You may have heard the expression, “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” Hearing this, you may have related to the hurt of silence and secrets. Unfortunately, as women, we are often taught to silence many parts of ourselves from a young age. We may have been taught to dislike our own bodies or that our bodies are taboo and unspeakable. We may have experienced trauma that made us feel out of control or powerless.
Women, Trauma, and the Need to Escape
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that five out of every ten women experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. According to the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, roughly 10-12% of women experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to trauma. Symptoms of PTSD can include:
- Intrusive memories
- Panic attacks
- Feelings of numbness
- Guilt, irritability
- Difficulties sleeping
For those who don’t experience PTSD, the everyday stressors of work, family, and modern-day life can lead to a desire to numb and escape. One form of escape offered to women in our society is the escape with drugs and alcohol. But what happens when that escape turns out to be a trap? What happens when our struggles, trauma, and feelings explode?
The Barriers Women Face
What happens when we take out our pain on ourselves? Addiction and substance abuse are prevalent among women. However, women are not typically portrayed as treatment center clients or those worthy of help, respite, and extended time away from work and family responsibilities to heal. When you close your eyes and imagine someone in recovery on the path to sobriety, does that person look like you?
Have you internalized societal messages and judgments regarding women who drink alcohol and use substances? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that gender roles and expectations lead women who drink or use drugs to face prejudice. Prejudice – including self-judgment – can make us hesitant to seek care. However, understanding our own stories, pain, and resilience is the first step in seeking help and making changes.
Recognizing Our Pain and Our Power
The pain we have endured also leads the way to our healing journey and the resilience found in sisterhood. A women’s group, art therapy, natural healing, and more can be found in quality residential treatment programs.
Luxury drug treatment centers can benefit women by providing gender-specific spaces and various healing modalities that respect women’s unique talents, interests, and sources of power. When women feel their own power, they can make positive self-defined changes to meet their goals for good.
By reflecting on ourselves, forgiving ourselves, healing, and learning what makes us feel healthy and good, we can find a life path free from any substances harming our families or us. Women deserve full-scope treatment in settings that allow them to focus on themselves rather than being torn in multiple directions by the responsibilities of caregiving, work, school, and other stressors.
Why a Women’s Group Is Unique
Individualized therapy and support group therapy options can make a difference in finding comfort and understanding. For women who have survived trauma or everyday life stressors, a women’s group can provide a non-judgmental and safe setting. This can help process past hurt and craft a future with mutual aid and sisters cheering them on every step of the way.
If you feel that a women’s circle, among other forms of support, could make a difference for you, it can be helpful to seek a residential treatment facility. At First Steps Recovery, we offer women’s groups in a tranquil, nature-based ranch setting.
Lifelong Friendships and Understanding
While past relationships may have led to unhealthy habits, and a desire to escape healthy friendships and collaboration, client-centered compassionate treatment promotes true healing. The experience of practicing new ways of self-soothing, relating with others, and living our best lives shows us that change is possible and easier than we imagined when surrounded by support and understanding.
In addition to healing, women’s groups can provide the key to self-understanding and lifelong healthy friendships. When women see and hear similar struggles and victories reflected in a safe group setting, they can nurture hope in themselves and their futures.
We know that community holds the key to sobriety for many. What better community than a supportive sisterhood that can extend beyond the time spent in residential treatment? Alumni programming and fun events post-treatment can promote positive friendships and connections that make a connection to sobriety more accessible and full of joy. Having this kind of support can ensure that you will always have people to turn to in times of challenge.
Now is the time to put yourself first; now is the time to heal in a safe, beautiful, natural, and supportive setting. Only when we have healed as women can we provide our best selves to be there for our families and loved ones in a sustainable and joyful way. First Steps Recovery can help. Our programs will surround you with peers that share your experiences and can lend support. Women’s group therapy helps women stand together and overcome addiction and advocate for other women who may struggle in silence. Our goal is to continue to raise awareness of women’s health needs and help strengthen the community. If you or a loved one needs help, take a stand today and get the help you need. To learn more about women’s therapy groups, individualized care, and detox, call First Steps Recovery today at (844) 489-0836.