Taboo

taboo

Day 35 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. So I am wondering about getting to day 39 and then taking a break until Easter Sunday. In the meantime I shall continue to collect new contributions (please keep them coming in!) and focus on getting more exposure to the contributions that have already been written. I shall also spend some time thinking about and planning what happens next, since this blog has attracted far more interest than I imagined it would. Watch this space!

Today, I’m going to reblog something simple I wrote a couple of years ago about the Taboo surrounding mental wellbeing… Continue reading

5000 views…?

Day 32 of my 40 (46) Day Blog Challenge. In case you are new here, let me fill you in . I decided to publish a blog around the subject of mental health and wellbeing every day for Lent. Mental health is such an important subject to be speaking about openly, and I wanted to see what would happen if I started this. Very quickly, lots of people decided to join in and write about their own experiences of mental health. It has been such a blessing. And thank you everyone who has participated so far. There are now just 2 weeks left to go.

So now I’d like to challenge you! Continue reading

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

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

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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Addiction

It takes no prisoners. The death of Charles Kennedy last week reminds us of that. It isn’t picky or selective, it doesn’t discriminate. Give it an inch and it will take a trip round the planet and then some.  Mr Kennedy has been remembered for his achievements in politics, for his amiable style and humanity in an hostile playing field. And so he should be. Any death through addiction is a tragedy.

It is so misunderstood. So easy to judge. As if the homeless alcoholic on the park bench somehow thought that alcohol would be a good career choice. Or the heroin addict gouging out in a derelict tower block surrounded by dirty needles and other peoples urine, somehow saw it in a film aged 7 and aspired to be just like that when he grew up.

No. It is not a lifestyle choice. It happens to some and not to others. Like diabetes or cancer, some suffer addiction. Sadly it is a disease with impossible demands. The insatiable need for more, and more. There are a few who can afford the financial demands, there are none who can afford the eventual consequences.

For those who can’t afford the financial demands, options are bleak and the resulting behaviour is often difficult for others to stomach. So we judge.

I don’t for a minute condone certain behaviours. Some have suffered horrendously at the hands of others who are in addiction. It’s truly tragic.

It’s all tragic. But there is no choice. Affordable or not, wise or foolish, the need for the next drink, smoke, score always wins out. Some will be remembered well. But for those who had to resort to stealing, manipulation, prostitution, to sustain a behaviour they hated themselves for; they most likely will be remembered for those things. Again, tragic.

It is easy to see behaviour we don’t like or understand and cast our judgement. Addiction is perhaps so misunderstood because of the behaviours it often leads to.  But most of us try a drink at some point. So understand this; if you don’t suffer the horror of addiction, then it is merely that when you took your first drink, you played Russian roulette and won.

Addiction is not about poor will power or having an immoral bent. For about 10% of the population, substances in the body have far more dire consequences than for the rest. It is nobody’s fault.

This blog feels perhaps that it may be asking a lot in terms of challenging our attitudes around those who suffer with addiction, especially if you have been the victim of addiction driven behaviour. But mostly I urge compassion. Charles Kennedy is warmly remembered. He could afford his drink but paid with his life.

Perhaps with compassion will come patience, and with that a little understanding.