Sitting at the Adult Table

As the holidays approach I remember the 48 years of holidays gone by.  As I take a moment to reflect on the family and friends that are no longer with us, and everything they contributed to make “the big event and traditions” all happen almost magically, I am transported back in time to sitting at the kid’s table with my cousins, laughing and having fun. I remember the year I felt I was too big for the kid’s table, and wondered how I could get a seat with the “big people.”

Kids Holiday Table

Image by Marco via Flickr

I had no idea what would need to take place to open a spot for me. I had no idea the responsibility and organization it requires to make all the magic happen.  I had no idea that I would take the journey through addiction and that I would spend time drinking and using. There were many times where I would be hung-over and obsessing about things, instead of gaining the skills and emotional maturity it takes to pull off the “perfect” holiday (and is there any such thing?). I had no idea I would build resentment toward a cousin who’s a kleptomaniac, who neither acknowledged her addiction or apologized for all the things she stole from me. I had no idea I would refuse to go to the only house that was paying attention to all the holiday festivities.

Recovery Center for Women

Image by Josh McGinn via Flickr

Now fast forward several years. I am now 48 years old. My grandparents are gone, as are many other family members. Two cousins my age are gone due to addiction. It’s now my turn to create magic during the holiday season. I don’t know how to cook a turkey. I can barely get bacon, eggs and toast onto a plate while they’re still hot; the bread remains cold and the butter refuses to melt.

WHY OH WHY didn’t I pay attention?

Could I have spent more time in the kitchen? Could I have listened more closely when my gramma rattled off EVERY SINGLE ingredient with DETAILED instructions EVERY time anyone told her something tasted good? How did I miss the LIFE lesson of how the f*uck to do a holiday meal?

Now I sit here, piling more shame onto myself, with the familiar burn in my stomach that reminds me just how much I suck, how I’m just not enough.  If that doesn’t do the trick, I can toss my kids into the mix.  Oh gosh, I haven’t taught my children any skills. What in the world is going to happen? It’s ALL my fault!

I sit in that familiar feeling I’ve known since birth—shame.  And then I stop, and I say out loud:

I’m gonna learn!

It’s never too late!

I can ask for support from somebody who is great at all of the holiday preparations! There are apps!

And the list goes on….

I experience an immediate energetic shift, and I’m surprised there is not a noise as my head pops out of the low vibrating energy of victim and into positive thinking.

Once that transition occurs, I am instantly filled with hope, gratitude and joy.

I’m not quite sure why I continue to put myself in my self-created “hell on earth,” but I do know that I am using my tools and getting out of the muck faster and faster.

If being happy is what I desire to be, then I am the only one who can make this happen—it’s completely and forever up to me. To let go of old negative thinking, to walk away from the intoxicating temptation of shame-based thinking, to immerse myself in my old pain—some bestowed on me, some self-created.

So watch out, adult table, here I come! And if the holiday magic I create, the turkey and the fixin’s, are terrible, then there is always pizza, and there is always next year.

Join me at the adult table, knowing that we belong there, because we have everything we need within ourselves to create a truly magical holiday.

Take your first step towards recovery at Dee’s House of Orange County. Our Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center for Women has a variety of treatment options to help you overcome alcoholism or drug addiction. Read our clients’ testimonials, or contact us today or visit us at our Southern California recovery center.

Women and Drugs – Different Needs in Treatment

women's drug treatmentWomen and Drugs

Women and drugs can be a very lethal combination. But when women seek treatment, what really are their needs? Most addiction treatment facilities are coed, based on the notion that one addiction is pretty much like another and can basically be treated in much the same manner for everyone. But much of why someone becomes an addict is not only personal, but often gender specific. There are, in fact, biological differences. Men and drugs and women and drugs are very different things. There are also highly different social and environmental factors which not only affect the motivations for drug use, but also for seeking and being successful in treatment. Women who use drugs don’t become addicts for the same reasons as men, or under the same circumstances. Moreover, women have different needs in treatment than men do. And, frankly, both genders are better off in treatment centers where they can be more focused on their goals in treatment and more able to be open and frank in therapy groups – which often isn’t the case in coed groups.

Additionally, women tend to be more sensitive to the needs of others, more supportive and work far better in groups. Women tend to be more open with their feelings and can make faster progress among other supportive women.

