The Seventh Reality: Profound Coherence by Sue Jackson, LMFT

sue jackson step 12 magazine family recovery

Profound Coherence, the final reality! This is the solution reality. If you have been reading about the realities of the family scrimmage in the previous issues, hopefully, you understand the profound impact the first six realities have on the addictive family. From pathos, emotional suffering, through all the stages of the wrath experience, you understand that a deep wounding has occurred. Family treatment takes much more than education on the disease concept of addiction and the twelve steps. It will take a strong commitment and a warrior’s courage to process through all the wounding the family scrimmage inflicted. That is not drama, that is reality.

According to the Webster’s dictionary coherence is defined as, “quality of forming a unified whole” or “… parts of something fit together in a natural or reasonable way”. The only unifying quality of the addictive family is the scrimmage. The family is unified in the abstruse reality, the secrets own secrets that each family member keeps guarded. Mounting discouragement leads to the reality of grave incongruence within the individual self.

What alcohol and drugs do to the individual in body, mind and spirit, is similar to what it does to the family as a whole. Family members become intoxicated with pain, shame and denial. They too suffer from the ravages of alcohol and drugs, that is the family scrimmage

The ultimate goal, then, is for the addictive family to heal from the six realities and find coherence, a family unified and whole in a natural and reasonable way! Accomplishment of this reality, the reality of coherence, would truly be profound!

The exposure of the family secrets will allow for the formation of a unified family because all the parts of the family can heal and fit together. For the addictive family, coherence means the scrimmage behaviors of each family member have changed significantly into recovery behaviors of rigorous honesty.

This is important because anyone who has lived with and endured the realities of addiction, knows there is a deep desire for the family scrimmage to cease. Individuals suffering from the family scrimmage almost always cling to the hope that their emotional pain will stop and the secrets will finally be revealed. In the past, attempts to find a solution may have been pursued, found and implemented. However, with those solutions, after a certain amount of time, everyone in the family slowly slipped back into old behavior because the six realities remained unresolved.

Resolving the realities is critical to the family healing. Real family treatment will include identifying the family’s pathos and exposing most or all of the family secrets by confronting the abstruse, the buried shame. This really will take the warriors courage within.

Profound coherence is different from the other realities. By the time this seventh reality is achieved the pain and suffering which was caused by the six realities has been resolved. The grave incongruence of the emotional, spiritual, cognitive selves is now congruent. The wrath experience which included anger, rage and wrath, have been reduced to appropriate responses.

Once the realities are resolved the addictive family is able to enjoy new realities, the realities of the recovering family. Profound coherence removes the toxic shame and reaffirms that you do not have to be in hiding or be superhuman. Change will take a dedicated commitment to daily living in the reality of profound coherence. It will take daily personal self-reflection. It will take sorting out the “whatever” presented to us in the moments of each day. It takes more than courage, it takes honesty and surrender to a power greater than ourselves.

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