“It is a true proverb, that if you live with a lame man, you will learn to halt.” — Plutarch
Working through the memories of childhood is a task each of us eventually faces. Addiction in a family system contributes to addiction along the way and affects our own individual addiction(s) and creates drama in life as adults.
I have realized that we can decide whether it’s important for us to know if and how addiction has operated in our families. We can gain that knowledge as we need it. But isn’t it enough simply knowing the addiction is real, that it’s present in family systems, and that we didn’t cause it? Knowing we didn’t cause it helps to stop blaming one’s self.
The important thing I have found is to focus on my own recovery. I cannot change a thing about my family or the past. But, I have found I can change my attitude toward them. When ever we feel caught up in the addiction or drama in a family members’s behavior, we can bring our attention back to ourselves. That way, resentment and fruitless anger yield to honesty and humility. Detaching from the things we cannot change, forgiving the harm done to us, and letting go of the past are important parts of our healing.
Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health. – Montaigne
I don’t feel as though I’m on the right path toward personal growth. Nothing feels like it’s working. I am misunderstood. Nothing is going well at home or in my personal life. I just don’t feel as though I can see it through. Why doesn’t someone help me?
Impatience! I become fretful and blame everyone else for my own shortcomings.
Impatience! I lose touch with the tempo of life and my own particular rhythm.
I am convinced that my addiction and emotional issues will never cease tormenting me. I better slow down and get back in touch with life’s beautiful movement. I know that all things have their season and their motion and ultimately their end. It may feel like winter to me now, but here in Phoenix, summer will be here tomorrow! Nothing remains motionless; everything changes and grows. There is a pattern to life; if I am patient enough to see it. I need to slow it all down, get in touch with the rhythms of my life and life outside me.