Denial of Addiction and Resentment

I’m no stranger to resentment. I used to have so much resentment when my loved one would relapse and self-medicate with alcohol. When the demons of depression and anxiety took over, and he couldn’t stop the impulse to drink, even when he didn’t want to drink, I would get so angry. I would take it personally, I would blame.

After 8 years of recovery and healing, I am still struggling with resentment of the disease of addiction and how intertwined it is in our culture, particularly the denial that comes with it.

I resent how deeply the family disease of addiction runs- how generations can normalize drinking as part of the culture of the family. These “norms” of families with generations of addiction go well beyond the simple act of drinking alcohol. 

I resent the normalization of drinking that, over time (or not so much time for some), becomes a physical and emotional need, because the disease causes their brain is not function well. With that need comes unpredictable moods and questions such as, how will he/she react? Is he waking up with a hangover and will be grumpy and reactive?

Here’s what I know to be true at this stage of my recovery: the people that live with a person struggling with addiction contribute to the dysfunction. We make contributions such as enabling, accepting rude tones, making insults, providing unnecessary reactions, years/generations of not speaking up,  and repeated patterns of codependency. We also contribute by trying to take control of the drinking and attempting to control the details of the life of the person struggling.  Another common way we contribute to the disease is through denial.

It is this deep, disturbing disease of DENIAL that I resent. Denial that:

  • there is pain (usually trauma) that is being numbed by the drinking.
  • this amount of drinking is abnormal.
  • the drinking is actually causing harm.
  • it is possible to live a different reality (called recovery).
  • healing the brain, finding recovery, and looking at one’s own pain, is possible.

Yet- denial serves a purpose- and is often used as a shield to keep from facing the painful reality- and unfortunately, many people think it is easier to keep up the shield- sometimes for a lifetime.

These behaviors are so accepted by our society and by generations of families haunted by this way of dealing with pain, trauma, and dysfunctional relationship patterns.

What I have learned and have to continue to remember is that all I can change is me. I cannot change anyone else. I will speak words about the disease and dysfunction with the hope to shine a light on the reality for others who may still find recovery.

I am committed to taking effective action and using my resentment as fuel to keep talking about recovery and educating people about this family disease. I will continue to share the energy healing tools that help to:

  • release disappointment toward the people who suffer from addiction
  • be able to see and have compassion for the person beneath the disease, even if their true spirit is long gone
  • hold my own energetic boundaries
  • hold hope for recovery.

I will use this fuel to continue my own work, to practice what I teach, to set boundaries, and to use my tools, so that I do not return to my unhealthy ways of codependency and the illusion of control.

Spiritual or Energetic? The Power of Language

I have recently committed myself to talking more about and teaching more about the effects of addiction- I see it as an epidemic of our culture and I have experienced its effects, and learned to handle it better from an energetic perspective.

I am teaching a class, An Energetic Perspective on Addiction- a one- day workshop for people affected by the family disease of addiction- whether you have someone currently struggling with the disease or if the people are long passed away or not even in your life anymore. I originally named this class a Spiritual Perspective on Addiction….

I decided to change the name. I changed the name from Spiritual to Energetic.  A very good friend of mine who has been very affected by this family disease texted me when I told her about my class and said, “I just can’t do the spiritual stuff”.  Language is powerful- and I am aware of this- and this call to the word “spiritual” and how it can be a negative to some, was a good reminder. So, I decided to be more clear about my class by re-naming it Energetic- to bring clarity and hopefully not turn people away who could benefit from this class. 🙂

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I have actually found that finding my own spirituality and connection with a higher power has helped me greatly in understanding and living with others and in a family affected by addiction, but this is not what this class is about. It really is so much of a way to look at addiction and how to take care of yourself, to find compassion for you and everyone in your life, and to set boundaries, through language and action, especially on the energetic level.

This workshop is an opportunity to sit in a circle with others, to learn some simple meditation and visualization tools through guided meditation. Time to reflect on yourself, time to share or not share. I create an anonymous, brave space to learn this new perspective, particularly around energy and being drained energetically by others in life.

I am teaching this workshop, and plan to continue a support group for people who take the workshop, because these tools made a profound impact on my own healing, my own ability to set boundaries and find compassion.

This can be a scary fucking thing to face- the shame, the denial, the craziness of this disease. I am here to work to break down this societal shame and blame. Join me. Register here.

She Turns Into Her Other-Self While Drinking!

Her name is Shelly but when she is out drinking she turns into Sherry…

When I was working out at Kaia Fit Lafayette this morning, the conversation came up within the group about turning into someone else while drinking, while intoxicated… that people even call themselves another name. It was a light and funny conversation, yet it is so true…

People change when they are under the influence of alcohol, sometimes for the worse.

What if your partner, your parent, child or friend drinks often- and you don’t see the “real person” often? What if their “other-self” is not so fun? Do you feel like the real person is absent, not present, not available?

When your loved one is not present and not available, how does it make you feel?

If you have someone in your life who is under the influence of alcohol or any other addictive thing (oh my goodness it could be their phone, their work, marijuana) and they are not present, it may be affecting you more than you know.

You may be already aware of this and getting help to support yourself, yet it is still difficult to “detach with Love” from this person when they are not themselves and not present. The class I’m teaching on January 14, A Spiritual Perspective on Addiction, will talk about this phenomenon- and how YOU can cope. Simple tools to keep your boundaries when around the “different person”.

 

When your teacher lives and loves what they teach

My best teachers have been those who live what they teach,

especially when it comes to skills that help you improve yourself, help you be a better person, help you grow, help you release stuff that no longer serves, and to learn skills you can use every day. To set energetic boundaries, to help live the life you want to live, to stop living patterns that you may be carrying for generations. I am blessed to have had many amazing teachers in my life teaching me these skills, my Tai Sophia teachers, yoga teachers, reiki teachers, intuitive teachers.… and I have been a teacher my whole career.