It is true that addiction care, in the form of AA, started among men and only later became inclusive of women. And while the basics of AA are a great foundation for any program, women addicted to drugs have other needs and require a more holistic approach to be successful in attaining, and maintaining, sobriety and long term healing goals.

There are many life circumstances that predominate in women’s lives that aren’t a factor in a man’s. Research has shown, for example, that physical and sexual trauma, followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is much more common with women and drug abuse than it is in men seeking treatment.

Other factors that can have a greater effect on women in treatment are financial independence, pregnancy and child care, and self-image. Research has also shown that women are less likely to stay in treatment than men. In some cases this may be because the gender roles they experienced in life are being replicated in coed treatment programs or, in some cases, it may be the pull of family obligations and responsibilities, such as child care, that impacts a woman’s decision to leave treatment.

All of these are circumstances that contribute to the need for a holistic women’s treatment program such as we offer at Dee’s House. We began with the basics of AA’s 12 steps and built on that foundation, creating a program we call whole-hearted healing. We believe the mind, the body and the spirit all contribute to the wellbeing of any woman, and each of those three elements must be in balance with the others to achieve an optimal sense of purpose and joy in life.

If you are seeking treatment, or looking for a treatment option for a loved one, consider Dee’s House. Call us and let’s discuss how we can help. Many of the women who come to treatment here stay in treatment longer, maintain their sobriety and also stay involved with the women they went through treatment with. Dee’s House builds unique networks of support for those who truly want to find sobriety, healing, purpose and the joy of living.

To contact Dee’s House, call (714) 374-6873 today or visit

Healing From Addiction via Kundalini Yoga

dees-yogaAt Dees House, Kundalini Yoga is a big part of our Healing work.  Many people have no idea what it is.  So I asked Marlene, one of our favorite teachers to explain what it is and what it does for us.

 Steps to Wholeness – Beyond Recovery

There are many ways addictions manifest. For example, obsessive thinking, substance abuse, gambling, overeating, compulsive shopping and other self defeating behaviors are all cries of externally searching to fill a deep void within. In a society that commonly supports quick fixes by a “take this for that” mentality; the concept of looking outside oneself to feel better is highly promoted. These external fixes are temporary as cycles of self defeating behaviors continue and the void becomes deeper and wider. One is left feeling hopeless, helpless and powerless.

 Kundalini Yoga and Meditation

Kundalini Yoga and Meditation is known as the “Yoga of Awareness.” It is a holistic practice that balances the body, mind and spirit through the practice of specific exercises, breath work, mantras, relaxation and meditation. One experiences the power of going inward and begins to develop a new relationship within themselves as they connect and become aware of their highest truth and highest potential.

Scientifically, this technology rebuilds and strengthens the nervous system and stimulates the glandular system, which has been weakened through substance abuse, life stressors and self-sabotaging habits. The internal environment of the body begins to function at its optimal level as biochemical changes occur. Clarity of mind, emotional stability and union with one’s true self transform body, mind and spirit bringing a renewed sense of vitality, strength and self empowerment. The internal void once felt is filled with a renewed spirit and becomes the home of compassion, commitment and love for not just one’s self but for all.

 Power of the Gong

Gong relaxation and meditation is a therapeutic adjunct for healing. Like yoga, the gong affects positive transformation of body, mind and spirit as the sound vibrations promote a deep state of relaxation. The sound waves stimulates the physical body by providing a type of sonic massage. This sonic touch relaxes the nervous system, internal organs, and all other areas of the body.

The spiritual healing power of the gong is perhaps best understood by its ability to create a deep meditative state and a connection with a vastness beyond the finite self. In this space, even for the briefest of moments, the gong is a portal to what has always existed and what can always be. In the presence of the gong, the listener is able to detach from the content of the mind in order to become free of habitual patterns.

*The gong has been used in programs for recovery for several years to rebuild the nervous system and to open a spiritual connection. As early as 1973, Yogi Bhajan incorporated Kundalini yoga technology, including extended gong sessions, to treat thousands of recovering drug addicts. The program was accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization and received its highest commendation. In its first year of operation, it distinguished itself as being in the top 10% of all treatment programs throughout the U.S, with an astounding recovery rate of 91%.

To learn more about Dee’s House and how Kundalini Yoga and Meditation can help your recovery.  Contact Kimmy today at (714) 374-6873 today.