Do you or a loved one have an Addiction of some sort? Does addiction run in your family? Do you wonder if you or they can break the cycle of addiction?
A major problem with Addiction is that it can be passed down from generation to generation. Some of us are prone to be addicts.
Genetics Science Learning states:
Because addiction has an inherited component, it often runs in families. That is, it can be passed down from parent to child by way of genes. The pedigrees, or family trees, below show affected individuals in red and unaffected in white.
Researchers often study large families to learn which genes may be making them susceptible to addiction. They begin by comparing DNA sequences of family members who are affected by addiction with those who are not, and they look for pieces of DNA that are shared among affected individuals and less common in the unaffected.
Here’s a story about a woman who struggled with the demons of addiction.
“That is a fear that frightens me every day. There’s alcoholism in my family. My dad was a “functioning” alcoholic. Two of my brothers are in recovery, one for alcoholism and one for drugs and alcoholism. My sister battles the demon as well. I realize, too, that for me alcohol is not a friend of mine.
When I was in my early twenties my brother entered a rehab center for painkillers and alcohol. Our family participated in group therapy. I remember a psychiatrist telling me that I was either going to become an alcoholic or I was going to marry one.
I married one.
My life over the last ten years has been a battle not just with the alcoholism but also with co-dependency. I realize I am not making good choices when I stay with my addict husband, but I do love him.
I worry when he binges that he could do something dangerous. Sadly, my biggest fear is that our ten-year-old daughter is going to follow in his or my footsteps. I know I need to break the cycle but I fear if I leave my husband that will be it for him.
He began drinking at the age of 15. He has gone into rehab but only because he thought it was the right thing to do. In his heart, he did not want to be there. He was going to “check the boxes” and get through the program so he could keep his job. He did neither.
When my husband drinks I run next door to my neighbors.
This has become a pattern.
Now I keep a bag packed with essentials for my daughter, our puppy and myself. My neighbor is an angel. She does not judge and she is supportive. I look at myself and I wonder why I just can’t leave.
Is this co-dependency?
Yes, it is, in the worst way. I realize that and I’m trying to do something about it.
Here are some of the things I am working on.
1. The First Step is Awareness and Coming Up With a Plan.
I went to an Al-Anon meeting recently. There is hope. By addressing there is a problem and healing myself I can set a good example and let my daughter know I am doing the right thing.
I tell her regularly that our family dynamic is not acceptable. It’s hard to do the right thing and leave. But, I continue to try. I have a plan and it could take some time.
I’m trying to do the best for my family and with the help of my counselor and support groups, I am heading in the right direction. I am still concerned with breaking the cycle.
So, how can I live a better life free from the dysfunction of addiction?
Well, the first step is awareness and coming up with a plan.
2. Find a Support Group.
As humans, we need social interaction to produce Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a natural chemical our bodies produce. When we have a support group, we feel like we are not alone. For someone who is fighting addiction, this is a crucial step.
There are many safe spaces for recovering addicts where you will not be judged but rather celebrated for making the effort to reach sobriety and live a more fulfilling life.
3. Get Professional Help.
Professional help from a center like Williamsville Wellness can work wonders. I encourage you to reach out. It has helped repair my family tremendously. I am now following a road that will break the cycle of addiction.