VIC 31 | Alcoholism

 

Uncover the compelling journey of Dana Killion, acclaimed author of “Where the Shadows Dance,” and a wife to an alcoholic.

In this heart-rending podcast episode, KL engages in a candid conversation, delving into the sacrifices made by wives of alcoholics and the transformative lessons they learn while finding their truth amidst chaos and getting out of the silence of alcoholism.

Experience the emotional turmoil of loyalty versus self-preservation as Dana bravely shares her story of shattered promises and the realization that saving her husband meant losing herself.

If you’re the wife of an alcoholic or addict, this episode is a must-listen for empowerment and healing.

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

How To Get Out Of The Silence Of Alcoholism

I’m super excited about the guest that we have on. She is a brilliant writer, and her memoir captured and spoke to me when I read it. I had to have her on because I believe that her message is poignant and very much a sign of the times. It is time for us to shatter the silence surrounding addiction and alcoholism. Dana Killion is joining us in this episode. She wrote a brilliant book called Where the Shadows Dance. I want to say thank you for joining us.

Thank you.

What was the prompt for the title of the book?

It started out with a very literal shadow reference, lying awake at 3:00 in the morning, in pain emotionally, and the shadows from the streets below were dancing across the ceiling. However, as I wrote and thought about it, the theme of shadows kept coming up the ways in which loved ones are in the shadows of addiction, the way in which we silence our pain, the shadows that women in general are forced into as caregivers and society at large.

Shadows can be protective things and they can be things we’re afraid of. Also, stepping out of the shadows and bringing light into our lives is the ultimate culmination. I played with that and kept that shadow theme chronologically and emotionally as it moved through different concepts and different meanings of shadows throughout the book and as the story transpired.

Dana, speak to the beginning of the shadows for you in your own journey with your ex-husband.

In the beginning, my former husband was a very high-functioning alcoholic. It took a very long time for me to understand what his drinking was about. I had the very classic views of what alcoholism looks like. Raging, stumbling, falling down, slurring, and he didn’t do any of that. He kept control. He drank in a way that was difficult to see.

Even when he was actively drinking, and I knew he had a drink, he had an incredible tolerance. Over time, as you start to wonder, “Something seems off.” I started finding bottles in strange places. It led me to what was going on, but it took a long time for me to understand because I didn’t know of alcoholism in the way that it presented in him. As time progressed, other things started coming up.

As anybody who’s been involved with an alcoholic knows, when you start questioning them about their drinking, that’s when things start to shift because it’s pressure. It’s awareness. It moves into games, lies, and secrecy. Those were the signs for me that there was more to it than someone who happened to like a few glasses of something. At the end of the day, this was not only stress.

I was talking to another executive and they were talking about trust around alcoholism. I said, “What you can trust is that there will be lies, manipulation, games, and hiding.” That’s what you can trust with this disease.

I’ve been asked before, “How do you know? What’s the difference between somebody who just drinks more than you do and somebody who has a problem?” I would say that the clear delineator is if you have to lie about the drinking. If you are smelling the booze, seeing the glassy eyes, and he’s saying to you, “No, I’m not,” that is a sign. I wished I had known much earlier how far the lying would go and how pervasive this was in the disease. I didn’t understand for a very long time how big of a problem the lying was and how much it had consumed his life and our life. He was very good at it by the time I was in his life.

It sounds like you got quite a ways into your marriage and having children before the nagging pieces to this started to show themselves for you.

That is true. I had always been around people who drank. That was the culture I grew up in Northern Wisconsin at almost every meal. A heavy drinker is not the same as an addict. Drinking is not the same as a need for a drink. It took a long time for me to understand his drinking was a problem drinking. With each occurrence where I would have to question, “What’s going on here?” he always said the right things.

A heavy drinker is not the same as an addict. Drinking is not the same as a need for a drink. Share on X

He always did the right things. “Yes, I’ll cut back,” and he would cut back. It could be months before I would have any awareness that he was back drinking again. As we’ve briefly talked about, sooner or later, the lies come into the picture, and those are the indications of, “This is not just a heavy drinker. This is someone who has to hide what he’s doing. He’s hiding what he is doing for a reason.”

