It’s not all about Addiction.

Not everyone that drinks alcohol or uses drugs becomes dependent on them. Not everyone ends up in the gutter, isn’t that a relief. The more people I work with the clearer that’s becoming to me. What I am finding in my work is that many people are self-medicating due to something that is going on in their lives. It might be past trauma, anxiety, depression, or a combination of all. They may not have developed the skills to express themselves or to process what they are feeling. They use alcohol or drugs to cope. It’s the only way they know to deal with things. So when they go to a counsellor who tells them they have to stop they bolt. Why? Because you are taking away the only coping mechanism they have and leaving nothing in its place. Giving Space But what happens when we give someone [...]

By |2019-10-21T13:14:51+00:00October 8th, 2017|Addiction, Family Support, My Blog|2 Comments

Relapse: Friend or Foe?

Oh no you’ve had a drink/drug/bet, let’s get out a big stick and beat you with it! The dreaded relapse is something many people fear. They can look on it negatively which is a pity really because then the lesson is missed. A relapse doesn’t ‘just happen’ There is always a lead up to it and herein lies the learning. When we look on a lapse negatively we can miss on the personal learning that is in it. While that may be hard to hear at the time identifying thought patterns and behaviours leading up to the lapse can be a revelation. Plus it can also prevent future lapses. Unfortunately many people look on a lapse with distain and disappointment which can further compound the feeling of guilt and failure. So let’s look at the learning that we can take from a relapse. What do you need to [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:00:43+00:00June 22nd, 2017|My Blog|0 Comments

A reflection on my journey.

So this blog is long overdue. It’s about my own personal experience and how life has changed for me. Before I go into all that I have to speak about how unwell I got due to the effects of addiction. I’m going back over 10 years here and suffice to say I got very unwell. I was at a point where I was exhausted all the time, I wasn’t sleeping, and in fact I hadn’t had a good night sleep in years. I was so stressed that I felt like I was about to explode all the time and like I was just about able to contain myself. It felt like there was a pressure cooker inside me about to go off. Where did all this stress come from? Anyone who is worried about a family members drug or alcohol use knows what I’m talking about [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:01:37+00:00June 13th, 2017|Addiction, Family Support, My Blog|1 Comment

Festivals, Fun & Recovery

You are allowed to have fun in recovery so in this blog I wanted to write about protecting your sobriety over the summer. As there are always festivals, concerts and a whole load of social activities  it’s important that you take steps to mind your sobriety. The temptation to drink or use is always there but the risk increases when you are at an event, particularly when you are surrounded by people drinking and using. The question you have to ask yourself is ‘are you in a place in your recovery where you feel strong enough to resist and say no?’ So, if you are going to an event there are some things you can do to take care of yourself and of course enjoy every moment of it. Surround yourself with family and friends who support your recovery. Identify in your group who won’t be [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:03:31+00:00May 10th, 2017|My Blog|2 Comments

Suicide- The Carnage Afterwards.

Unfortunately suicide has become much too prevalent in Ireland. We have seen an increase in people taking their lives spanning all age groups. Now this blog isn’t going to be about trying to understand why someone takes their life, that’s a topic for another day. What I am going to write about is what happens after, what happens with the family and friend that are left. I have seen plenty of blogs, articles and papers about anxiety, depression and mental health and I have great understanding and empathy around it. We need these writings to raise awareness around suicide. We also need people to know that someone that takes their life isn’t being selfish or self-centred. They are at a really low point in their life and for reasons of their own are unable to see a way out and ask for support. With the devastation after a [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:04:42+00:00March 22nd, 2017|My Blog|0 Comments

Suicide- Interview with a Survivor

(Disclaimer: Any views or opinions in this interview are personal and belong solely to the interviewee. Please, seek professional support from your GP or counsellor if you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide or if you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition and finding it difficult to cope) Tell me what life is like for you now? Good, life is good. I feel good in myself, more comfortable in my own skin. I believe more in myself and have the skills to process things as they come up. I don’t let things build up anymore which is really important. I have surrounded myself with good friends, real friends, where we are able to talk to each other about things, life, work, and fun, just anything really. If I feel things are building up I go to my counsellor for a few sessions. I am [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:06:22+00:00March 11th, 2017|My Blog, Online Counselling|2 Comments

Teenage Kicks and Alcohol Drinks

What’s it like to be a teenager growing up today? Have you ever sat down and really thought about this question?  If you have kids or teenagers now would be a good time to sit and really think about it. I would love to hear your thoughts. I have to say I really admire and respect our young people. I love their honesty and enthusiasm for life. I love their energy and the fact they can challenge our thinking and beliefs. Even though we adults think we know it all, sometimes we need to stop, listen and learn from our young people. The Challenges. Young people are really up against it in today’s society. Everything has become so hurried, rushed and frantic. Fast Wi-Fi, phones, exams, jobs, hobbies. We have our kids rushing from one activity to another. Where’s the down time, where’s the time to [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:05:35+00:00March 10th, 2017|My Blog|0 Comments

Sure it’s only drink, at least it’s not drugs

Let’s go for one drink? That is often the rock people perish on! One turns into two which turns into three and so on. What often starts as one drink can turn into an all-out binge. In Ireland drinking alcohol (by the gallon!) is engrained in our culture. We are a nation of binge drinkers, that’s just the way it is, we have no off button, no meter to say when enough is enough. When working will clients to reduce their alcohol consumption they are genuinely shocked when I tell them the recommended limit; 11 units per week for a woman, 17 units per week for a man. We genuinely don’t know this, it’s not that we are ignoring the information it’s just that if we don’t have any serious negative consequences (except the odd hangover!) we don’t seek out this information. Drink Vs Drugs What [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:07:30+00:00February 15th, 2017|My Blog|2 Comments

Wine A Lot: Women and their relationship with wine.

Drinking wine has now become a fashionable thing to do where a glass or two is now a daily ingrained habit for some women. While a glass of wine is no harm, research in Ireland is showing that women are drinking more, and more often than previous generations. The results of this is that increased numbers women are presenting to services with alcohol-related conditions such as liver cirrhosis, liver disease and alcohol related cancers. Now, this is not a discussion about the evils of alcohol, but we do need to have a conversation about why women are drinking the way they do. How has it come to this and how is it that women are nearly out drinking men in today’s society? In general, Ireland’s relationship with alcohol has been fraught with problems. Internationally the stereotypical view of an Irish person is a ‘falling down’ drunk person. But [...]

By |2019-11-26T11:08:25+00:00January 23rd, 2017|Addiction, Family Support, My Blog, Online Counselling|0 Comments
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