Whose secrets are you keeping?
Whose life are you living?
Who's paying the price?
In addiction treatment, the "elephant in the living room" refers to a situation in which the addictive use of alcohol (or other drug) by a family member significantly impacts the remainder of the family. Yet no one talks about it. They treat it like a secret and tiptoe around the messes this person makes. Worse, they pretend not to notice, or that it doesn't matter.
It does. It mattered then and it matters now. Those raised with an alcoholic are likely to develop an addiction of their own, or to marry someone who does. And the cycle repeats.
Questions for your journal (and for sharing if you choose):
1. How has "not noticing" bad behavior by others helped you get ahead in life?
2. What has it cost you?
3. What would happen if it was suddenly okay to notice and talk about what you see wrong in your family?
Remember, you are not alone. There is a silent army of elephant keepers lurking here.
Kim Halsey is a human resource professional and executive coach who helps people overcome life damaging habits, restore important relationships, and live their dreams without drama.
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