“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”
– John Wayne
The above quote appears on the first page of Michelle Peterson’s inspiring website, RecoveryPride.org. With her site, it is her goal to change the face of recovery. She shines a light on the accomplishments and strengths of those who have overcome their addictions. As Michelle says, “The journey to sobriety is not one of shame, but of pride. Your stories and victories can not only help others that are facing similar paths, but can also help dispel myths and hurtful stereotypes.”
Thanks, Michelle, for being passionate about sharing stories and information to inspire recovering addicts. Keep up your incredible work!
Our Darkest Secrets: The Link Between Sexual Abuse and Addiction
by Michelle Peterson
Recent studies have shown there is a link between sexual abuse and addiction. In fact, according to The Journal of Traumatic Stress, an alarming 90% of women who have alcohol addiction issues were the victims of sexual abuse. Other sources show that women who have experienced sexual trauma, whether they were sexually abused as children or traumatized, sexually assaulted, or raped as adults, are more likely to become addicts as they try to dampen their pain resulting from the sexual traumas. Of course, women are not the only ones who can become victims of sexual abuse. The most painful statistics of all show us that those who have addiction issues are more likely to become victims of sexual assault in the future, leading to a vicious cycle.
Now that we know there is a link between sexual abuse and addiction, it’s important to realize that we do have some power to help prevent the cycles of abuse and addiction. Here’s how we can all work together to combat it and reverse this concerning trend:
1. PTSD Treatment
Victims should be treated by a licensed professional for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and any other underlying symptoms or conditions that may have resulted from their sexual abuse.
2. Addiction Recovery
Those who have drug and/or alcohol addiction should be encouraged to seek treatment at a qualified addiction rehab clinic, including addiction recovery and support groups and a 12-step program whenever possible.
3. Codependence & Family Coping
Addiction and sexual abuse can become family problems. It’s important for loved ones to maintain their own self-care and seek out support for codependence, such as support groups like Al-Anon, 12-step programs, or codependence books by author Melody Beattie.
4. Maintaining Sobriety
There are countless stories around the world of people who have experienced sexual abuse and later struggled with addiction as a result. These stories are unfortunately not unique. However, if we work together as a society, we can break the cycle and provide some hope of living in a world with less sexual abuse, trauma and addiction.
Message from Jenni: For information about trauma, PTSD, and addiction treatment, click here to receive a free, confidential assessment. At Insight Behavioral Health Centers, we can help you to find freedom. Partnering with Eating Recovery Center, we can also assist with problems related to eating, body image, and related issues.