“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” –Tuli Kupferberg

Question: When did you first see that patterns in your life needed to be broken?

I specifically remember when I awakened to the fact that my family had been dysfunctional growing up. By then, I was an adult with two kids. As I thought about certain things I could identify, I remember saying, “The buck stops here!“ I wanted to break generational patterns. What I was conscious of, and with sincerity, I began a process of healing. At that time, I didn’t really know what recovery involved. I did things mostly by “self-help” methods which did shave off some surface level issues.

I needed a real recovery path and a support system including consistent therapy and more. It happened years later when my life upended and I was in an intensive “Survivors” therapy group. I was confronted head on with decades more of my dysfunctional living. It became so apparent. I also had subjected my four kids to these patterns for years. I felt such remorse, but also determination to do what I needed to do to go deep into the layers, and heal these dysfunctional patterns. I’ve been in recovery long enough now to witness some new, positive changes in the family as dysfunctional patterns are healing through this ongoing process.

This morning I was pondering the recent tragedies and violence in our world. What will it take to turn things around? I clearly don’t have all the answers, but I do know this: it takes every one of us doing our own healing recovery work. I don’t think it’s a far stretch to say that anyone who turns violent is dealing with some type of mental health issue, which covers a broad-spectrum of concerns.

We are definitely making headway with mental health in our society— there’s hard fought new legislation, 988 and the list goes on. Fantastic achievements that come with momentum to do more! Things are happening at all levels: in communities, states, and federally. Maybe you’re already involved at some level. Others may be looking at how to become more involved.

We need all of that to continue and, it also demands personal responsibility for each of us individually. If we have unhealthy anger, rage etc. we must commit to seeking help and do whatever it takes to dig into recovery work and heal, so that a better world can emerge for us all. We must do it like our lives depend on it. And – they just may!

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.