Addiction Tuesdays “The Opposite of Addiction is Connection”

As I shared in the original post: Addiction Tuesdays, I go to group counseling every Tuesday as well as single/private counseling. The group is called connections and although we have watched videos on connections and had little assignments based on connections AND my (common sense understanding of connections) I still didn’t quite understand the premise behnd Connections.

Although I consider myself an empathetic person (even the strength finders test says so) I still carry the old school mentallity that you can’t fix anything making excuses. Because of this I had a hard time understanding how all this touchy feely connections business would help every addict through recovery. I wanted to prove the old school thought wrong so I looked up the basis for this Connections school of thought and that is when I found out about :

The Rat Park, a study conducted by Bruce K. Alexander, in an edited synopsis original studies in addiction had (I’m going to call them mice because it’s a much cuter name) mice in individual boxes with regular water and drug infused water, the mice continuously chose the drug infused water but once the study was change to include a “Rat Heaven” where the mice could play freely, make babies and raise families they would completely ignore the drug infused water! So in a nutshell, they realized social mice/people need healthy connections!

Here I thought I had come to some fabulous realization about addiction and revovery! I even went to counseling and enthuisiastically regurgatated what I could remember about the “Rat Park”. Ahead of this appt for the first time I answered a list of questions called “The ACE test”: Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Today I started to do a little more research that said: wait a minute, we can’t just base addiction treatment on happy mice! (of course I was devestated because although rationally I knew it sounded to simple, I still wanted to believe it) The updated research went on to say that 60% of Americans have at least 1 adverse childhood experience and 25% have experienced at least 3. People with an ACE score of 5 or higher are up to ten times more likely to experience addiction. Of course my score was 8. Typically I would slide a joke in right here but I’ll behave!

So really this all tells me what I already know

I have to process my childhood trauma to really move forward…..blah blah blah

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Addiction Tuesdays

For the last few months I’ve been going to group counseling and then private. I go every Tuesday because “My name is Sunshine and I am a ____________. Just fill in the blank: an addict, a survivor of abuse, a person with a mental illness, a product of my shit childhood……you get the point! So, although I’ve been going to counseling on and off since I was 9, I affectionately refer to my most recent “stint”in counseling as “Addiction Tuesdays”!

I have no idea where I was at when everyone else got the memo on exactly how to “find themselves”. I feel like the majority of people born in December of 1976 may have got like a cheat sheet to life!

Anyway, I think someone sent it snail mail so you know, it just showed up 20 years late. #USPS for those of you too young to know, that stands for: United States Postal Service…..Ok, I am done with amateur comedian hour!

So, my real point of turmoil is that I keep evaluating EVERY SINGLE THING I SAY AND DO! Like ALL day, EVERY day, I keep bending Roger’s ear (he seriously is a great listener ^^especially for a man^^)

Randomly I will be like: I just figured out today the reason why I drive you crazy is because my mom wasn’t a good mom…..Okay, that isn’t what I say. I’m sure it was something similar though. It is clear though, to me and my husband that I have this insatiable desire to learn what it takes to be “normal” At first this meant the little house with the white picket fence, now it means finding peace. Due to my childhood it has taken a long time to realize that I deserve it. I am hoping that someone will read this and save themselves the 20 years it took me to realize that I am deserving of peace!

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