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Co-Addiction Free

with Addie Lee

My Blog

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Kennedy "Code of Silence" broken

Posted on October 9, 2015 at 5:02 PM
The secret is out. The "No Talk" rule is broken. Former Congressman J. Patrick Kennedy, son of deceased Senator Edward Kennedy, courageously went public about his dad's and his alcoholism on October 4 on 60 Minutes during an interview about his recently published book. Illness cloaked in shame is the name of the game. Families living with or alongside an alcoholic husband, mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, and other relatives understand too well how this rule works and how to apply it. They are dealing with a disease for which they see no immediate cure, are embarrassed by alcoholic behavior, shamed by a loved one ending up in jail for a DUI, and yet are putting on a happy face to friends and neighbors as if everything is okay.Of course, this is living in a state of denial just as the afflicted one continues to do also. Admitting there is a problem is the first step out of this malaise and when a co-dependent reaches the end of her/his rope, and s/he and goes for help they have broken out of the state of denial. Many times when the co-dependent begins to understand the disease of addiction and learns the part s/he plays in keeping the merry-go-round going, s/he can get the support to change her/his behavior. When attending Al-Anon, s/he will learn that one of the teachings that members learn is that they cannot change anyone else's behavior but they can only change their own. They will feel a certain sense of relief and with the support of the group, will no longer feel they are alone in dealing with the disease of addiction. Changing their behavior tips the relationship mobile out of balance and many times, the addicted will notice. When the co no longer reacts to addicted behavior by yelling at the perpetrator, etc. the addicted will lose the scapegoat they are blaming as an excuse for drinking/using. It can shine a light on the disease and could lead to the addicted admitting there is a problem and seeking help. Also, of great importance, seeking guidance from a competent chemical dependency counselor can provide valuable support as long as the counselor relates the whole picture of the disease of addiction and all its parts and can explain, in detail, this to the co. Learning that the progression of the disease and recovery is predictable will add more understanding to the co and strengthen her/his efforts to continue on the road to health. 

Back to the "No-Talk" rule: According to news reports,the family of Patrick Kennedy are outraged at his book and his disclosing his and his father's alcoholism. This is a typical reaction from families whose skeleton in the closet is now revealed. The fact is is that many of the Kennedy's friends and acquaintance were already aware that drinking and using was present. It was not a secret to them. Patrick Kennedy's admission was merely validations that what was long suspected was the truth.
 
I applaud Patrick's public disclosure and continue hoping that it will lead to the acceptance by the public that addiction is a disease for both the user and family members and in-depth treatment of both, especially families, is critical for recovery. 

Categories: Influential Celebrities in the News

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