When was the shift for you? It’s because we tend to focus on the addict or the alcoholic. That’s why this show was born. Out of my journey was, “Where were the resources for me as a loved one?” You speak very eloquently through the shadows of your journey around the price of silence. Because it’s so pervasive, I want you to speak to that from your perspective.

Originally, I was silent out of marital loyalty. Going to your girlfriend’s, your sister, and saying, “What’s going on?” and being in that what seemed almost nit-picky, whiny place didn’t feel like marital loyalty. I knew enough about his ego to know that he would not take it well if I spoke about these things that I was concerned about.

I also thought that I was protecting my family, and that’s all pretty common. There’s something about addiction that puts all of the focus on everybody else and not us as loved ones. We are on the sidelines. Even in the attempts to speak with professionals about trying to figure out how I could help him, I always assumed it was me. I’m just not saying it right. I haven’t found the right words. The silence continues.

As the addiction ramps up, we, as loved ones, understand that chaos is starting to happen around us. We’re taking care of our families. I’ve got to worry about, “Is he driving drunk? Are my kids going to be in the car? What am I going to come home to? What condition is he going to be in?” There’s this constant focus on everyone else but us.

I didn’t understand how that frog in a pot that was starting to boil was happening to me for a very long time. By the time you’re so deeply into it, I didn’t know how to get out of that silence because it had been years and years. Where do I start? Who is safe to speak to? I attempted to speak with a therapist at one point who said, “I don’t know how to help you. I work with addicts.” That was my very first conversation with anybody in the addiction space.

There are resources. There are support groups for those of us who are on the sidelines, and I did some of that as well, but it seemed almost, to me, to reinforce the silence in that, “Here’s a group of people that are safe to talk about my experience, but it’s not real.” These are not real relationships. These are relationships where I go and I can vent. I can download it with people who understand what I’m going through. I’m supposed to do that for years and nothing’s getting fixed.

I haven’t told the people closest to me. It is a disconnect. As the addict is compartmentalizing their drinking and their life, I found myself looking back on it. I was compartmentalizing my life as well. I didn’t realize it at the time. Here’s this place where I can be a little bit open about what I’m experiencing, but it’s not helping me get anywhere. I can’t be bold and open about the silence without risking my marriage. By the way, if I’m risking my marriage, what happens to him? I took on that responsibility thinking it was my job to fix him.

I’m the one that cares the most. I’m the one that he should listen to the most. I’m the one with the most to lose if he crashes the car. It all reinforces the silence. Somehow unintentionally, I think we’re supposed to take on and we’re just too close to it. I was too close to it. I was so deep in it. I couldn’t see for the longest time that by being silent, I wasn’t helping him, and I certainly wasn’t helping myself.

My experience has been that in a lot of marriages in particular, whoever the alcoholic is, whether it’s a woman or a man, doesn’t want anybody to know. They know enough, but that’s not information they want out with their families or certainly in their work environment. I work in Corporate America in terms of working with execs and corporate teams. There is such a cone of silence.

There’s that protective space. It is a tricky navigation. You’re speaking to the navigation of, “This is what I understand it should be, yet this is tearing me apart. Where is my place in this?” I’m imagining there were stairsteps to the turning point, but what were the last linchpin moments that said, “No more?”

Clearly, addiction. For the addict and the loved ones, these are not linear processes. It’s one step forward, two steps backward. It is circular. It goes on for years. We live with the constant hope that something is going to get better. We live in a space of we feel that we are accelerating the consequences and I did all of that too.

Addiction for the addict and the loved ones is not a linear process. It's one step forward, two steps backward. It is circular. It goes on for years. We live with the constant hope that something will get better. Share on X

There were moments where I was like, “I’m sorry. You need to leave the house.” It would last a few days and I understand. I’m going to seek therapy. This is someone we love. We want them to get better. We want our good life back. My former husband is an amazing man. There is nothing I wanted more than our life to proceed, but sooner or later, the consequences aren’t doing the job.

