LIFE IN RECOVERY
The topic of attachment is often discussed along the road to recovery. Attachment helps someone feel safe and understood. It creates an experience of grounding, feeling that one can push through pain and hardship while not feeling alone. Solid attachment gives us the freedom to build things in our lives.
Some people struggle with insecure attachment styles and this is often formed during childhood years. They might feel a lack of trust in others or that they really don’t need others. They might feel that their lives are chaotic and disorganized, relationships coming and going with no great explanation.
It is important to remember that attachment patterns can be improved and grown over time. We talk regularly at CeDAR about attachment and what it means. There many parts of recovery which emphasize quality attachment, such as working with a sponsor, coach or therapist.
Another way to build attachment is to the entity of CeDAR itself, a healthcare community that represents recovery. This might involve visualizing the courtyard and green space of CeDAR, or the meeting rooms and offices. It could be remembering the drive to CeDAR or chatting with peers in the parking lot after the Saturday morning meetings. The important thing to realize is the emotional experience at play: CeDAR is a safe, supportive environment that promotes recovery.
There are other examples of entities that have promoted attachment over the years. A good example is the Veteran’s Administration (VA) hospital. Thousands of veterans across the United States visit their local VA daily to get coffee, catch up with friends, and feel connected. This positive attachment is very meaningful to these individuals and promotes elements of health and wellness.
Some people may argue that you can’t possibly attach to something inanimate like CeDAR, or that this is in some ways shallow or insincere. “It’s just a building!” “You should attach to people…not places or things!” While understandable, these views aren’t mutually exclusive with this concept of ‘institutional attachment.’ Of the thousands of people who have received healthcare services at CeDAR, the emotional experience of the place itself can be quite comforting and grounding.
Families and Attachment
If you or a family member are receiving recovery services at CeDAR, consider this idea of attachment. Try thinking through these topics:
- Did you have an experience that was supportive and representative of addiction recovery? Was this from an individual? Multiple people?
- If you reflect back on this time, what is your emotional experience? Do you feel anything connected to the space of CeDAR itself?
Paying attention to the subtle layers of attachment can help people feel a sense of hope and peace, especially around a painful and difficult time. The physical space of CeDAR is an example of how something inanimate can mean so much more to people.