The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
Maya is an internship student at Serenity Vista private alcohol treatment center. As part of her program, Maya is reviewing each of the films in Serenity Vista's film library. Today she is reviewing Father Martin's Recovery and the Family.
Alcoholism is a Family Disease.[/caption]In Father Martin’s Chalk Talk, he helped us understand more what alcohol is and its effect on the body and mind of the alcoholic. Now, in Recovery and the Family, Father Martin moves our attention from the alcoholic to the entire family. He gives us the opportunity to take one step back and enlarge our perspective. He focuses here on the family dynamic, which I came to understand is as much involved in the recovery process as the alcoholic.
Father Martin begins his discussion by stating that, without adequate support systems and counseling, most divorces occur after the alcoholic recovers. According to him, the issue comes from two main reasons. Firstly, there is all the accumulation of damage created in the relationship that needs to be taken care of. Secondly, in order to move past that damage, their needs to be a personal commitment to healing from both members of the couple. This commitment to personal healing is an essential component for the couple to have a chance at surviving their marriage. Essential is moving from blame to understanding one’s own personal responsibility for happiness. This underscores the importance of both members having support and working a program of recovery.
Father Martin clarifies an important notion. Once the alcoholic gets sober, the whole family can be in a sort of crisis. This crisis occurs in response to the profound change in the personality of the alcoholic, as he or she gets sober. The family members can become very confused and overwhelmed by this change. Recovery and the family are yet ill-acquainted.Father Martin explains that the erratic behaviors of the alcoholic can became somewhat expected by the family members. They come to know how to handle them. So, once the alcoholic gets sober, the family is faced with a total new person who displays a completely new set of behaviors. The family members who don’t understand the new behaviors of the loved one can feel like their whole sense of being is questioned.
These explanations point out the importance of each family member taking responsibility for oneself. He draws our attention to the illusion one may believe when the alcoholic gets well, the whole family will too. Through Father Martin’s explanation, I have come to understand more clearly how each member of the family plays an important part in the recovery of the alcoholic, and in their own life. When each one takes care of their own healing, all family members together can build a new foundation for the family. Father Martin advises to make certain adjustments in the different familial roles each one has taken in order for the family dynamic to become healthier. Recovery and the family is everyone's responsibility.
Lastly and most importantly, Father Martin invites members of the family to engage in a support group. He introduces Al-Anon Family Groups, the twelve-step program for the relatives and friends of the alcoholic. Thanks to the 12 Steps, the family member is equipped with tools to practice new ways of responding to the loved one in recovery.I really loved the content of this Father Martin talk where he addresses these important concepts involving the family. I am looking forwards to the next lecture, which will talk about recovery and forgiveness.
Serenity Vista Addiction Recovery Retreat in Panama loves to share Father Martin's wonderful message with the guests. Guests of Serenity Vista learn about this important dynamic involving their relationships and family. As part of extensive aftercare planning, guests prepare a thorough plan for returning home with strong support for the entire family. Learn more about couple relationships and marriage in recovery. Holistic in nature, 12 Step based, luxury accommodations, sailing, hiking, excellent food, and our dog Ceiba make the difference for this facility in Paradise. Find out more by clicking here.
Joseph C. Martin (October 12, 1924 – March 9, 2009) was a Roman Catholic priest, recovering alcoholic and renowned speaker/educator on the issues of alcoholism and drug addiction. His motto: “Have chalk, will travel.” Father Martin was cofounder of Father Martin's Ashley Addiction Treatment Center in Maryland, USA.
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