Living with an addict

alcoholic familyDay 17 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Addiction features quite a bit on my blog as it’s something I feel passionately about and forms the best part of my day to day work. Today, Felicity shares her painful story of what it meant to grow up in a home with someone battling alcoholism. This is a truly moving story, and I applaud Felicity for being kind enough and brave enough to share it with us. Continue reading

Shame

women-internet-pornograph-007

Day 16 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Here’s a challenging blog about how pornography can really impact on our mental wellbeing. Thank you so much Ginny for sharing this story so courageously.

Shame

The dictionary definition of shame: “the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonourable, improper, ridiculous etc. done by oneself or another”.

Shame is so much more than this dictionary definition.  Continue reading

Pause for thought 


Day 15 of my 40 Day Blog challenge. So I’m two weeks into the challenge, although I should really say we are two weeks in. I have been blown away by the number of people who have already contributed to this blog and what started out as quite a naive idea for Lent, is beginning to take on a life of its own. 
So today I thought I’d pause for thought. We’ve heard a number of stories, most from people I know, and most I wasn’t aware of. 

And that’s the point isn’t it. Most of the time we soldier on, suffer in relative silence and can feel so alone. 

We often hear about the statistic that 1 in 4 of us will suffer some kind of mental health issue. Personally I believe this is more likely the number of people who end up gaining treatment/support for their mental health. The truth is, our mental wellness is very fluid, and even the most resilient of us can suffer poorer spells of mental wellbeing. 

I liken it to having a cold, but mentally. For whatever reason, be it life events, trauma, biology, most of us will experience seasons in our life where we struggle to connect with our sense of self we are so used to. And this can be a really challenging time. 

Some of us will suffer severe and enduring mental health issues such as schizophrenia, personality disorders (an awful way to label an illness), bi-polar etc. I imagine most of us think of these types of illnesses when we talk about mental health. Yet others of us, if not most of us, will go through seasons of varying mental health, and it seems that we still don’t have much of a language to be able to talk about this. 

I am thrilled that through this blog, numbers of people have been able to talk about some difficult issues. Today I’d encourage us to think about our own mental health, to consider those times in our life when we have struggled and also to think about what helped to get you through, how did you get support, what helped things to change?

It is so important that we know the kind of support we need when we are struggling, and it helps us to know this in advance. 

I’m really looking forward to hearing more of your stories, please do get in touch if you’d like to contribute. 

Faulty Powers

plugs on fire

Day 13 of my 40 day blog challenge. I am thrilled to introduce Denis who is truly an inspiration to me and has helped countless individuals in their recovery. Here he shares some of his thoughts on what recovery means… Continue reading

Therapist Experience…

Day 11 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge, over 1/4 way through!

Thank you to the 4 amazing contributions to the blog so far. It is so lovely to hear other’s stories of living through real challenge and that these stories really are encouraging others. I’ve got a number of other contributions lined up, but there’s still plenty of room for more! Do get in touch if you feel you’d like to share your story (doesn’t have to be a new topic, as each story and experience is unique).

Today I’m going to attempt to answer a question, (or at least give my personal opinion) which someone emailed to me recently. It’s actually a really common question in the counselling realm and it’s a very well debated one… Continue reading

Feeling content and really sick 😷!

Day 8 of my 40 day challenge and I thought I’d check in and have a little think about the project so far. 

I do this from bed as I left work early feeling terrible; I think I have the bug my daughter had on the weekend. 

Looking at the challenge so far, it would be fair to say that I started it blind. I knew  I wanted to do something productive but hadn’t given it much more thought than that. 

I’d had a bit of success (for me) with the blog I wrote the day before I started (Brave) and was very optimistic. Then the stats crashed and ironically my post on Self Esteem was one of he least read. This really challenged me. Why am I doing this, is it for my own ego, does it really matter if people have read, shared, retweeted etc what I’ve written? It doesn’t. 

Then something absolutely lovely happened. My wife asked to contribute something really personal (6th March). A friend shared it on Facebook. The stats boomed!  It’s still getting more hits on it as we speak. 

And conversations are happening about the blog, people are talking about their own experiences, and sometimes I am privileged enough to be able to see the threads.  

And now a number of others have come forward, also wishing to contribute and share their own very personal stories. 

