Not every person who grows up to develop and addiction or alcohol abuse problem comes from a broken home of some kind. Many do. Growing up in an alcoholic home, a divorced home, and abusive home, or an otherwise dysfunctional home can inspire a need for escape. For a child, such experiences are traumatic. Without any other tools for coping with intense trauma at a young age, children tend to go into survival mode. Upon experimenting with drugs and alcohol for the first time they find relief in the euphoria, pain relief, and escape provided.
During the therapeutic process in treatment, there is a lot of talk about the “inner child”. When people grow up in a dysfunctional home, they get stunted in their childhood. Unable to develop in a natural way, a major part of their psyche remains in a childlike state. Some people punish their inner child while others abandon them completely. Most often, the way one treats their inner child mirrors the way they were treated as a child. Additionally, there is a lot of fear about confronting one’s childhood and their inner child. Since that time period held so much pain, the therapy can feel like making it all real again or having to admit it was true.
Taking care of your inner child can be part of your self-care routine, which is important throughout your recovery for the rest of your life. Overtime, you’ll learn to identify which of your behaviors is really you, your grownup self, and which are the demands of a child who needs to be cared for.
A child doesn’t like to admit they are scared when they live in a home full of terror, especially with an ongoing narrative asserting that they shouldn’t be afraid (or will have something to really be afraid of). Likewise, children aren’t often given the opportunity to be angry, sad, or authentically embody their own emotions. By naming, identifying, and processing your emotions in a healthy way, you help your inner child learn and grow up. You allow yourself to understand it is okay to feel your feelings and that they don’t have to totally control you.
Healthy boundaries are the way you will implement the distance, as well as the connection, between you and your inner child. When you let yourself feel feelings like an adult, you let your inner child know that childish coping mechanisms are no longer allowed or necessary. In other areas of your life, the more you enforce healthy boundaries, the more you take care of yourself, and your inner child, in a positive way.
Start the new year with a new take on life. Recovery is your new chance at living. Lasting recovery is possible through infinite change. At Infinity Malibu, our clinical program is run by leaders in the addiction field. Providing cutting edge treatments, our program offers a transformative process. Infinite change. Infinite recovery. Call us today for information: 888-266-9048