Thank God for AA and Empathic Therapy
“We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. …But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. … though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.” [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p. 133]
HAVING WRITTEN THAT…..
Me and a group of recovering addicts/alcoholics had the opportunity to participate in group therapy from a brilliant ground-breaking therapist and writer in the field of “Trauma and Recovery”. Randall Mayrovitz is employed at Meridian Healthcare, Bridgehouse Rehabilitation Center. The therapy took place in 2006, our little group of women are still to this day sober and very much emotionally healed. And thanks to the 12 step program spiritually fed. Our commonality besides addiction is we women had suffered from abuse and neglect, of different types and different extents.
Please, we all love AA and still go on the most part. We believe deeply in the working of the steps. However, each of us women believe in our heart of hearts that without learning what Randy taught us in group, we would not have made it. The pain was much too deep to be healed by looking only at “our part” in matters.
Learning our own patterns of dysfunction was a large part of recovery. But do we shut down the tears of a five year old who is black and blue from the fist of a parent? Do we send him off with an assignment to write down his part in the abuse? An abused child now an adult does not grown out of needing comfort, care, and an understanding and loving hand to say, “I feel your pain, its safe to cry.” An abused child suffers and until that child is taught a way to heal they will be sick and continue to suffer. Outside issue you say? Well in some ways yes. But also for us it is the issue. Causes and conditions, the reason we (not all) drank and drugged was to bury feelings we could not bear. Addiction is a shame based malady with fear at the helm and anger spewing from the rudder. If addiction were or is solely a spiritual malady then we must all have a demon dwelling in us. For us spirituality is the remedy but the sickness is very much emotional coupled with a lack of spirituality. In my opinion.
EMPATHIC RECOVERY STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
We come together as survivors of painful life experience seeking a place to heal our wounds. We’ve reached a point in our recovery where interventions aimed at symptomatic relief no longer satisfy us. We recognize the revolving door of symptom substitution and feel the weight of something deeper.
While our symptoms and circumstances may vary, the end product of our trauma is the same: frozen feelings bottled inside because it was too unsafe to feel. It was our natural inborn impulse to express these feelings in order to heal and grow. Their suppression has created a powerful negative energy, driving us to emotional, physical, and spiritual illness and destructive behaviors.
Through each other’s empathic support and understanding, we hope to be able to restore our life flow, the inner force that guides us toward vitality and well being, compelling us to feel our darkest pain in order to recapture our deepest pleasure. In so doing, we will slowly render unhealthy coping mechanisms useless, giving expression to old and new feelings and healing our wounds one piece at a time.
I will be publishing more from the Empathic Healing Workbooks that we were given at Bridgehouse
The Healing Journey
Embracing The Storm