I am a teacher, I hold a brave space for you to grow and let go, and I am offering a lot more opportunities to learn amazing skills with me in 2018.

Join me in January- start your year off taking care of you- which will have a ripple effect! If you take Reclaim Your Space on the 6th, you will receive $25 off of A Spiritual Perspective on Addiction, or $50 off of Reiki 1.

Read more about these life changing classes in earlier blogs linked here.

 

Reiki and Energetic Boundaries

As Reiki 1 approaches in January, I am reflecting on what makes my Reiki classes unique and special. This is one of the reasons.

Tekla C. Ayers, Luz de la Luna

Why are boundaries important in Reiki?

Reiki attunement opens us to our deep intuition and energetic awareness, which can be powerful. While usually positive, these shifts in awareness can feel unfamiliar or unsettling for some people. Especially if we lack tools to help us ground ourselves in our own energy, practicing Reiki on clients can feel unstable. As I continue to teach Reiki, I hear more of this from students and other practitioners. I realize that it’s important for Reiki practitioners to have a collection of effective tools to support us when we are with clients so that we feel prepared and safe to be that open and sensitive. So, I now include these visualizations in my teaching as an added support for students and clients.

Energetic sensitive people or “empaths” can be overwhelmed after learning Reiki without these tools

For example, when I first started teaching Reiki, I had…

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Reiki + Postpartum Care

Postpartum Doula with Reiki

I am committed to sharing Reiki with postpartum moms and babies in their homes as part of my 4 hour postpartum visit because I have seen first hand the positive effects of bringing such a relaxing, grounding and healing energy modality into the homes of new mothers. I offer 4 hour visits which include an hour of Reiki and postpartum support.

Reiki is a spiritual healing practice for balancing energy that originated in Japan in the early 20th century. Reiki is pronounced ray-key. “Rei” means spiritual wisdom, and “ki” means life energy. “Ki” is also known as “prana” in Sanskrit, and modern science calls it “biofield energy.” Reiki moves energy in subtle yet powerful ways, bringing calm and relaxation, as well as dramatic shifts to the body, mind, and spirit. Trained Reiki practitioners provide Reiki, and you can also learn self Reiki techniques with the guidance of a trained Reiki practitioner like me. The postpartum time is a beautiful time to integrate Reiki and bring balance and peacefulness to your new family.

During a Reiki session, you are fully clothed, on a massage table and covered with a blanket. I move my hands over the body – hovering above the body and or gently touching. Reiki energy works in partnership with your energy to bring balance and grounding. I bring my intuitive practice to you and enjoy teaching simple visualization tools and self Reiki techniques for continuing to ground during and after our session.

Postpartum is a time of healing for mothers.  The energy balancing of Reiki allows the body’s innate healing wisdom to arise. Birth opens mothers physically and energetically which can feel vulnerable to new mothers, and a Reiki session can help provide a healthy energetic closing that focuses on her energetic boundaries. Reiki can also help you bond with baby because when you are calmer, it is easier to observe baby’s cues, and baby tends to be calmer with a calm caregiver!

Sometimes after birth, new mothers feel overwhelmed, jittery and as some mamas describe “buzzy.” The work of labor and birth, sleep changes, new rhythms and rituals of newborn care and feeding, as well as the energy in the home, birth center or hospital affect the new mother, baby and family. An in-home Reiki session helps to move and release energy that is “buzzing” by bringing your upper chakras’ energy down to your lower chakras, grounding you, bringing a feeling of calm, focus and relief of anxiety or nervousness that can arise.

In my experience working with families during their postpartum transition, I witness that an in-home Reiki session is the calm, grounding gift that every new mom and dad or partner deserves. The relaxation and calm it brings are just some of the benefits that help new parents transition into parenthood with more ease. Better sleep is almost always reported too!

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melissarichphotography.com

You can hire me (and learn more) for a 4-hour session on Mondays from 10am-2pm or through Sanctuary Healing Arts as part of your postpartum care package, on Tuesdays from 10am to 2pm.

“I wish every new mother and family could have Reiki in their home after birth! It is ideal for new mamas to have these moments of deep relaxation with Reiki in their early days and weeks together. Mamas say it’s easier to access their mothering intuition from this place,” says Michele Kolakowski, Sanctuary Doulas founder.

Original blog posted November 13, 2007 at Sanctuary Healing Arts

The Magic of Reiki in the Fall

The Fall is my favorite time to teach Reiki classes- I teach them throughout the year, but there is something quite magical about introducing Reiki to my students in the fall, and this year Reiki 1 is “falling” on the weekend of the fall equinox. If you are on the fence to sign up or if Reiki is quietly calling to you, do it- register today .

The fall is the season of letting go- as the deciduous trees change colors and drop their leaves to the earth, there is a slowing down and letting go, a slow release and decay of what no longer serves, to nourish the earth and make room for new growth and new possibility. As I teach Reiki, I see this time and time again during the Reiki attunements- there is always a letting go of something for the student- and often times a clarity of what their next possibilities are.

Reiki 1 Fall equinox

As part of the letting go, it leaves room for the Reiki energy to be received, which is a transformative and life-changing time. This weekend is the perfect time if you are facing or in a transition, if you need to be more grounded, if you need a new tool for your toolbox for staying healthy and grounded in your body/mind/spirit. I am here to hold an amazing weekend for you- a weekend of nourishment, letting go, and renewal.

I don’t only teach Reiki 1, I share with you a variety of tools for grounding, setting energetic boundaries with other tools beyond Reiki, and a deep appreciation and connection with the energy of fall and the cycles of the seasons, and how we are connected to the energy of the seasons and Mother Earth.