Even when the goal is not clear , it is still there

Onward and Upward - illustration

To anyone who has done any hillwalking, it is a familiar story.

You park the car at a well-known beauty spot from where you have a magnificent view of the distant peak.

To begin with, the going is easy. You’re on a gentle path across the fields and the mountain top remains in view and is very slowly getting closer.

After a while, though, you find yourself under a sleep slope. The going has got much tougher. Instead of striding you are scrambling, sometimes slipping, sometimes sliding, always sweating. All you can see is the rock and the rough grass a few feet above your head. You begin to wonder if it’s worth it.

Then you break out onto the ridge above and you realise that all that struggle and all that effort has suddenly brought you so much closer to the hilltop and, apart from preparing yourself for a final hard scramble to the top, for most of the rest of the journey all you need to do is to keep going forward.

The journey through recovery from alcohol addiction, drug addiction or any other addicition can be very similar. Sometimes we lose sight of our destination; we begin to wonder if it’s still really there and if we can ever reach it. But it’s just when the struggle seems hardest that we are actually making the best progress. So long as the way is leading upwards (or even if by a careful step down we can begin a better route) all we need is to keep going.

The view of the mountain top brings hope and encouragement but it’s often when you can no longer see it that you are making the best progress towards it.

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

Durham Police have called a halt to proactive detection of small scale cannabis production in a step widely seen as a step towards de-criminalisation of the drug.
 
Ron Hogg, the Police and Crime Commissioner has outlined the way in which Durham Police now deal with users and growers of this Class B drug. Calling for further drug reform, Commissioner Hogg said, “By and large we are saying it is not top of our list to go out and try to pick up people smoking joints on street corners but if it is blatant or we get complaints officers will act”.
Simon Stephens, Director of Casework at Addictions UK said that the move towards de-criminalisation was irrelevant from a health perspective.  He said “Cannabis is still implicated in psychosis and mental health including addictions so making it legal or not makes little difference to the culture of those pathologically dependent on drugs.  It can be detrimental to health – just like alcohol, which is, of course, legal.”
An article in The Northern Echo newspaper publishes a survey indicating that 91 percent of those questioned were in favour of this move.
Simon Stephens responded by saying that he understood the position of the majority of respondents – he approves of people drinking alcohol too in a moderate way – but it is essential to remember the very considerable problems when people drink to excess or use Cannabis to excess.  The consequences are very great when it comes to both mental illness and other medical problems associated with the heavy use of such substances.

Being ready for disaster may mean we can avoid it

Be Prepared for Difficulty - illustration

Life does not run smoothly, as most people reading this Addictions UKBlog will be all too aware, especially those who have faced the challenges of alcohol addiction, drug addiction or anything similar.

We make plans and they don’t work out. We set out with the best of intentions but fail to achieve our goals.

The proverb tells us that “the time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining”. When disaster overtakes us we need to have resources and rescue plans already in place.

For anyone in any sort of recovery, the value of family, friends and mentors is beyond telling. Not only will they be there for us when things go wrong, helping us to get back on our feet, but often they can save us when we’re on the brink. Picking up the phone and talking over our worries or temptations is a lot easier to do than facing the consequences of mistakes and failures.

Building strong and supportive relationships  is essential to survival.

In so many other ways too, preparing for the possibilities of a crisis can lessen its effects when something goes wrong … and sooner or later it will.

Only a fool drives a car that has no spare tyre.

A tin of soup in the cupboard, a torch by the armchair and a spare battery for a radio, these are all basic and obvious preparations to deal with problems. And we should be looking at every aspect of our lives to see where a little preparation for the unexpected could make all the difference.

The last thing anyone in recovery needs is additional stress and so even the tiniest, every-day contingencies matter.

Take a moment now and opportunities later to think about what you can do weather the storms, large and small.

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

The fear of failure is self-fulfilling

If at first you never try, how can you succeed? - illustration

Most people are nervous about anything new and people whose lives have been disrupted through whatever cause are more cautious than most about reaching out of whatever security and stability they have managed to find.

But if you do nothing then nothing is going to change. Risk is an inescapable part of life.

There’s no need to be reckless though. “Risk assessment” may be a cliché but it’s nothing new. Our grandparents knew to “look before you leap” and whenever there’s an opportunity to seize, it would be irresponsible not to consider all the factors and possible outcomes.

It is foolish too to refuse support and to avoid sensible precautions. Take advice from your friends and family and mentors and consider what options there are to limit the damage that a failure might bring.

For those seeking recovery from addiction to alcohol or drugs or something else, that extra support is vital.

In truth though, most of the opportunities that come along are not at so threatening or dangerous.

Nervousness and hesitancy come from an invitation to join a new support group or to try a method of meditation, to read a lifestyle guide or immerse yourself in the healthy distractions of a new activity.

So “if it might just work”, and especially if it HAS worked for other people, why not see if it can work for you too?

Give it a go!

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

What matters is whether we try to put thing right

Everyone Makes Mistakes - illustration

Being wrong is easy – the hard part is admitting it. Much of the emphasis of the Twelve Steps is on the need to face up to problems, not least those we have created for ourselves. We are challenged to admit that we are powerless over addiction, that our lives have become unmanageable, that we have defects of character and have wronged people.

But, if we are not careful, we can be overwhelmed by the negativity and sense of guilt.

There are two important things to remember. One is that we are not alone in making mistakes and the other is that everything can be made better.

Everyone fails in all sorts of ways and with awful frequency. It is part of being human. All religious teachers recognise this and challenge people to recognise both their weakness and that there is a source of strength available to them.

Jesus, as one example, while telling his followers that they must be perfect like their Father in heaven, never failed in his openness, understanding and forgiveness for those who fell short of that ideal – and that means everyone.

You don’t need to be “religious” to recognise that you are not what you could be. Whether God or Chance gave you the opportunities, you have not made the most of them.

At one and the same time you need to accept that imperfection is normal but never to use that as an excuse for giving up on the goal. There is help available – from your faith, your friends and your family.

Similarly, the fact that some damage can never be repaired is never a reason to give up trying to make things better. In the most extreme example, a murderer cannot bring his victim back to life but he can help to repair other lives and, in so doing, redeem his own.

To err is human – everyone makes mistakes. Never see yourself as different from the rest nor give in to the prideful fantasy that you are the worst of all. And never imagine that you cannot be better. The only barrier to success is the fear of failure.

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seekinghome-based treatment.