How do you heal from addiction and alcoholism that you created? You may impact others through your addiction but you can also impact them through your recovery and healing. 

Wendy Adamson, the author of Mother Load and Incorrigible, explains the role of intergenerational trauma in addiction and how that impacts addiction recovery, getting better, mental health, relationships, and more. 

Passing on Trauma to the Next Generations

Wendy’s mother was 38 when she had a psychotic break and killed herself. She lost her mind and never got an opportunity to get it back. Wendy, too, had a drug-induced psychotic break at 38 and ended up shooting her husband’s girlfriend in the arm. She didn’t own any responsibility for it. She was blaming others and deflecting as addicts do.

There’s intergenerational trauma being passed on unconsciously through children until somebody wakes up in the family. However, we have the power to transmute our trauma. When one person decides to change, there is a ripple effect within the family system. As a parent, you’re just throwing information over the wall and you don’t know if it’s landing or if your children are catching it. However, sometimes you just have to let go of the outcome and take the next step forward because we’re always getting opportunities to redeem ourselves.

When Wendy finally reached a moment of clarity, she realized she was not only breaking her own heart but her children’s as well because the trauma was being transmitted to them. It was the same trauma that she had not resolved. As a result, her older son went into the juvenile court system just like she did.

Healing Through Kindness

You have no defense against kindness and there are always people around you who are going to show kindness. In some ways, kindness is instrumental to our healing. As you’re going through recovery, seeing little acts of kindness somehow shifts how you think about the world you’re living in. 

Kindness is a transforming power but sometimes we forget what a little gesture can do for somebody. 

Creating a Positive Feedback Loop

Part of recovery is changing your language from being a victim to being someone authentic. Choose to see the good that came out of everything you’ve been through. Transmute the negative and use it as a tool to get in a positive feedback loop. 

Whatever you put out there, you get back. The universe responds by corresponding to your nature. If your nature thinks you’re a victim, you will always find evidence to support that and will constantly validate it. However, if you see the good operating in human hearts or people, you will continue to look for the good in people. 

It can be challenging to do this especially when things are really bad. You need to be reminded to always look for the good because you can still find goodness even in dire situations.

If you want to learn more about healing intergenerational trauma, check out Episode 161: Healing Intergenerational Trauma with Wendy Adamson