How can Dual Anon help?
When I came to Dual Anon, I was a mess. Our family was in crisis, dealing with our grown daughter’s addiction to drugs and her severe depression. She was destroying her life, health and finances, and we were desperately trying to “fix” her by bringing her into our home, and taking charge of her life. It was not working. She was continuing in addiction, and my own health was in jeopardy, as I couldn’t sleep, was in constant turmoil, and withdrew from family and social situations. Where to turn? I tried other support groups, but nothing really appealed. All I could do was cry through meetings……I couldn’t seem to find a program I could relate to.
I came to Dual Anon because this group recognizes that both diseases of chemical addiction and emotional or psychiatric illness must be treated. Like one of the founders likes to say, “once an egg has been scrambled, you can’t unscramble it: you have to deal with it as it is now.” People at Dual Anon understood what I was experiencing. I was immediately met by caring, compassionate people who had been where I was. They guided me down a path of recovery that began with a few simple steps.
The first thing I had to learn to do was to “detach with love” from my daughter. When I first heard about this concept I didn’t understand it…….I thought it meant that I should desert her, and how could I ever do that? But that is not what detachment means. Detachment meant that I had to separate my addict from my daughter. I had to learn to understand that my daughter was still the beautiful, caring, intelligent joyous person she had always been, but my addict was now in control. I had to understand her two diseases of chemical dependence and emotional illness separately from her soul and being. I had to back off and let her find her own way to recovery: I could not do it for her. By trying to manage her recovery I was robbing her of the opportunity for growth and maturity that she needed in order to recover!
Next I thought about my own recovery. My recovery? I was not the addict; why did I need to “recover”? But I came to understand that I needed to recover from my co-dependence. I was so wrapped up in her recovery that I had lost sight of “me.” I began to understand that I needed to focus on healing myself. As I absorbed the knowledge and experience and love of the people in Dual Anon I began to have hope that things would get better.
I was encouraged to write…….so I wrote down affirmations and positive slogans that I came across. Soon I had quite a list. I would read them daily; I even put them on flashcards so that I could easily flip through them several times a day. I still add to them.
Another important aspect of my recovery has been the reading that I have done. I first began reading everything about addiction and emotional and psychiatric illnesses. I thought that if I understood these things better, I could use this knowledge to fix my daughter. And, it does help that now I understand these things better. But the most beneficial things I have read have been those that have grown my spirituality. We use a variety of resources in Dual Anon: we figure that if it helped someone, sometime, it is worth a look. As a result I have been exposed to many helpful writings, stories, meditations, theories, cultures, etc. The library is a great source, and many websites are available. Members take turns sharing a topic each week, we have had wonderful discussions and we have all grown spiritually as a result.
So, welcome to Dual Anon Family Groups. We encourage you to attend a meeting. Group support can be a valuable tool in your own recovery.