Children who grow up with parents who have alcoholism are subjected to many layers of trauma, sometimes emotional, physical or a combination of the two. It can be difficult to find a way out from under the trauma inflicted by addicted parents but it is possible to heal the wounds and move forward, one step at a time.
The first step to letting go of past trauma is seeking ways to heal. Holding onto the pain is only causing more hurt. Resentment builds and it becomes difficult to live in the present and experience a healthy lifestyle. Putting down the hurt and resentment can lead to self compassion and moving forward with a positive outlook.
Exercises to Heal
The following exercises can be helpful in learning to let go of things which cause pain and start building tools to live a compassionate life. Here’s how to get started:
- Physically hold a pebble in a closed fist as long as tightly as possible for up to one minute
- When the minute is up, drop the pebble and look at the hand. Notice the deep indentation and what level of discomfort was felt
- The pebble serves as a metaphor for the emotional damage of alcoholism or addiction. List three things that caused pain today in relation to alcoholism, addiction or the person in life suffering from the conditions
- Pose a question to oneself about how to put things down metaphorically speaking. Whether it is a relationship or behavior, ask what it is that needs to be done to implement change
- Find three things to do every day to keep from picking up the pebble (pain) and maybe start with one then add more
- Get a journal to write in once a day for 30 days and be realistic but focused on the goal
- Offer a reward once completed to begin the journey of building self compassion and healing
Self compassion begins with honoring how a person cares for wounds and trauma from the past. Acknowledging the hurt and healing takes time because the tools are not always right there, it may take awhile to develop ways to right the wrongs committed against the self and towards others. Everyone can put down ‘pebbles from the past’ and learn to move past the hurt. It may take time but it is worth it in the end to find hope and healing waiting on the other side of forgiveness and grace.
Addiction is devastating but it does not have to take everything away from you. If you’re struggling and want help, there is hope. Call The Villa to get resources and information on how to escape the shackles of addiction and find healing.