Julie Hanks, Owner and Executive Director of Wasatch Family Therapy shared with me this artistic expression and interpretation of overcoming addiction to the song “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. When I saw it I was so powerfully moved by the message it portrayed on such an important topic. A few points stood out to me from watching this dance that relate well to the emotional aspect of dealing with addiction in relationships.
Addiction is Unique
This movement is interesting and complex; it is also very unique, just as addiction is unique, whether it is to drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, etc. However, addictions can also be the same in many ways, they are powerful and push us to ‘move,’ while still being unique to each individual. While there are common threads to any specific addiction there is also an aspect that is unique for each couple. Every couple will develop their own ‘dance’ around the addiction, interactions, pain and healing. This is the dance they have to deal with… this is the coming together and the pushing apart in the attempts to make something melodic and synchronized.
Don’t Be Rigid
These dancers are never completely rigid. Addiction is an ebb and flow, it is a rollercoaster of actions, emotions, memories, pain, excitement and hope to name a few. Addiction affects everyone involved, especially a partner. As with this portrayal, there are the vivid disconnects and the reconnects. Yet, as they work on themselves individually and together as partners they become stronger and more cohesive.
Consistency is key. As in the lyrics of this song and the portrayal of the dancers there was a common theme of consistency, “I am not giving up”. Whether it is a partner, child, parent or anyone else it is important to be consistent in love, but not necessarily in loving or condoning the behavior. With consistency comes stability and safety.