There has been so much good information at the conference about trauma and recovery. And how huge a factor it is in treatment, early recovery and for the rest of us--in later recovery as well. Women relapse more often and more quickly if "family of origin" issues are not addressed. That has been the message and the outcome of every study and piece of research and every professional's perspective.
We just don't get to skip that work and keep growing and stay healthy. In the last month I have heard so many women--with sobriety--say "I'm not going there" or "I don't want to open that can of worms" or "I just can't open those memories/feelings." Well, maybe we can't not go there.
Heres one big eye opener had this week: We may technically stay "sober"--or not drink--but if we don't address the family stuff we will eat, shop, work, worry, struggle in intimate relationships, misuse our prescription medications, depend on sleep medications and mess with some kind of sexual addiction. And oh boy, they come in all new varieties.
I always pictured a sex addict as someone like our former Governor of New York, Elliott Spitzer--banging prostitutes after a hard day running New York. But turns out it's just as likely to be a 45 year old working mom with two kids, doing great volunteer work who is also got some sketchy aps on her phone or who has a texting or email "relationship" with the wrong person. "Just fun" she's thinking, but its shameful. And we know where shame takes us. Those numbers are really growing fast for middle aged, middle class women.
I guess the good news is that recovery is progressive and ongoing and we keep uncovering and peeling back layers. It's why we need our sober women friends and our sponsors and our spiritual directors and especially why we need to stay active and present in recovering communities where we can catch this stuff when its small.
I'll write more on tis when I get home and unpack my conference notes.