Supporting the Journey of Family Recovery
Joseph Campbell’s comparative mythology of life’s journey that heroes in all cultures and religions travel. It is a cycle that begins and ends in the hero’s ordinary world. The journey in between is the quest to leave the familiar and pass through the unfamiliar with key events that often provide opportunity for trials, tribulations, crisis, discovery, assistance and ultimately resolution and return.
I find this a perfect model to illustrate the journey that a family affected by mental health and substance use also travels. Below I describe the journey.
Status Quo-The family is discouraged, frustrated and scared with what has become a way of life. Disconnect - Dysfunction - Despair.
Call to Adventure-This is the moment of realization. The moment where it becomes clear that change needs to happen and it may need to start with them.
Assistance-It is quickly realized that help is needed. Most likely from someone who has also been on this same journey.
Departure-The family departs the patterns that are not serving them and begins to search for a different way.
Trials-Being a hero is hard work and the family starts to understand the role and engagement that they may have played in the situation at hand.
Approach-The hero faces their biggest fear and challenge - themselves - and the power that they hold to make changes for the better, however difficult.
Crisis-This is the hero’s darkest hour and the skills learned so far are tested.
Treasure-As a result of these tests and trials, the hero gains some power and recognition. Maybe in the form of a new found connection or ability to engage differently.
Reward-In the case of our hero, the family, the reward is a new discovery of self. Sustainability and Peace.
Return-This quest has changed the hero. They have outgrown their old life.
Resolution and Status Quo-Only upgraded to a new level. With new perspectives and tools to engage, connect and care for themselves and others. Nothing is quite the same once you are a hero.
If this outline fits your journey, know that YOU are a HERO and this path has been paved. There is no need to bushwhack.
I am here to help you navigate in a way that fits your family and personal values.