been such a gift in my life. Many years ago when I worked at TASC (Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime) we had a contract to work with women who were addicted to heroin. I was the one who would be administering the treatment. In preparation I went to Pine Lodge Prison to talk with a woman there who was providing acupuncture to inmates.
When I went into the area she set up as a clinic, there were maybe 25 chairs in a circle. She and a coworker and I were invited to sit down and she would be with us in a minute. She went around putting small acupuncture needles in the ears, hands and feet of the inmates. Then she came to me. I tend to be somewhat stand-offish at first and have good boundaries. Before I could resist, this young, energetic, confident, beautiful young woman, put needles in me!
I sat there processing what was happening and tried to stay professional. After a few minutes she said she didn’t have time to talk with me and handed me some papers about acupuncture and heroin addition.
I was set back and not very happy about the situation until I got about half way back to the office. All of the sudden, I had all this energy and felt peace come over me. This continued for the rest of the day. I felt centered, relaxed and my mind was clear. I loved it.
I called her later and set up an appointment. When she was living in Spokane and when she visited, I saw her as often as I could. Sometimes I would see her for acupuncture, but mostly because she has become my very best friend.
Now I am seeing Dr. Song for acupuncture. After I weaned myself from the Hydrocodone from my oral surgery, I took ibuprofen. It helped a little, but my energy was low and my pain was high. When I went to see Dr. Song, he did Scalp Acupuncture! It was amazing. It reminded me of the very first time I had acupuncture.
When the needles were placed in my scalp, I could feel the energy moving down my arms and down the trunk of my body, down my legs and out my feet. Having been focused on the pain in my mouth and the constant headache for days, this felt heavenly.
If you have not tried acupuncture, I strongly recommend it. Many who struggle with health issues, with depression or obesity have a lot of energy stuck in their body. You don’t feel like moving, you have no desire to do anything, and everything takes effort. Acupuncture can open up channels of energy and bring you back into balance.
Having this blog experience chronicling increasing health and exercise and losing weight has been incredible. For those following along, I hope you are getting the benefits of increased health. I would love to hear your experiences.
“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.”
― C.G. Jung
Have you ever been in a relationship where you feel like you are crazy? This was a familiar feeling for me as a young woman when the love of my life was alcoholic and I came from an alcoholic home. Then I became a chemical dependency counselor, and began to understand. When you are in a relationship with someone who is addicted, you often feel like you are crazy.
How do you know if your relationship is dysfunctional?
1. You keep saying the same thing over and over again and it does not help the situation. You are either not heard or ignored.
2. You do everything you can to fix the situation to no avail.
3. Your friends get tired of your ongoing drama and you feel isolated.
4. You begin to doubt yourself.
5. Tension builds and there may be an outburst (yours or theirs) and then there is the period where things go better and you feel guilty and try harder, just to end up right where you were before, only deeper, more depressed, uncertain, depressed or exhausted.
6. You make excuses for his behavior.
7. You hold onto any kind word or gesture and immediate think it will get better, even though it never does.
8. You think you will never be able to find anyone else and so you stay.
9. You feel confined, trapped and are afraid to leave.
This is the pattern of being in a dysfunctional relationship. You begin to feel like you are crazy. I see this often in my counseling private practice. It is usually the partner of the addict who shows up for advice. The addict himself rarely seeks out help. Too often when the codependent realizes she has to make some changes, she stops coming until the situation escalates. In order for an addict to hit bottom they usually have to have legal trouble, health issues, lose their job, lose their family, or death.
If you find you are in this kind of relationship, before your self-esteem tanks totally, I strongly encourage you to educate yourself. One resource I like is the book Codependent No More by Melody Beatty. I also suggest contacting a local counselor that is educated in chemical dependency. When you get to the stage of feeling crazy, reach out for help before the disastrous incident. There is help!
Watch for the blog on Addictive Relationships!