Just the other day an email arrived from a friend that said: “I am going on a Women’s Leadership Retreat so will not
have any phone or computer access from Friday night until Tuesday morning.” Suddenly we envisioned the pure delight of looking forward to “unplugging” for four to five days. When was the last time you “unplugged” yourself from all your cares and woes? Guessing that your answer might range from never to many years ago. This is probably particularly true for parents, family members and friends of those suffering from the disease of addiction.
The truth is if you have someone in your life that suffers from addiction, you often find you put your own health and well-being on a back burner. You become so consumed with making sure your loved one is safe, sober, out of jail, in treatment, going to meetings, and gainfully employed that your own “recovery” becomes just about “getting through each day.”
So how do family members and friends start their own “recovery,” for that matter how do they continue to cultivate their “recovery program?” Here are a few suggestions:
- Accept the invitation to participate in the Family Program, when your loved one enters treatment. Families shift from obsessive worry and controlling behaviors to
acknowledging that which is outside of their control and learn to focus
on their own personal needs and boundaries. They learn to detach from
the pain, and not from the person.
- Learn about Al-Anon and Alateen. According to Al-Anon: “Many Al-Anon members struggled for many years with the difficult
challenges of coping with the effects of alcoholism. It’s often easier
to envision continued difficulties than a positive solution. That’s why
it’s easy to think of so many reasons not to attend a meeting.” Allow yourself to imagine the “gift of recovery” and a positive solution.
- Research the availability of recovery retreats, conferences, even vacations. They really do come in all shapes and sizes. You will find your friends in recovery will keep you posted about upcoming opportunities. Just remember on a daily basis to make time for yourself and plan to unplug completely for a few days at least once a year.
In closing, we thought we would share a little Cottonwood Tucson history. In 1999, Cottonwood Tucson gladly accepted the opportunity to work with Rokelle Lerner to develop our InnerPath Retreats. Now 13 years later Rokelle continues to facilitate our retreats, working with individuals, couples, and families by providing insight into critical life issues and exploring strategies to balance mind, body and spirit in a safe, supportive environment.
Remember, dare to dream and take time to “unplug!”