Lucy, we will call her to protect her identity, had a co-dependent relationship with her mom. Her mom had long been the rescuer of Lucy and Lucy, admittedly, had long been the victim needing rescuing. This dynamic strained their relationship. Lucy shared that her mom didn’t trust her, expected her to mess up and wasn’t proud of her.
As Lucy continued down the road of recovery, she decided that she wanted to improve her relationship with her mom. Lucy wanted to become self-sufficient so that her mom could move beyond the rescuing role. Lucy longed to have a healthy mother-daughter relationship and owned that her past behaviors contributed to a dysfunctional way of relating.
You may have a similar situation where the dynamics of your relationship are not conducive to healing and growth necessary for a successful transition into recovered lifestyle. Often times, family members don’t realize that they are participating in unhealthy agreements that keep the family system sick and strained.
Lucy committed to learning to love herself and created a daily practice for her recovery. Because of her commitment, Lucy implemented a Daily Maintenance practice where she takes tools and techniques that she enjoyed and used them on a daily basis. Lucy took tools from her own “Toolbox;” some are tools she acquired over the years and others are tools that she was exposed to in our coaching sessions.
Lucy now uses the following four tools daily:
• Morning check-in with herself where she connects or dialogues with her “True Self.” Lucy is working on connecting with the part of herself that is healthy, whole and wants to engage in self-love activities.
• Sets and completes a goal for the day. Lucy finds it helpful to focus on identifying and completing a task each day.
• Meditates for at least 5 minutes. Lucy uses meditation to quiet her mind and practice separating herself from powerful emotions and thoughts.
• Engages some form of exercise. Lucy likes to exercise as a way to support her mind, body and spirit.
Having a daily routine keeps Lucy focused on connecting with herself. By connecting with herself, Lucy is better able to understand the “why” behind her behaviors. She notices that she has more control over her thoughts and feelings now than she ever did before. She stopped using substances and now uses her tools to deal with thoughts and feelings that used to ruin her day and lead to destructive behavior.
Since using the WRAP, which stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan and is a self-help technique to get well and stay well, Lucy has reported an improvement in her relationship with her mother. Lucy took the initiative to share her WRAP with her mom which opened the door for an honest discussion and continued support. Lucy and her mom are working towards the relationships that they want to have with one another versus staying stuck in a dynamic that was based on substance abuse and fear.
As a Recovery Life Coach my three favorite things about the WRAP include that:
1. The client gets to be part of the creation of the WRAP. The WRAP belongs to them, and it is self-designed to fit their current needs. It supports them in acknowledging all their tools and formulating a daily practice to support their overall well-being.
2. The client is encouraged to think through a potential crisis so that they can have a say in what their treatment would look like for them. This includes medications, specific treatment facilities and support people.
3. The client shares the WRAP with at least one support person. A copy of the WRAP is actually provided to the support person so that if a crisis happened, the client’s wishes could be honored. No one wants to believe a crisis will take place but it’s better to be proactive and inclusive then find yourself in a challenging situation.
If you’ve never heard of the WRAP before, I highly recommend that you check out the website here http://mentalhealthrecovery.com/. The WRAP was originally created to support people with mental health issues but is now being used to support people in recovery, weight-loss and with medical conditions like diabetes.
About C.A.R.I.: C.A.R.I. provides guidance on intervention, detox, drug and alcohol rehab options in North County of San Diego, including the cities of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, San Marcos and Rancho Santa Fe. We help not only the people who struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, but also their families and loved ones. Our program accepts PPO insurance from insurance providers such as Cigna, Aetna, UBH, Optum, Magellan and Value.