The situations of addiction (drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling, ecc.) bring the individual and their family into a sense of shame, guilt, stigma and silence. Speaking up and ask for help is the first step of a hard and slow journey of awareness and personal rebirth. Autobiographical approach increases self-reflection capacity and gives opportunities to the family members to empatize each other. Writing itself helps the family break the silence in which they take refuge, strengthens the search for meaning, so that they can put the experience they are living into a wider perspective. Stories become a training tool to read inside the family distress caused by addictions. This essay presents the concrete experience of parents that are part of groups of self and mutual help that are facing their sons and daughters’ addictions and that took part into a formative writing class: a relational space where they can bring to surface the deepest and most delicate words that describe the sense of discomfort. The results of the study highlight the power of shared narrations, the revolutionary charge obtained from writing and the amazement in front of the transformational chances that are hidden in the art of storytelling. Parents who deliver their own words, full of suffering, to their children and to the whole community make a valuable contribution to outline a more effective course of education and treatment: it’s like a new birth, for themselves, for their children and for the people who meet them through their stories. In this sense, autobiographical writing highlights his social value: more than a solipsistic exercise, it’s a community practice. While taking care of oneself and developing an inner change, one is indeed disseminating on wide scale these beneficial effects. The parent’s work within the self-help groups is based on the belief that doing something to fight discomfort results, first of all, in giving space and time to think: an autobiographical workshop is a favored tool to make this possible.
|Translated title of the contribution||[Autom. eng. transl.] Writing addictions, building spaces of reciprocity: families that tell each other|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- famiglie, tossicodipendenze, scrittura autobiografica, welfare