Announcing: A New Partnership, A New Hope

 

Addiction and Adoption Constellation Support Group

Meets every other Tuesday at 5:30 pm PST, 8:30 pm EST

Register Here

 

As you know from reading my articles, and my memoir, adoption isn’t the only trauma that I had to deal with. I’ve also struggled with being able to cope with many negative feelings associated with abandonment and shame, and early on in life I’d turned to alcohol and drugs to soothe my broken psyche. I had no other ideas, no solutions and, frankly, no interest in exploring other avenues. Alcohol was readily available, it was socially acceptable and, in the beginning, allowed me to be the person I wanted to be: open to others, gregarious, funny, interesting, and connected. This was a false connection, of course, and the relationships were often shallow and lacking in understanding, and as time went on, I found myself more alone than ever.

Addiction is like unrequited love or limerence, a feeling of desire for something that doesn’t and will never love you back. It will charm you into thinking that this is a two-way street, but soon, everyone finds out that it’s not only a one-way street but the sort of drive that ends in a serious car crash. Lucky for me, my crash led me to recovery, and I’ve been sober ever since. I’ve changed careers and became an addictions counselor and consultant to help others like myself get their life back. Furthermore, it was my sobriety and clear mind that allowed me to explore what was really underneath all my pain, underneath my shame and shyness, and that’s what led me to really becoming a part of something meaningful–namely the adoption communities.

In my line of work—and in my life—one of the most important things is establishing good connections. Connections are what makes us human, what helps us grow and evolve and get support when we’re alone and feeling abandoned. Abandonment can manifest in many ways–not only when a child is relinquished or when there’s a breakup in a relationship, but also when we feel misunderstood. Not being able to share our thoughts and feelings makes us stuck. It makes us feel like we’re the only person in the world with those kinds of feelings, and worse, that those emotions are what we should keep hidden, what we should be ashamed of. As a result, what often ends up happening is that we start to believe no one cares about our plight; being alone with negative thoughts–and especially thoughts of abandonment–is damaging to our well-being.

Humans are not meant to be alone. Humans are not meant to suffer in silence. We need each other–whether to be heard, to bounce ideas off of each other, to find validation or to simply experience love. Most importantly we need each other to be able to trust–that fundamental element of what makes us feel safe. When I first entered the adoption communities years ago, I attended mainly adoptee-only spaces in search of connections, looking for safety, but also validation amongst the people who had experienced similar trauma from having been given up by their biological parents. This quest has served me well, provided me with the support and opportunities to continue and explore the impact of relinquishment in my own life, figure out how I can best take care of myself and my specific needs, and how I can learn to develop trust and allow others to trust me as well.

I’ve been honored and have been given access to the most incredible, meaningful relationships and been able to engage with others like me, or those who understand where I’m coming from and what my pain (and my maladaptive coping mechanism) was always about: relinquishees, adoptees, foster alumni, donor-conceived persons, those with misattributed parentage, but also birth mothers and fathers, foster parents, relative/ kinship parents, adoption-child welfare professionals and organizations. And other out-of-home organizations and professionals who work with these diverse populations.  And I’ve developed my own professional practice that’s devoted to helping others like me and people who have been affected by adoption (and/or addiction).

All those experiences have finally led me to collaborate with Celia Center, where I will be facilitating a virtual group for all members of the adoption community, (the Addiction and Adoption Constellation Support Group) and specifically those who have also struggled with addiction;  in other words, people very much like me who, although might be completely unique and different from me and from one another, have something in common–that pain that needs addressing and recovery that needs nurturing.

These Addiction and Adoption Constellation Support Group meetings have been established with the sole purpose of honoring each adoption constellation member’s path/route to recovery, recognizing that each person’s journey is unique, one that reflects their personal experiences and strengths. It’s an inclusive group where the members will not only meet others like them but are also guided by professionals with expertise in recovery and adoption, both professional and lived. The discussions are intended to provide attendees with opportunities to give and receive social support that focuses on hope and healing. Hope and healing is what empowers all of us to be able to make healthier choices. The most important thing is that the meetings provide an opportunity to connect. An opportunity to share similar goals and support in initiating and maintaining healthier lifestyles!

If you’re affected by relinquishment, adoption, and addiction, this group is for you. I hope to see you there.  I look forward to seeing ongoing acquaintances and making new ones beginning on January 10th, 2023, and beyond!

Warm Regards,

David

 

I am grateful to the National Association of Adoptees and Parents (NAAP) for their support of the Adoptee Paths to Recovery group.  It has provided a launchpad to this new group that serves the collective adoption constellation and will inform the group’s purpose and functioning as it serves the adoption community.  It is also soundly in service with that expansion and growth I referred to earlier.

 

Addiction and Adoption Constellation Support Group

Meets every other Tuesday at 5:30 pm PST, 8:30 pm EST

Register Here

 

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