I remember what the moment was when I said, “You can have me, or you can have vodka,” but I don’t remember exactly why that was the final moment for me. It had gone on for so long. There had been so many promises that were broken. There had been so many attempts at therapy. He had done everything other than go into rehab.

The failure to go into rehab was exactly what you discussed, which is this is a high-level executive who did not want the world to know. He can’t step out of his job for six weeks and disappear without telling anybody. There is nothing in his ego that would allow him to do that. I personally got to that point. We had a three-week separation, “You can have me, or you can have vodka. Make a choice because I’ve had as much as I could take.” This was two decades into the marriage also. It plays out back and forth for years, and it’s part of what we beat ourselves up about.

I want to come back to the forgiveness part in a little bit. Don’t let me get off without doing that. I do want to say it. It’s so insidious because it’s a slow kind of shredding of our lives, our souls, and our being. There are these moments where we go, “Yes, that’s what’s happening,” and then we keep on. There’s tremendous hope and there are the moments that you spoke to like moving out for a few days, trying a therapist, and so on. Dana, what you have done is atypical in the scheme of things, the longevity of the time that you had the experience with your ex-husband to two-step away and choose you.

It’s a function of so many things. One, I adored this man. I still think he’s an amazing man, regardless of the awful things that transpired and the things that I learned about. I had the hardest time giving up on him and giving up on us. It took me so long. I had to be out of the relationship a bit. An emotional distance is the way to think about it.

In the throes of all that love, I couldn’t walk away. I was too enmeshed in it to see how it was affecting me. Sooner or later, you have to realize that loving and trying to save this man is killing you. Sooner or later, you have to make the choice. He’s going to go down. Are you going down with him? It takes a certain distance that I didn’t have for the longest time. I call it my love bubble. It was also a function of our life. Even though he’s certainly an alcoholic, our life was not chaotic. We had a fabulous life. We have everything that we could have wanted, but there is this problem over on the side, and I assumed that it was solvable.

It is, except for the person who’s dealing with it as the disease has to make the decision themselves. I was also married to an alcoholic but not as long as you, but a very similar story where I said, “It’s either me or the vodka,” and that didn’t happen. I left. I have a son who’s an addict. He is recovering now, but at some point, I had to realize my son’s an adult. I can’t mother him for the rest of his life.

In our culture, it looks like we need to be the fixers. We need to take care of it. We need to be the ones. It is learning to flip that script to that it is important for us to honor and love ourselves first and teach my son in particular that this is his journey now like your ex-husband’s. It’s his journey now. It’s his to-do. I’m almost compelled to ask. I can speak for myself, but what are the gifts and lessons that you’ve gleaned for yourself in the course of this journey?

One of the most important things is for me to find a framework. We talked briefly about the compartmentalization of, “Here’s a man with a disease. He’s done all this awful stuff and I have been collateral damage.” I knew eventually that I had a choice to either live with the victimhood feeling that I was forever broken because of the experience, or I could say, “I get to choose. I don’t have to stay broken. I don’t have to let his illness become an illness in me.”

VIC 31 | Alcoholism
Alcoholism: I don’t have to stay broken. I don’t have to let his illness become an illness in me.

 

Part of that is choosing to write and leave a marriage. I still loved this man when I left him. Putting the framework on these bad things happened to me, I am committed to being a better person on the other side of it because of it. What have I learned? How can I put a framework to it? How can I find compassion for him and mostly for myself? It’s because of the guilt and the regret that we all live with as loved ones, those are things that can stay with us forever.

VIC 31 | Alcoholism
Alcoholism: The guilt and the regret we all live with as loved ones are things that can stay with us forever.

