Healing The trauma of generations of addiction:
You grow up in an alcoholic home and you are uncomfortable with your parents drinking.
Your friends start drinking and you are uncomfortable with their drinking.
So uncomfortable in fact, you start drinking to ease the discomfort.
It works for a time, but then…
You become uncomfortable with your own drinking.
You choose sobriety. Sobriety chooses you.
Again you are uncomfortable with your friends and families drinking.
And to stay sane, You remove yourself from certain social situations, you may isolate, you may disassociate.
But one day you start to do your work, whatever that looks like. You go to therapy, you pray, you work some kind of a program, maybe its yoga, meditation, AA, Alanon. You seek out community, you connect with other people like you.
You tip toe back into communities and gatherings where some drink some don’t.
It is still kind of uncomfortable.
But one day you realize that you can just stay, if you want to, if you choose to.
You can stay with others, and you can stay with yourself, you can be uncomfortable with other people’s vices and behaviors and coping mechanisms, and you can stay for a bit, if you choose, and you learn a whole lot about why its so hard to stay.
You can choose to leave too, and the choice is a clear victory for self-care, not a fleeing but a choice.
You feel generations of trauma unfurling, unfolding, but also rewriting.
And you feel a deep grounded sense of accomplishment, knowing that you are rewriting something.
Your children will never have to cope, hide, or disassociate, or join into your dysfunctional mind numbing. Because you are right there, and they are there too.
Together in your mutual there-ness, you are navigating life as it unfolds, knowing that there are rafts of safety in your community, knowing that you are a raft of safety, and you can all choose to stay, or to go for a bit, and when to return.
You have become a big salty safety barge with big heavy anchors cast into the earth, grounded in slowly yielding waters, and you and your children are rewriting history for their children, and theirs, and theirs.
Sometimes we get caught in a tit for tat.
Your going to be impatient with me?
So ill be impatient with your impatience.
Your going to be cruel to me?
I will be cruel back to you.
You are going to be insensitive?
Ill be insensitive right back.
That'll show em' right?
This habitual tactic never really works
It just escalates things.
Our low hanging energy, pulls the energetic connection in the relationship even lower.
We are both stuck down in the muck, hackles raised.
We are much more successful in creating thriving relationships when we show people how we would like to be treated, by treating them the way we would like to be treated.
We want patience, be patient.
We want kindness, be kind.
We want sensitivity, be sensitive.
We want to be heard, listen.
Why don't we take this high road more often?
Because Its scary as heck to be unguarded, vulnerable and open in our kindness, not knowing if it will be reflected back to us.
If it isn't we have decisions to make.
And those decisions are scary.
If we are consistently patient, kind, sensitive and we are met with the opposite, than we are forced to choose boundaries, reassess relationships...
And thats hard.
But we have to ask out selves...
Am I going to choose my behavior just to prove a point?
Am I going to choose a lifetime of living in low hanging emotions? Am I playing tit for tat?
Can I choose to have kindness as my highest intention, above being right, above having the upper hand?
Can i trust myself to take care of myself when people consistently don't treat me well even in the face of my kindness.
Can i trust that i can express every ounce of my feelings without sinking unto the heavy muck?
What really matters to me? Am i showing those I love how to treat me by treating them the way i would like to be treated?
Phew its a biggie and it takes a lot of intention to break out habitual ways of communication.
But i think its worth it.
I would like to hear from you what the top 4 traits you find important in a friend, partner, or family member. Are you fully expressing these traits towards them. If not, how could you put them into action? How would this change the dynamic?
It’s a radical act in this go go go world to sit down, be still, and check in. GET MINDFUL GREENSBORO is an opportunity to meditate together in community and get intentional about waking up to the beauty of the present moment. Join Andra West LeBauer on June 3rd at 11am at LeBauer park to sit, breathe, and connect.
Click here to RSVP
I try to teach my children about how to do small talk. Especially my oldest daughter, who like me is not a big fan. I went years claiming that small talk wasn't my thing, and really at the heart of it, it isn't but why? I now think of small talk as a converstation we have with someone we feel disconnected with. Thats the feeling i don't like. Disconnection. Ugh! I don't enjoy facing my own awkwardness that arises when i find myself feeling separate. Its social anxiety, or whatever you want to call it, and some of us have a harder time with it than others.
I use to drink at social gatherings, and that really took the edge off, it made me forget that i felt separate, it made me feel like i could just jump right in, but the funny thing about alcohol is it makes you more comfortable, but only temporarily.
How many of you have had to much to drink at a party, made a best friend, fell in love, and then the next day you see the person and you are like...ummm...hey...there...insert awkward downcast gaze.The awkwardness is still there because we missed the heart connection.
So, how do we connect with people in small talk situations ,like parties, when we yearn for connection?
I have found the best way for me, fully awake and sober me, to connect with people when i am experiencing acutely the lie of separateness. Is to ASK THEM QUESTIONS ABOUT THEMSELVES. Do your best to get to know them, ask questions out of genuine curiosity and listen deeply, Care about the response.
The lie of separateness cannot survive in the light of attention, affection, and deep listening.
The more you get to know about your new friend, the more quickly the illusion of separation will melt away, and you can rest together in the knowing that you are them and they are you.
Did you wake up this morning wishing you would have had less to drink last night?