The last two months have been stressful for my family. My dad relapsed in his 30 years of sobriety. Things got really scary where he was having suicide ideation. Luckily he was willing to go into treatment and with the help of my community I found an amazing center for him where he was able to do deep healing and reflection for 30 days. He even celebrated his 71 birthday in treatment.
While it has been really difficult to see my dad in so much pain, there have been so many gifts that have come out of this experience. First it has given me the opportunity to see how far I am in my healing journey. In the past my inner child felt responsible for my dad’s sobriety and interpreted his drinking as him not loving her. This time my inner child didn’t feel responsible for him. She knows dad loves her and also knows she can’t save him. She was sad that he was in so much pain that he chose to start to drink again and didn’t feel comfortable reaching out for help sooner.
While my dad was in treatment our family had the opportunity to do family therapy sessions. This was the first time where my family had a safe container for everyone to open up and share their feelings. It has allowed us to identify deeper family problems and dynamics that are unhealthy. There has been open conversations about boundaries, our needs and new strategies to change things.
And the biggest gift is that each of us have embarked on our own healing journey. My mom started therapy for the first time at 68 years old. My dad was introduced to so many types of healing modalities while in rehab, he too is in therapy for the first time. I feel so grateful that the work I started 10 years ago to heal my trauma, is finally being understood by my whole family. I no longer feel alone on my healing journey or like I’m the only one with a different perspective.
Covid has affected the mental health of many families. Traumas have resurfaced. Please ask for help. I’m so proud of my dad and how once again he has demonstrated to me that we are in charge of our life and we have the power to make changes. It’s never too late to start. Te quiero papi!