 

I was determined not to let that happen to me. I’ve seen it happen to other people, and I had to adjust my thinking. That’s an important thing that we don’t think about, even when they get sober. We think that’s the end of the problem. We’re taking it into the next stage, and part of that next stage is dealing with the aftermath. That aftermath is the collateral damage and the emotional problems that were present that caused dis that caused addiction to develop and the emotional problems that are part of you now.

We’re not fixed because he’s sober. We’re not fixed because he is out of our life. There is a lot of work to be done to put healing and framework back on ourselves and to shed the guilt about what we think we should have done or, “Why didn’t I leave earlier? Why did I allow myself to be treated this way?” All of this negative self-talk that we’ve done, we have to find ways to shed that, to put perspective, and get something good out of it.

We should find ways to shed the negative self-talk, put perspective, and get something good out of it. Share on X

Was the writing your way of shedding it?

Yes, absolutely. One, I didn’t go into this thinking, “I have to write a book.” I was journaling as a way to supplement therapy because I write anyway. I knew that I had a book. I just didn’t know if I had the courage to publish it. However, I knew that writing a book and publishing a book were different things, but I wrote anyway. I did that ugly, dirty, and awful first draft, but I was feeling how healing that process was. I saw the threads.

It gave me the option that I hadn’t had to step out of myself and see how the themes and threads are all connected and how I was so enmeshed and could not see myself. It gave me perspective. I kept at it and came to the conclusion eventually that I was afraid to do this book. I’m saying lots of vulnerable things, but I became more afraid of not publishing the book than I was of change because if I did not publish, it would be another silencing of me. I could not let that happen anymore.

I run into the silence all the time. The shame, stigma, and guilt, it is time to shatter it. Your book is a brilliant stamp in the movement in that direction. It takes so much courage to do these things. I’m very proud of you for exercising your courage, taking your power back, and shattering the silence.

What I was hoping as I was preparing the manuscript and getting to that stage of moving into publication was that if I could find my voice, I could help others find their voices too. It’s because we know that silence eventually becomes corrosive silence, and the only way to heal is to break your silence. It doesn’t have to be by writing a book. We can’t heal, in my opinion, if we stay silent about all of these things that are happening in our lives. We have to tell somebody. We have to get it out of our heads and out of our hearts in order to heal.

Staying silent means that we’re ashamed to tell our story. That shame and silence are killing us. It erodes us from the inside out. In some respects, we are a shadow of ourselves.

When we’ve lived through an addictive relationship, we understand that the addict has a whole inside of them emotionally. If we are not focused and careful, we become damaged the same way they are. It’s a contagious process. We then spread it to our children, our lives, and our families. Bad things happen to all of us to different degrees. We get to choose what we do with that bad thing. That is our responsibility. I did what I could for my former husband. He is alive now because of me. He is not waiting on a liver transplant because of me. What he does from here on out is his choice. I can only save myself right now, and that’s my job.

I firmly believe that we are all here for a purpose and that our light is meant to shine. When we are silent, shame-filled, and all the things that we’ve talked about, our light is dimmed tremendously. In some respects, we have so many purposes in terms of our light shining. This show would never have been born if it had not been for the trauma and tragedy surrounding my son’s addiction.

I have reframed that trauma and tragedy into a tremendous gift because I would not have accessed these parts of myself if it hadn’t been for him. In so many ways, he’s been my greatest teacher, and he is been my greatest champion without even knowing it because I chose to take this journey with him and to elevate into these parts of myself that I wasn’t even sure existed.

I feel exactly the same way. At the end of my book, in the acknowledgments, I thank my former husband, not for what he did and not for the pain he caused, but because I like myself a whole lot more now. I have been changed for the better by this experience. As painful as it was, as much as I wish I hadn’t experienced it, nobody wants to take on that kind of pain, but I sure like who I am now because I’m doing this.

Do you have the perspective at this point that is the chrysalis? We do have to go through these kinds of painful experiences, and they look all different ways. We just happened to walk through the crucible of addiction. The pain of this has given me the life that I was meant to express in the world. It feels that way in talking to you. It’s that we don’t want people to have to go through this kind of pain, and at the same time, it was only through going through this pain that I was able to be lighter, be brighter, and be more of who I truly am in the world. That’s how I feel about you.

