Summer Series: Exploring Addictions (Part 1)

Our Summer Series on Exploring Addictions started August 6th, at 6pm, and will follow each Monday in August. 

The Summer Series on Addiction began this past Monday, with Dan Qualls and Marcia Rappleye, both therapists who specialize in addiction. It was really an excellent presentation and my brief notes won't do it justice, but here are a few take aways...

Both referred to the work of Claudia Black with addictive families. There are three rules in such a family:
Don't Talk
Don't Trust
Don't Feel

Family Roles include the Addict, Chief Enabler, Family Hero, Mascot, Scapegoat and Lost Child. I found this pdf on line that defines the family roles.

The roles aren't choices, they are responses to a system that is out of whack. All the roles look different on the inside, but inside they are all feeling the same things. In the process, family members lose the ability to be objective. One person changing their role makes the system change - it might be better or it may be worse, but there is no going back - it has to be different.  

In addiction, it's important to separate the addiction from the person. And recognize that the addiction isn't about a single substance - it's about the whole person (and the hole in the person). 

Addiction is a brain disease. 10% of the brain is used for logic and reasoning. 90% is focused on survival. Addiction resides in the survival brain and is mostly offline from logic and reason.

Lying is instinctual with addiction and the person so afflicted is likely to tell you whatever it is they think you need to hear. Don't let a short recovery fool you into thinking there is full recovery. A person with an addiction can "hold their breath for six months." You will convince yourself that a few crumbs are as good as a meal. Believe a little bit of what you are told and a whole lot of what you actually see. 

Enablers struggle with the inability to face hopelessness and to accept the fact that they are part of the problem. On the other hand, Over Control is not an answer for Out of Control. Over Control will lead to behavior that is deeper, darker, harder and sneakier than before. 

So what can you do? The best thing you can do if you are in such a system of addiction is get help for yourself. Yes, YOURSELF.