Family Addiction with experts Georgia and Kym. Introducing the Addictive World with Georgia Phillips and Kym Haynes
Two Dynamic therapists with a wealth of knowledge between them and have been working with families with trauma, addiction, DV (domestic violence) and sexual abuse. A brilliant podcast was recorded, and this blog is a small sample of what was discussed.
What is addiction and how it affects marriage?
Addiction is disconnection.
“When I’m disconnected from myself, then I’m going to look outside of myself for comfort and then use something or someone if I have no other skills … that’s addiction”.
“So, if I’m disconnected from myself, then I can’t be there for my partner”.
We see addiction as the opposite of connection, and as humans, we seek connection. If internally we haven’t got that, we’re going to use something or someone, maybe our partners or spouses, to fill that void, loneliness, an emptiness within … and create the illusion of connection, but it’s not real its an illusion.
For example, if we’re ‘using’ gaming or ‘using’ alcohol or taking that first drag on a cigarette, we may believe that we have a connection, and I’m all right and have nothing wrong with me. That’s the lie.
Prior to that, we might have that void inside ourselves where we’re seeking, needing, wanting something to fill that void for us, that loneliness and emptiness. And we keep chasing.
3 Stages to addictions: Ref to Russell Brand
- First, it was fun
- Then it as fun with problems
- Now it’s just problems
Addiction is a disconnect, a void within that needs constant filling and we are seeking something outside of ourselves to fill it. We haven’t found new skills and knowledge yet to self-manage that bit. So we do what we know.
A few different ways that addiction shows up in our life are:
- Mothers are addicted to their children because they’re constantly trying to enable, minimise consequences by fixing and rescuing
- Addicted to anger
- Addicted to violence
- To perfectionism
- To sex
- To porn
- To exercise
- To judgment
People, media, etc just see addiction as alcohol and drugs, but there are so many others.
Addiction is a pattern that can be generationally passed down or learned in life. The content that you’re using is just what you’re using, but the underlying cause is trauma, conditioning, grooming, isolation, and internal loneliness which is always the same. Whether you’re ‘using’ ice, alcohol, shopping, or social media for example. We ask what are you using for and what are you getting from your ‘using’.
Your job is to notice and learn to manage yourself when you’re feeling really vulnerable and wanting to do that filling up. So that is when you must step up and resource yourself with new skills, new people and learn to meet your own needs rather than expecting someone or something else to do that for you.
Breaking that pattern of ‘using’, by connecting back to yourself and recognising what it is that you are truly needing … maybe time, maybe a hug, maybe touch … Meeting your own needs and asking for what you want.
Addiction does not belong to one person in the family system.
It belongs to the whole family system. We may want to scapegoat and blame that one person with the addiction because it’s always their fault and shaming them, which is only creating more pain and that is not helpful.
It comes back to the whole family and their willingness to upskill, learn, and look individually at their own ‘stuff’, basically starting with the CEO’s of the family, Mum, and Dad.
Once people have done their own work, have new skills and education, to tell the truth for themselves and not avoid those difficult conversations, they have now got a new framework to do and have difference rather than the old addiction pattern of the blame game, scapegoating and walking on eggshells around each other.
The family members learn they need to manage themselves. It becomes easy when your know-how and that ” I just have to manage me.”
Addiction presenting in your family
If you have addiction presenting in your family, then the place to begin is a family assessment, to have a look at the whole system and see what relationship areas need to be worked with. Know that mum and dad are always the CEO’s of their family, and it’s from the top down and that mum and dad might need support with skills and stuff like that. Then initially, Georgia and Kym will work with mom and dad and leave the person that is ‘using’ out.
Each family is different and that is why they assess, to find the right pathway to change the dynamics and the destructive patterns that are occurring.
So it’s the job of Georgia and Kym to support the recovery, educate and upskill people to move from that fear-based disconnected family relationship, into a love-based connected family. Love is an action.
The opposite of addiction is connection.
I highly recommend Georgia and Kym for the fabulous work they are doing in the world.
You can contact Georgia and Kym by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or click on this link – https://www.theaddictiveworld.com/contact
Tune into to my Empowered Marriage Podcast to learn more. This fortnight’s podcast is available now and discusses this topic in more depth. Family Addiction discussion with experts Georgia and Kym – https://www.powerofchange.com.au/empowered-marriage-podcast/