I feel exactly the same way. I have changed so much because of the experience, but more importantly, because of what I did with the experience, just as you are by taking something that was traumatic and saying, “No, I’m going to, I’m going to use this.” We are not the same people we were before we started this journey. I don’t want to go back. I’m glad that I’m here lighter and brighter. I have a different purpose in the world now.

If I can speak about my experience as you’re speaking about yours, I can help one other person say, “That’s my story too. Thank you. I thought I was the only one.” “No. There are so many of us.” Sometimes it takes another voice to be the first 1 or 2 that we connect to at a moment that says, “This is me. This is my life. If she can get through it, maybe I can too.”

The notion that you would think in this day and age that you’re alone is mind-boggling to me because 1 in 3 American families deals with addiction. We are absolutely in a pandemic in terms of addiction and alcoholism. You spoke about it that at the root of all of this is trauma. My belief at this point is there are probably very few people walking around now who don’t have some sort of trauma. It’s what they do with it and whether they heal or don’t heal, or all the different addictions that we have, whether it’s workaholism, shopping, sex, substances, or so on and so forth, we’re at this point now where we’re called to rise above our trauma as a society and a culture.

VIC 31 | Alcoholism
Alcoholism: At the root of all of this addiction and alcoholism is trauma.

 

There’s another piece that’s missing in there, which is so often we refused to acknowledge that this was traumatic as I didn’t understand the source of my former husband’s addiction or what the emotional hole was inside of him. He didn’t either. By suppressing and refusing to acknowledge, “I’m fine,” we tend to put on these masks of who we are. We keep our silence about trauma and painful things. Also, about not encouraging people to talk about their emotional needs, experiences, fears, betrayals, and on and on. We are a society that’s swallowing pain. You can’t deal with the trauma if you don’t acknowledge it exists.

You can't deal with the trauma if you don't acknowledge it exists. Share on X

In some ways, we’ve all been trained to wear the mask of what success looks like in our personal lives and our professional lives. More and more people are speaking out about this. It is time to drop the masks. It’s time to be genuine and authentic about what living a real life is all about and that we all have fears. We’re all human. Being able to acknowledge our humanity alone is a stretch for some people. Your book and other people’s books shattering the silence, the shame, the stigma, and all surrounding this are across the board. We just happen to walk through the doorway of addiction, but it’s in everybody else’s doorway too.

They’re just different levels and manifestations of whatever the problem is. At the core of it is our emotional health. Also, our expectation of appearance. What does success look like? For my former husband, success in his career life was a mask to be held up in so don’t show me your weaknesses. This idea is that these things are flaws when in fact, there is so much strength in facing, dealing with, and talking about this stuff. It’s rewarding people.

It’s recognized as a disease, yet we still criminalize it. We have these two almost bifurcated ways of approaching this, which leads us to these screwed-up ways of thinking about it and dealing with it ourselves. You had this dual thing going on with your dad too, which was revelatory in so many ways in terms of women’s journeys in the world where it’s like, “I’m not taking care of another man.” Also, this notion of us as caretakers. If you would, speak to that too.

A little bit of a backstory is that as I left my marriage and we were in this process of separation and divorce proceedings, I got a call from my father asking me to care for him. He is an elderly living in Northern Wisconsin. I was in Florida. I had no interest in going to Northern Wisconsin but knowing the man as I knew the man, the fact that he asked it all told me how bad things were for him.

He was a John Wayne generation guy. Men don’t ask for help. I did. I spent about six months at the end of his life caring for him in Northern Wisconsin, and he was developing some of these qualities. He had started drinking heavily. He was showing a lot of misogynistic behaviors yet was resistant to planning for that stage of his life. He was resistant to taking any initiative. It was always, “I’ll figure it out.”

