Everyone is talking about the Matt Willis Documentary, Fighting Addiction.
I think it’s fab when people share their stuff so openly. It provokes thought and discussion for many.
This morning I have already had some great discussions about different topics that have come up from the documentary.
There are a few key points I would like to address.
People, places, times, feelings, events that cause you to drink. Anyone who has had a problem with drugs and alcohol will know exactly what I mean. We all have triggers, learning about our triggers, mitigating the risk is part of the work. We can’t know all of our triggers from the beginning, we know some; quite often we learn about them as we go on and this is ok.
Now where this gets important is when you’re drinking, or drug use has a significant impact on your life. Things like your using is life threatening, the amount you use, the combination of using could cause overdose or...
Christmas can be a real test for those of us that have given up something or are struggling to gain control. Or maybe you’re someone that struggles to regulate your intake of anything.
Depending on what your poison is will depend on how difficult this festive season might be.
Alcohol is probably the top one, it’s pretty much everywhere anyway, but something happens at Christmas that seems to make alcohol multiply like I have never seen before or is it just me!!
Food and sugar is another hard one, the whole thing is about food. What is it that happens to an office on the run up to Christmas it seem to turn into a junk food feeding ground, pastries, cakes, chocolate you name it its available in the bucket load.
So what can you do if you are alcohol free, attempting moderation or even just want to be healthy.
Here are my 10 tips for surviving the festive season.
1. Remember there are no rules you don’t have to fit in with everyone...
Relapse. (just checking you saw that in there).
Yes relapse is part of the process. You can call it whatever you want.
This isnt just restricted to drugs and alcohol either.
Think about healthy eating, exercise, drinking water etc.
Now when people describe this, its not actually a fair representation of what happens, as its a cycle, makes it sound like a circle, people might feel like they are going round and round.
But you are not.
This is why we will refer to it as the bicycle of change.
Because yes, we are human, yes we are learning machines, yes we learn by making mis-takes. But we keep moving forward.
We learn from our alcohol free days, our days when we dont drink very much, our reductions, as well as our moments when we have a blip.
And we move forward, might not feel...
Blip, slip, relapse; I don’t mind what you call it. Please don’t use language that makes you feel like shit.
It doesn’t matter what your drug of choice is: alcohol, cocaine, crappy food (although not a drug, people do use it in a similar way). When life changes, even subtly, its super easy to find ourselves reaching for our old favourite to cope, to comfort us, to escape, to fill time, because well, whats the point?
I am going to talk about lockdown in England specifically, although I am sure the psychology of it is similar in other countries.
For most of us, in some way (to different degrees), the rug has been pulled out from under us.
Now this isn’t about moaning or being entitled, this is a fact.
It doesn’t have to be a massive problem, most of us know that what we are experiencing are first world problems and we know that we are lucky.
That’s not the point.
I haven't relapsed, but I understand how it can happen. The...
One thing is for sure, we are living in unprecedented times.
Lots of change happening.
Its too early to tell what the impact will be on certain markets, including drug markets.
However we can be sure, that people wont stop taking drugs, so people wont stop selling, where there is a demand, there will always be someone that can figure out how to get it to you.
Drug dealers are some of the most resourceful and entrepreneurial people I have ever met.
Take alcohol for instance, people have been panic buying, stocking up and off licences, supermarkets are still open. This tells us that people are worried about making sure they have enough booze, even when they know logically, they can still buy it every day.
We can assume that people have been stockpiling their favourite drug as well. I would imagine, cannabis, cocaine and ketamine are the favs, maybe a bit of ecstasy and acid.
Lets take cocaine, chances are less of it will come into the country, but it will still...
If you are struggling, feeling depressed, low, anxious, not sleeping well, have an overactive brain, roller coaster emotions, the list goes on. Please, take a break from drinking alcohol.
If you drink alcohol regularly, it will have an effect on you, your physical health or most likely your mental health at some point. The effects of alcohol on the brain have been well documented.
Let's take sleep on its own. Alcohol impacts on your ability to get good quality sleep. If you are tired and not sleeping properly this alone will affect your emotional health.
Do you drink regularly? Could you cut down? Does it affect your sleep? When was the last time you took a break from alcohol?
First things first, take a break; 3 months at least. Then re-assess, see how you feel. Most people will feel better within the first few weeks. While you are taking a break, sleep, be nice to yourself, take it easy, eat healthy food, do...
Even though it was the worst day of my life it also turned out to be one of the best; although I didn’t know it at the time.
Alcohol was a huge factor in what was going wrong for me. Well I am not saying it was alcohol’s fault, obviously it was 100% my responsibility, however when I stopped drinking it made a huge difference to my life.
A lot of people drink, a lot of people drink too much, and mostly people don’t seem to think this is an issue. However, I want to put it to you a different way. Try this: take a break from alcohol, 30 days or maybe 90 days. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time, then see what the difference is and what the benefits of not drinking alcohol are. I guarantee you, your life will improve.
On a simple, logical level,...
Hear me out.
I am sure you are thinking she isn’t even in a long-term relationship so how does she know. Well, my Mum and Dad were together for 50 years, until Dad died. Then I have a good number of female friends. Very close female friends actually; that have done it and are still doing it. As we all know, if you are in a long term committed relationship it’s a work in progress. And I have noticed some correlations between living alcohol free and maintaining a relationship.
When you are in a long-term relationship with someone, you don’t give up on them. Well you might feel like it, you might have down time. But you love them, so you understand, life isn’t always simple and straight forward and people definitely aren’t. You practice patience, commitment and understanding.
You take the rough with the smooth. You know it isn’t always going to be moonlight, roses and hot sex (well it might be for some, of which I am very happy for...
I am not a kill joy, or evangelical at all, I just want everyone to take a break and see how they feel, like an experiment. If you want to go back to drinking after say, a 3 month's break you crack on. I just want you to know, to experience it.
In a world where we are talking about mental health, self-esteem, anxiety and depression, it’s a no brainer. Alcohol is going to make all these things worse. I am not making it up, it’s a fact, alcohol is a drug, the side effects of which are anxiety and depression. If emotions, how you feel about yourself, self-esteem, anxiety, depression, anything like that is an issue for you, seriously please take a break from drinking. You will feel...
1. They don’t do anything.
By this I mean, they want to reduce, take a break or stop. It doesn’t matter what it is, but they expect it to just happen. They may just decide they want to do it and actually manage to stop for a few days or a couple of weeks. But you stand a much better chance if you take positive steps towards your goal by doing something different than you have done before. Educate yourself: read books, read blogs, learn from others, exercise, eat healthy food, talk to people, watch videos, listen to podcasts, get a hobby, anything. Just do something and keep doing somethings. Which leads me on nicely to number 2.