Hearing a voice from your past…
It’s interesting how you can be awakened by the sound of a certain voice. It might be that of your spouse, your partner, your child, maybe your parent or roommate…or even that of a television personality. Our associate shared that yesterday she awoke to a familiar voice that brought memories to mind of Olympic Games, Super Bowls, NBA Finals, and even preparing dinner with the television on in the background tuned to Access Hollywood or The Insider. The voice belonged to Pat O’Brien. Only he wasn’t discussing sports or celebrities…he was discussing his own life and the disease of addiction.
O’Brien’s book tour takes him to the TODAY show
Pat O’Brien was being interviewed by Matt Lauer of NBC’s TODAY show. Yesterday, August 19th, Pat O’Brien’s book, I’ll Be Back Right After This: My Memoir hit the bookstore shelves. Take a few minutes and listen as Pat shares his insights with Matt.
If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.
Alcoholism is a family disease…
The fact that Pat O’Brien shares that his father was an alcoholic underscores how important it is for people to understand alcoholism is a disease and it is passed from one generation to another. Pat dedicates his book to his son Sean; and he reminds Sean of a story of how Pat’s father used to take him to the local bar and they would sit at the far end of the bar. One day Pat’s dad looked at him and said: “This is who your daddy is.”
It is just a simple statement of fact. Your dad is an alcoholic.
An important component of recovery is acknowledging your family. You might do this in family therapy as an outpatient, or while joining Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) suggesting Al-Anon to your family members. Here at Cottonwood Tucson, each patient is encouraged to participate in our Family Program, along with their parents, spouse, partner, children, or siblings.
Often, families come into family week fearful, angry, distraught and obsessed. Their interactional pattern is focused around the illness or chaos of a single member, and their ability to care for themselves emotionally, and sometimes physically, can be seriously compromised. In these families, the interactional patterns are stuck and unhealthy behaviors have become logical.
The goal of Family Program is to help families relearn behavioral interaction so that healthy behaviors become logical. Interpersonal change that can be sustained after treatment requires a movement from following direction (first order change) to internalizing new ways of interacting (second order change). 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.
Pat O’Brien is quick to acknowledge that he spent a good deal of his time in the broadcasting world “helping to destroy people.” By writing this book, Pat is hopeful his story will help people to understand there is a way out. Dr. Drew Pinksy offers this observation about Pat’s memoir:
“A courageous unflinching journey through the crucible of fame and public approbation to the depths of the consequences of addiction. Pat has done it all right before our very eyes, only to find his way to an inspirational recovery. A must read textbook on the rewards of recovery.”