We were in this dance of the child becoming the parent, yet here I am leaving a traumatic marriage and not knowing what my future is. I was living in a home that was not mine and not knowing what my timeline was going to be. I was living in a part of the country that I did not want to be in and no longer had a connection to.

I’m in this emotionally tumultuous place of more uncertainty than anything else. I was going to do it, but there were so many parallels between caring for a man with an addiction and an elderly stubborn man who needed care but did not want it. It was a surreal time in my life. This is what women do. We are the caregivers in the family and society. Of course, we do it. There is something in that process that is necessary and healing for us too.

Even though I was miserable, it gave me the transition time to process so many different emotions about what I wanted and try to come to grips with how to think about what was the next stage for me because I didn’t have any restrictions on where I went, how I lived, or any of those things. I could go where I wanted and I didn’t know what that was.

In retrospect, do you think that you needed these twin pillars to catapult you into this new space?

I didn’t look at it that way at the time, but you’re probably right that what caring for my father allowed me to do was ease into finding a voice of my own. I’d been the kid. I had lived at home for many years. Having to transition from a marriage, and they had some similar personalities, gave me some time to navigate finding my voice and to find additional perspective on the emotional components of caring for both men in different ways.

VIC 31 | Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Ease into finding a voice of your own.

 

Also, to shed some of the resentment of caring for an alcoholic husband, and try not to transfer that if you are caring for a man who is also becoming helpless but in a different way. It helped me with the framework of one man with needs into a different man with needs as I’ve found my own voice because I had to do some things, but there’s a different kind of emotional connection there.

I love the fact that you’re speaking about finding your voice. I think about us finding our voice is also an expression of our power. That is, in some respects, the journey of a lot of women to find their own power, find our own voice, express, and stand in the truth of what this is for us.

VIC 31 | Alcoholism
Alcoholism: The journey of many women is to find our power and voice to express and stand in the truth of what this is for us.

 

Towards the end of my book, I addressed some of these in a broader way because as women, our history is, even without an addict in our life, we are putting everybody else’s needs before ours. We are the keepers of the family. We are the emotional caregivers. We keep life running for everybody else. Like most of us, I had that sense of, “Someday, it’s my turn.”

Even if it’s not an addict, we get to that point in our life where the kids are gone and maybe the parents are gone. We wake up and say, “Now, it’s my turn. I’m a grown-up woman. I’ve wanted to do all these things, and I’m going to do them.” We may or may not have partners with us that encourage us to have behavior. If we’re smart, if we are reflecting on ourselves, we are reclaiming something that we have set aside. I believe that all women face that, but not all women act on it.

However, there’s something really powerful about being in the middle stage of your life and knowing that you don’t have these same obligations anymore. I get to choose because I have a long life ahead of me with or without a partner. Whatever my kids do, it is their life. What do I want now? That’s a wonderful place to be if we take advantage of it. We have to claim it as our own.

How are you answering that question for yourself now?

That’s an interesting question because it is so much of writing my book and moving into the publishing stage and now into media and publicity. My time and my energies have been focused on this book for a very long time. I’m just waking up to, “What now? The book is written. I’m still doing media things, but what’s next for me?” I’m uncertain. I’m enjoying this kind of conversation. It’s so important. I am finding such tremendous healing and gratitude.

For the people who have reached out to me and said, “I’ve read your book and it has helped me,” it is overwhelming. It’s beyond anything I imagined. How do I continue not just for my personal, “I feel good because I’ve done this?” How can I continue to share this message? How can I continue to help other people, largely women, to have their voices? How can I be an example? How can I be a catalyst for someone else to take steps? I need to find ways to keep talking and continue to write articles and do interviews. I think about whether there’s another book on this subject in me or not. I don’t know. I’m still figuring that out, but your question’s coming at an interesting time.

It’s the unfolding of life. What we think we know now is not what we think we’re going to know 1 year, 2, 5, or 10 years from now, and so on and so forth if we keep picking up the puzzle pieces. I love this puzzle piece that you have laid down for all of us to read and, hopefully, to find our own voices and courage through your story. I firmly believe this is the calling of the time for all of us to find our own voices and our own courage to live the life that is an expression of the highest version of ourselves, and that is an evolving thing.

