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

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

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

Self-Care at Christmas, a Time to Celebrate, or not?

Picture this: Its Christmas time, decorations are up, the fire in on and Christmas songs are playing in the back ground. Sounds of laughter and children playing echo through the house. This scene or something like it is the dreamy scene we conjure up when we think of a happy Christmas. For many, Christmas is a time for the family to get together, Santa Clause, children, gift giving and receiving, movies and relaxation. However, for families of substance abusers, Christmas and the lead up to it, it’s a different story. The reality can be a time of great stress, worry and anguish. The thoughts of managing someone’s substance abuse issues during the Christmas period can be overwhelming. How can families better cope with this over the Christmas period? Expectations Within these families the need for open honest communication is really important so everyone knows where they [...]

By |2017-12-13T20:31:15+00:00November 28th, 2016|Addiction, Family Support, My Blog, Online Counselling|0 Comments

Recovery, how does family life change?

When living with the effects of someone’s addiction for so long patterns of behaviour and thinking become engraved in the psyche. When recovery comes into the home life can be much different than expected. Deciding to overcome an addiction it is a wonderful step which needs to be respected and supported. In recovery families need time and patience to adjust and heal, and this can sometimes be wrought with problems. Family support counselling, groups and programs often help family members deal with any issues or concerns they may have. Family Relationships in Recovery. When someone goes into recovery they can transform their personality and lifestyle. This, in turn, means family members may need to adjust to these changes. This can be difficult especially if family members are still hurt from the consequences of addiction. Addiction destroys everything and everyone in its path, so family members [...]

By |2019-10-21T13:40:54+00:00August 14th, 2016|Family Support, My Blog|0 Comments

Why I love offering an Online Counselling Service

When I started my counselling practice it was from a desire to support people. I know the affect anxiety, depression or addiction has on people and families and felt that my own experiences put me in a position to give that support. So when I launched my practice it was to provide one to one counselling to people in my local community in North Kerry. Sometimes when clients contacted me for an appointment and inquired where my practice was based I often got the following responses ‘Oh that’s too far for me to travel’ or ‘I can’t make an evening appointment’ or ‘I’ve no childcare at that time’. I felt really bad for these clients as I know the courage it requires to take that first step and contact a service looking for help. This prompted me to launch my online counselling service. Why? Firstly I believe that everyone [...]

By |2020-02-20T13:22:03+00:00April 14th, 2016|Addiction, Family Support, My Blog|1 Comment

When There is Addiction in The Home: How to Cope

In Ireland the stigma of addiction often brings feelings of embarrassment, shame, guilt, anger, and hopelessness in an already highly stressed family unit. Because of this stigma, and in order to survive the chaos, families often adapt a ‘Don’t Talk, Trust, or Feel’ stance. Families may deny the real issue by calling a hangover the flu or excuse a drinking/ drug binge saying it is due to stress. Children will have trust issues due to repeatedly broken promises or be hyper vigilant waiting for the next crisis to occur. Because of this closed family system feelings get turned off, denied or buried because it becomes too painful or dangerous to talk about them. What is the person with the addiction problem doing in all this? They are also dealing with feelings of embarrassment, shame, guilt, anger, and hopelessness and coping the only way they know; by drinking, taking drugs, [...]

By |2019-10-21T15:24:59+00:00January 31st, 2016|Family Support|0 Comments

When There is Addiction in The Home: How the family is affected

“What is your understanding of addiction?” This is a question I often ask family members who have a loved one with an addiction problem. The answer I get back can vary but the essence of the response usually goes as follows: “An alcoholic is usually homeless and hides the bottle of drink in a brown paper bag” “An alcoholic drinks every day” “A drug addict is someone who injects heroin” When we have a family member who has an issue with alcohol, drugs, gambling etc. life can often be chaotic and uncertain. We’re often unsure of what is actually going on with the person but something doesn’t feel right, or it might be very clear to us due to our own family history. For someone who is addicted, their need of a drink, drug or bet is a matter of survival and the resulting behaviours are often unpredictable. So, [...]

By |2019-10-21T15:26:03+00:00January 15th, 2016|Family Support|0 Comments
Go to Top