I am so thrilled about this. Some are speaking about things publically for the first time which I find amazing and so humbling. 

So if I could ask you a favour, it would be to keep an eye out for these guest blogs. When you see them, please comment, share and encourage both the writer and the other readers who may well be relating to what’s been shared. 

So I’m sitting in bed, feeling physically terrible, but emotionally really content, as something wonderful is beginning to happen with this blog. 

Thank you to everyone who has followed this to date, or who has contributed. I’m really excited to see what happens next. 

Life Changes to Make on Your Path to Recovery Beyond Just ‘Quitting’

Day 4 of the 40 day challenge. The household is down with a sicknes bug 😷 and nothing much productive happening today! Thankfully I came across a really interesting blog by Victoria B and she had really kindly said I can re-blog as part of my 40 day challenge.

It’s all about how to stay healthy in recovery from addiction, but there’s real value in this for anyone looking to better their general sense of mental wellbeing.

Thanks Victoria x

800 Recovery Hub Blog

Quitting drugs and alcohol is a good start

The path to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction isn’t just about ‘quitting’. Most recovery experts will tell you that making huge life changes while trying to manage substance abuse can be detrimental to recovery. Huge changes like major purchases, moving, and altering the trajectory of romantic relationships should probably wait until you’ve been sober for some time. It’s important to start small and work your way up to bigger changes, but the good news is there are smaller, more manageable life changes that can aid your road to recovery.

Eat better and get some more exercise

Adopting a healthier diet not only helps you replace bad habits with good ones, but it teaches discipline and promotes better mental health as well. A strong body means and strong mind, and a strong mind is needed to help battle addiction. Exercise is great…

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Building Self Esteem 

self esteem

Day 2 of 40 Day Challenge.  I’m blogging about issues around mental wellbeing through lent and would love you to join in with inspiring stories, topics/suggestions for topics etc. Please feel free to follow this blog, comment share etc so we can encourage each other in this area over the coming weeks. You can also contact me privately via the Home page on this Blog site.  Continue reading

40 Day Challenge

I was wondering what to give up for lent this year. Having written my first blog in ages yesterday it dawned on me I could decide to actually do something rather than not do something this year for lent. 

Since I feel really strongly about the issues around mental wellbeing, I wondered if I had it in me to write/facilitate a blog every day of lent 😬. 

I’d love for people to join with me in this and so if you have a story, a suggestion for a topic, something you’d like to discuss, then please leave a comment/ get in touch. I would be thrilled if the next 40 days could be a collaboration of thoughts, experiences and conversation rather than a marathon ramble by myself!

If you feel you’d like to participate, know someone who might like to contribute, or just want to see how all this may end, then please click to follow the blog, share with those who may be interested, like, repost etc. etc. And to be clear, there is no bad luck, curse or guilt coming your way if you choose not to do any of the above!

Hopefully by the end of this we may have heard lots of precious stories of mental health, wellbeing, struggle and recovery.

Really looking forward to hearing from you…God Bless. 

Tristan  

Brave

When thinking about addiction perhaps one of the last words we’d expect to hear said about someone suffering with it is “brave”. There may be many words which come to mind and I’m not going to name them. 

Because the consequences of addiction lead to so many troubled places and actions, many of which can be catastrophic, it is easy for the fortunate to judge an individual because of the disease with which they live. Addiction is complicated, and simply can’t be put down to poor life choices. 

In my day to day work, I come across so many people recovering from addiction, and very few who would fit the general stereotypes and descriptions which so easily come to mind. 

I work with people just like you and I, mums, dads, teachers, lawyers, train drivers, shop assistants, carers….Those who by and large have come to struggle with addiction and mental health because of a multitude of reasons. Childhood abuse and neglect, trauma, loss, sexual exploitation, having themselves been bought up in such a culture, poor mental health, deprivation, the list could go on and on. 

I have yet to meet someone who willfully chose this path of destruction. I have met hundreds of individuals who have made, and continue to make on a daily basis, the decision to face their addiction and to get the support to overcome it. I believe that coming to terms with and coming out the other side of addiction and into recovery may be the hardest thing a person will do in their lifetime. 

Brave. 

I’d love you to take a look at the following page where a colleague of mine is heroically running the London Marathon to raise funds for the project I work for: WDP Recovery London. 

Thank you so much Cleo. 

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cleo-fychan