I spoke with a woman yesterday whose son now has nearly half a year clean and sober. Her relief and pride were palpable. He is safe, he is well, but for his own continued well being he has to live 3000 miles from home and their drug infested community. For now. He has to stay close to others in recovery. He needs his posse. He has to stay away.
In the same few sentences, the same broad brushstrokes, this kind woman was also able to paint the impact that his illness has had on the family; the pain, the fear, the confusion. Younger brothers and sisters don’t understand why he couldn’t ” get better” at home, why their own care and concern for him were not enough, why he had to go so far away to get heal. His parents have an ache around not being able to protect or defend their child from the sickness in society, that resulted in the disease blooming in their son. They struggled with the pain of accepting the fact: in order to keep him they had to let him go.
Just as this young man had to find a place, a community, for wellness and healing; the whole family needs to find community, too. The days, the months, the years that led up to the final crisis, or bottom, had an impact on them. They all were players in the drama, had a role to play. Their roles needs to be examined, and the internalized impacts, the brain changes of being a co-addict untangled, evaluated and made well again.
This cannot be done alone. It also cannot be done exclusively within the family, the tools, the processes, and the perspective cannot be found there alone. The family needs community to help them evolve and grow.
The last thing this woman told me was how powerful the practice of yoga has been to access and reconnect with her true feelings. She has been rediscovering herself in her breath and on the mat. The yoga community is a part of the posse that is lifting her up; not through advice or comments, but in listening and being. Yoga along with the family support systems and groups helps heal the body mind and spirit to reclaim internal wisdom and health – it lifts and sustains her.
I felt for her, her words, pain and confusion. I also embraced her remedy: be with the wise and the healing community. Share the stories of both pain and recovery in rooms and recovery circles of all kinds. Move the trauma out of the body on the mat and breathe in wellness. Healing self will heal the family, one breath at a time.
Kyczy Hawk E-RYT200, RTY500 is the author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path”, a leader of Y12SR classes, and the creator of SOAR(tm) (Success Over Addiction and Relapse) a teacher certification training that she holds with her good friend Kent Bond E-RYT500. Find out more about her, her classes and the training at www.yogarecovery.com