We need to stump the shame around mental health issues. We need to accept it as a human experience and understand that silence is not the protective mechanism that we initially think it is. It will eventually become a corrosive secret, and this helps no one. We have to learn to talk about it and understand how broad these things are. There is no perfect human being. We all have stuff. Talk about it. It doesn’t get better if we stay silent.

We need to stump the shame around mental health issues. We must accept it as a human experience and understand that silence is not the protective mechanism we initially think it is. Share on X

I wrote a little book called Five Acts of Courage, and the third act is Community. What we know to be true in terms of the research is that the community that we surround ourselves with, the strong communities that have our back and love us no matter what is one of the number one reasons for mental health stability and for us to thrive amid the chaos of these kinds of diseases.

I set an intention pretty early on when things got very serious with my son. I didn’t want to stay in the crisis of it all. I set the intention to thrive in the midst of the chaos of this disease. As we close, I want to ask you. What are a couple of things that you do to thrive in the midst of your life at this point that you weren’t doing previously?

I continue to journal. I was resistant to journaling when it first came up in therapy, for the same reason many people are, which is, “Somebody’s going to find it. It will be read when I am not prepared to share this.” It was this pride stuff. I resisted it, but eventually, it became a tool that I needed. I’m stunned at the clarity, even if it’s only pages of ranting. Sometimes that’s what we need to do.

There’s something about that process of getting it out. Other people couldn’t. Maybe if journaling isn’t your thing, you speak it into a recorder. You write it down and shred the pages. There is a need and a process that I continue of taking these thoughts, the good ones and the bad ones, and get them out of my body so that they can be processed. I’m not stuck in that internal rumination anymore. It’s crucial to anybody’s healing. The form it takes, whether it’s a journal or something else, can be anything you like. For me, journaling has become hugely important in my life and my healing.

I journal too but not to the extent you do. I find having these kinds of conversations powerful for my own journey. In every one of these conversations, I’m never the same on the other side. To be able to share this journey and other perspectives and parts with someone else has been incredibly important for me to exemplify, “I’m not alone in this. There are plenty of people that are walking this path.” It also is another reminder that I get to exercise my voice and my power every time I have one of these conversations. The people that I talk to, like you, get to exercise your voice and your power by having this conversation. My hope is that every one of these is shattering the silence, the stigma, and the shame.

Every one of these conversations builds on the layers of healing.

On that note, we will wrap it up. What I’d like to say is, if our audience would love to reach out to you, how do they get hold of you, Dana?

My website is DanaKillion.com. I am also on Instagram @Dana_Killion_Author if you want to reach me there. My website has an email contact form and links to my books. I’m happy to talk about this subject with anyone.

It has been a pleasure and an honor to have you on. I’m so touched. I’m grateful for the time that we’ve had, and I’m so grateful for you having put this to paper and having published this book. It’s on our book list now. I believe that this will be a great book for so many women in particular who are dealing with the disease. Thank you for this.

It’s completely my pleasure. Thank you for doing the work that you do. I’m 1,000% behind ending the silence and using our voices. We need to do this, every one of us, with or without addiction in our lives.

Thank you.

 

Important Links

 

About Dana Killion

VIC 31 | AlcoholismAn accomplished author of a mystery series, Dana Killion presents her debut memoir, Where the Shadows Dance: He Got Sober. I Got Broken. It’s a story born of a life in the turmoil of her husband’s alcoholism, a situation where the only way through was to write it. And as she wrote, the themes in her personal trauma became clear and loud and screamed for attention because they are the themes of many women, not just women with an addict in her life, but women who have been silent and who have set aside their truth for the benefit of another. Women ready to find the strength and solace Dana has found through her own re-invention.
 
Dana currently resides in Tucson, Arizona with her kitty, Isabel, happily avoiding snow and mending her heart.