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Problems, Processes, & Paradigms


A scene opens and we catch a glimpse of a desperate, co-dependent wife, scrambling to “make” her addict husband sober-up and be the man she prayed for. Scene after scene shifts as we see her going in and out of various offices in search of the answer, the cure to her husbands’ problem. This DCD (desperate, co-dependent) wife didn’t understand that her husbands’ problem became the family’s problem. But, at this stage of the process, she is deaf even blinded by the need to “fix” her husband.

After months and years of the treatment-recovery-relapse cycle, she found herself asking the usual questions of yet another therapist, “What can I do to get him to stop?” Only this time she was offered a clear, concise answer as he suggested all her questions would be answered at an Al non meeting. As soon as he wrote the address on a post-it note, she found herself n route.

It was somewhat confusing to find that the address belonged to a church. None-the-less, she continued her quest and found a room full of welcoming people that were to serve as the beginning of her healing. Something about that room made her want to run but maybe it was the same thing lured her into staying. As people shared, she heard bits and pieces of her reality in each of their stories. She learned how to her situation from varying perspectives.

It was as if she had been blind folded for years or locked away in a dark dungeon and someone, namely Al Anon, removed the blind fold and turned on the light. Now she was able to see that her husbands’ problem had become her focus. In some twisted way it made her feel needed. Obsessing over his every move gave her purpose as it kept her too busy to realize the painful thoughts of being abandoned emotionally and physically.

The process continued to reveal so much about the wife until she became intrigued by it all. Her new addiction was no longer that of a co-dependent. Now she was the perfectionist, the self-help guru that shifted her focus from her husband to a crusade to save others. Our heroin became the talk of very meeting. She was applauded and celebrated for embracing Al Anon principles and sharing the word every where she went. She felt accomplished, loved, appreciated to the point that she finally divorced her husband only to find herself in a similar relationship soon after.

The problem was she didn’t really complete the healing process. She only became a paradigm of co-dependency. The problem for her and so many like her, lies deep within as the pains we bear cut so very deep. The pain of being abandoned emotionally by parents too busy making a life that they forgot to slow down and enjoy the life they were constantly building. Pain that accompanies years of wanting to be heard, feel needed, and be validated. The pain that led us to the dysfunctional relationship in the first place.

This is the type of pain that does not heal without first metamorphosing time and again before (if ever) it finds itself defused and no longer jeopardizing a persons’ life. This pain is problematic only in the sense that one must not fear the process regardless of what past paradigms provide.

Be mindful of the process and the processes that lie within the process so that you can avoid trading one addiction or obsession for another. Problems are best resolved at the root and that could easily be a lengthy process but rewarding. Don’t allow yourself to trade in one problem for another. Go through the process, it will set in place a new paradigm shift in your life.

Image: IStock

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