Power of communication is one of the most important pillars of success. Everything we do in life involves other people. In order for one person and another person to be able to connect, the medium is called communication. It’s the road.
In recovery, oftentimes one person is angry, afraid, or tired, while another person has suppressed their emotions with substances for a long period of time and doesn’t have the ability to communicate. After the drugs and alcohol are removed, they still can’t communicate with each other. They just don’t know how. Families take it personally and say, “They’re not on drugs anymore, I don’t know why they don’t talk to me.” The loved one says, “My parents are unhappy because they want me to talk to them, I just don’t know what to say.” The reality is that both the family members and the individual using substances are not that good at communicating.
If you feel like you’re a great communicator, or even if you are a motivational public speaker in your field, it’s still different when emotions are involved, when loved ones are involved. In order to be able to articulate words, you have to get through your thoughts, you have to process your emotions, you have to filter through them and you have to talk. When people have experienced pain, trauma, loss, abandonment in their life, it takes away their ability to communicate.
If you don’t know how to communicate, the best way to do it is to grab a piece of paper and pen and just start writing. The hand is directly connected to the heart. You can write down things that you would never be able to say to the other person. One day you can sit down with someone and say, “I have something to say to you,” and then you say it. You may think, “Wow, I can’t believe I was able to do that,” but you are able to do it because you practiced.
Oftentimes in recovery there is a lot of guilt in the family member and shame in the substance user. When there is guilt and shame present, effective communication can’t happen. The only way to get through the guilt and shame is to talk it out. So there’s a conundrum.
The only way to overcome guilt and shame is to communicate through it. A lot of times family members ask counselors and therapists to communicate for them. However it is always best to do it themselves directly. When someone says they don’t know how to communicate, that’s a good reason why you need to learn how to communicate.
Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.
Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.
Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.