| Family First Inbox |

Family First Inbox: Issue 770

"The 12-step recovery programs are invaluable not only for drug and alcohol abuse but also for behavioral addictions"

Into Her Heart and Mind [In Her Shoes / Issue 768]

I would like to commend Ora McCarthy on her beautifully written fiction story. In an original and imaginative way, she leads us into the mind and heart of the elderly protagonist, highlighting her feelings of irrelevance and insignificance as she contemplates her life. We follow her journey into herself as she arrives at the realization that she has actually made her own unique mark on the world and paved the way for others.

This story has surely touched a chord with many of your readers, as we all hope and seek to make a difference and leave this world a better place having lived in it.

Looking forward to more fabulous fiction from Ora!

Chaya Katz



Tools for Life [Addicted to Change / Issue 768]

Thank you for “Addicted to Change,” which highlights how those in good recovery from addiction are “people living with purpose and meaning.” While the first few years in recovery may be rockier, people with long-term recovery have seriously invested in self-improvement, both emotionally and spiritually.

The article focuses on substance abuse. The 12-step recovery programs are invaluable not only for drug and alcohol abuse but also for behavioral addictions (or process addictions).

A person’s “drug of choice” helps him / her survive situations, feelings, and thoughts that s / he feels unable to handle. As such, it is a “solution.” Shopping, gambling, eating, internet, reading, codependency — and any other behavior that exists in this world — offer simpler, more accessible, and more socially acceptable “solutions.” They can be just as addictive as drugs and alcohol, and the root causes are the same.

If you are a woman dealing with an addiction or codependency, or if you are living with someone who is, know that there are groups for frum women just like you. In a 12-step group you will find not only support, but also practical tools for how to live a clean, healthy, enjoyable life.

For more information, I can be contacted through Mishpacha.

Shoshana Schwartz

Addiction & Codependence Counselor

EFT Advanced Certified Practitioner

Therapeutic Riding Instructor, CLC


Begin the Conversation [Family Connections / Issue 767]

A few weeks ago, Sarah Chana Radcliffe addressed the concerns of a girl in shidduchim who’d had a traumatic childhood and wanted to know if it was necessary for her to start therapy if she didn’t feel that she needed it. While I agree with Mrs. Radcliffe’s reply that at this point, therapy is not really necessary or useful if there is no presenting issue, and she can revisit this decision later, I would like to add an additional point.

Starting a relationship with a therapist can be a difficult process. This is especially true in a case where someone already has a history of difficult family relationships, which can hamper feelings of trust and safety. While this girl may not now need therapy, it is likely there will be a situation in the future where she will benefit from the advice of a professional. Sometimes in the midst of a difficulty in shalom bayis, a young married lady may shy away from starting to open up to someone new — and by the time she does, the shalom bayis situation can have drastically deteriorated. So in addition to reading up on marriage advice like Mrs. Radcliffe suggests, it may be wise for her to make sure now she has already begun the conversation with someone (either a therapist or at least a good mentor) whom she can reach out to in the future if needed.

A Therapy Referral Consultant and Shadchan


Looking for Likes [Follow Me]

Thank you so much for bringing such relevant and relatable topics to the fore in your serials. I can’t help but relate to Deena as she takes pictures of her kids to send out to the world. I’m definitely not an influencer, but like many people, I have my own little “online platform”— only in my case, it’s my family chat, my high school chat, the pictures I share with my work friends…

We all want some attention, preferably in the form of a laughing-my-eyes-out emoji. I often catch myself taking pictures of my kids a certain way or making sure they hold just the right cookie before I snap the picture to send out to cyberspace.

The kids sense it. They know through our body language what our intentions are, no matter what response we fumble when they ask if we’re going to send the hysterical video of our four-year-old to anyone. And then, in the moment that we’re holding that phone, we’re not being a mother — we’re focused on getting those likes, in whatever form they come.

Name Withheld


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 770)

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