Women who are chemically dependent struggle with their disease in very different ways than men.Why is our all-women program so effective? Here are just some of the reasons:
There is still a greater stigma attached to women than to men who drink and use drugs. For example, addicts who are also caring mothers carry immense guilt and shame not only for their disease, but also for the effect their disease has on their children’s lives. At Gratitude House, Inc., women can move beyond labels and the social perceptions to openly confront their feelings of guilt and shame.
Chemically dependent women often try to disguise addictions by assuming a socially acceptable appearance, careers, homemaking skills and community involvement. Gratitude House provides a safe haven for women only, where they can feel more at ease and therefore are able to openly reveal what lies behind their outward appearance and more effectively work through, accept and resolve their feelings of guilt, shame and negativity.
Many women struggling with alcoholism and addiction may have a history that includes emotional, physical or sexual abuse. In cases where the abuse coincided with alcohol and/or drug abuse, women may experience very complex emotions of guilt and shame. These intensely sensitive wounds can more easily begin to heal in a women-only environment.
Romantic involvements, care-taking, and sex are very common coping mechanisms in handling the pain of drug and alcohol withdrawal. These types of relationships are more likely to develop in co-ed programs and can interfere with the recovery process. Providing a women-only environment, reduces potential distractions to avoid falling into familiar care-taking patterns.
Our women-centric environment encourages residents to develop friendships and positive support networks, where women cooperate with each other, rather than compete. Additionally, bearing witness to another woman’s “model” recovery has proven to be remarkably healing.
“Whatever I rejected, Love came to me in that form, forcing me to leave behind limits in my loving and to embrace what I had thought unlovable.”
—Fran Grace PhD, “The Power of Love…
A Transformed Heart Changes the World”
© Gratitude House, Inc. 2023