Families just do not know what to do with themselves when alcohol or addict becomes sober. First year recovery is a time of confusion, joy, fear, anger, sorrow, happiness – in short, a lot of emotion. Most families do not know what to expect in the first year. They know that the addict has become sober and that something has changed in the system. They also know that they are expected to change. But they can not be sure how to change and what they should do differently.
For treatment and recovery, "Do not trust, do not speak, feel" rules. Now it seems that they are encouraged by everyone to talk about emotions. Wives should not trust alcohol / addicts with their feelings. They may be worried that their feelings will be used against them. They could expect old behaviors from the addict. Children will also have "trust issues" but they have not even learned how to know their feelings. They may have experienced the other parent who apologizes for the addict when they tried to tell how they felt about parent behavior. They can also be afraid of the reaction to their feelings by one or both parents.
The addict in recovery is a new awareness that alcoholics and addicts used their drugs to not feel their feelings or to not deal with them. Addicts (and their family members) learn to deal with emotions appropriately, it is necessary to complete the skills for continued openness. They are taught that emotions should deal with an open, honest way and to restore people should take risks by telling others how they feel. They are taught some of the major communication skills in their counseling and advised to "practice, practice, practice."
One of the most helpful tools for acquiring skills in defining, owning, expressing and working with emotions is having regular family reunions. They are a great tool for continuing to develop positive communication skills within the family and eliminating old anti-conflict therapies. Feelings Meetings for Couples use the same instructions. These daily sharing meetings are recommended for couples, for about 15 minutes each day at the same time daily. The family feelings sharing times (with all the nuclear family) might have been held weekly, again at the same time this week. The time you spend in these communication skills must be worked out according to the size of your family and age. If you make time "sacred" (same time, same place, each day / week) for your emotions, are more likely to follow. The more you exercise, the better you get.
Here are the instructions for family meetings of the meeting:
1. In Feelings Meetings, everyone is equal. Everybody gets to share.
2. Each individual's feelings are as important as the others' feelings. All feelings are allowed.
3. Appropriate expressions of negative emotions may require guidance.
4. Have structure; get a hat and make it semi-formal to make an interest with the kids.
5. Allow children to change the meeting as soon as licensing permits. Allow the kids to call the meeting to order and call family members to share feelings.
6. Let the kids feel their feelings. Do not try to "kiss it and do it better". Confirm your feelings by connecting to the time you felt like that or you see why they would feel like this.
7. Do not use emotional meetings to solve problems. Set special time for "executive meetings" to deal with problems using a peaceful strategy.
8. Accept Other & # 39; feelings. Do not try to take them away or fix them. It's not your job.
9. Use a lot of "I" messages and avoid "You" messages.
10. Talk only about yourself.
11. Practice listening actively. It means to feed back what you heard (ie, "What I hear you say is …")
11. Use these emotional words – fear, anger, shame, guilty, hurt, sad, lonely, helpless, joy.
12. "I feel like …", "I think so …." are not emotional statements. They are "thoughts".