So you’ve finished Dry July. What’s next?

dry-july

If you’re one of the 19,000 people who signed up for Dry July, you’ll be eagerly looking forward to the end of the month and a casual drink. But for those of us who partook and realised there could be more to this dry life style than meet-the-eye, we want to invite you to continue the journey.

Perhaps you felt more clear-headed over the month, saved a lot of money or realised you’re a lot more dependant on alcohol than you think—if you want to explore sobriety, then we have the tools to help you along the way. This may simply be trying another month sober through our 30 Day Challenge, or it could be a complete lifestyle overhaul that we establish through ongoing counselling.

In this article printed in Warcry magazine., Colleen takes people through the next steps to take back control of your life from alcohol dependence. Take a look, and if it resonates with you, sign up for our 30 Day Challenge in the side bar and give us a call.

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Discovering Dry July 

Dry July does much more than raise funds for cancer patients and their carers across Australia, it’s also an opportunity for people struggling with alcohol dependence to break free and enter sobriety, writes Colleen Morris.

In its tenth year, Dry July has become a celebrated part of Aussie culture as people abstain from alcohol for a good cause. The phenomenon also shines a light on the less talked about part of our society—the fact that 17% of Aus­sies are classified as ‘lifetime risky drinkers’ by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (meaning they consume at least two standard drinks of alcohol per day).

Alcohol dependence leads to a myriad of problems, from liver poisoning to relationship breakdowns and cancer, so Dry July gives people the kick-start they need to begin the journey to sobriety. But when you struggle with addiction, this path is filled with obstacles.

If you have only recently become sober, then the chance of relapse is very high. Having a structured program to keep you focused and distracted from thoughts of alcohol is essential to recovery. To ensure recovery, it is important that you also get to know yourself better. Here are three steps to help you on your way.

  1. Discover the right counsellor for you
    People frequently put off seeking professional assistance because they have tried counselling before and it was not helpful at the time. This might be due to a variety of reasons:
    • your readiness to change;
    • you did not feel that the counsellor connected with you;
    • the counsellor’s particular style of intervention did not
    work for you.

Don’t be put off. It frequently takes a few different counsellors before you come across the right one for you. Don’t do it alone. You need ongoing professional help to keep you on track, motivated and accountable. 

  1. Discover who you are
    Alcohol robbed you of your identity. You may not have a clue as to why you became so dependent upon alcohol. You may not know what your particular ‘triggers’ are or why you are so vulnerable to those particular triggers. Who are you without a glass of alcohol in your hand?

 Don’t know where to start? Counselling can act as a ‘guide’ to self-discovery. A counsellor is skilled in the art of listening and asking the questions that can help lead you to your true identity.

  1. Discover what you are passionate about
    Do you know what you get excited about when you don’t have a drink in your hand? It is likely that you have not thought about what you are passionate about for a long time. It is passion that will get you out of bed in the morning and motivate you to keep doing the things you need to do to stay sober and focused.

Think about your passions, and discuss them with your loved ones and a counsellor. When you discover them, use these to motivate you on the journey to sobriety and you will live a more fulfilled life.

Have you conquered Dry July and want to continue the journey? Are you concerned about the amount of alcohol you consume? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

15 Reasons to Give up Alcohol

15 Reasons to Give up Alcohol

If you’ve tried Dry July, or have chosen to remain sober for a set period of time, you know the health benefits of giving up alcohol are astronomical. While it’s not bad to have a drink in moderation every now and then, if alcohol is negatively impacting your life and your health, you may need to take steps to stop drinking it all together.

A while ago, Watersedge put together the 30 Day Challenge, where we challenge you to go one month without drinking alcohol. Aside from having a clearer head, staying sober is better for your liver, your wallet and often, your relationships.

Take a look at this infographic by Recovery Steps that shares some of the other benefits of going alcohol free.

If alcohol is negatively affecting you or your loved ones, sign up for our 30 Day Challenge here. We’ll send you a FREE tip everyday, empowering you to take care of yourself, nurture your relationships and life a fulfilling life.

15 Reasons to Give up Alcohol Infographic

Are you concerned about your drinking habits? Do you want to make hang overs and intoxicated arguments a thing of the past? Contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

Alcohol: 8 Steps to Slow Down Your Drinking

alcohol-8-steps

Lots of us enjoy having a drink with our friends. Whether it’s a glass of red with the girls, or a beer at the family barbeque, once we start, it can be difficult to stop.

Your age, physicality, gender and any medication you take all affect how you react to alcohol. This is why some people can ‘hold their liquor’ after three beers, and others become tipsy after one.

It’s always an option to remain sober, but if you’d like a drink, try these steps to slow-down your alcohol intake at parties.

  1. Start with a soft drink

When you arrive, don’t jump the gun and go for the liquor. Take it easy and start with a fizzy drink. It will curb your thirst and you will keep your head as the night progresses.

  1. Eat food

A full stomach slows the effects of alcohol. Make sure you eat a good meal at the start of the night, and stay well fed on snacks and appetisers while you are drinking. Avoid salty foods that will make you thirstier.

  1. Stay hydrated

Drink a glass of water between your alcoholic beverages. This will re-hydrate your system, slow your drinking down and make you full.

  1. Follow standard drink sizes

Don’t assume that your glass of wine is one standard serving of alcohol (10mg). The type of alcohol, size of a glass and the liberty of the server means you can consume more alcohol than planned very quickly. Check the alcohol content on the bottle or ask the server if you are unsure.

  1. Avoid shouts and top-ups

A few shouts into the night, a top-up here or there, and you loose track of how much alcohol you’ve drunk. Politely say ‘no’ to these gestures and stick to the Australian Government’s recommendation of two standard drinks a day.

  1. Drink a low alcohol alternative

Choose a ‘light’ option, or a less concentrated drink. Avoid spirits that are poured into soft drink without being measured.

  1. Pace yourself

Before your first beer, plan how much you will drink over the night. Use this to pace yourself over each hour, taking sips and drinking non-alcoholic beverages to fill out the time.

  1. Say ‘no’

You are in control over what you drink. Don’t feel compelled to get blind-drunk because your colleagues do, or go for harder alternatives at their insistence. Stick to your plan and focus on socialising rather than drinking alcohol.

Are you drinking too much alcohol? Do you wake up with regrets after a big night? Then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

Are you doing Dry July? Sign up FREE for our 30 Day Challenge and we’ll help you stay sober with a new tip every day for a month!

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Check Out This Great New Website for the LBGTI Community

LBGTI

It can be difficult to find specific and compassionate advice for the LBGTI (Lesbian, Bi, Gay, Trans, Intersex) community, especially around drugs, alcohol and sex. If you’re a part of it, the difficulty of finding a comprehensive and understanding resource is very real. And if you have a friend or a family member who needs support, finding them a great website, let alone a counsellor who can help them out, can be as difficult as moving a mountain. The good news is that this last week VAC just launched the terrific website Touchbase, which is completely dedicated to informing and supporting LBGTI people of all ages. We’re really excited about Touchbase at Watersedge, and wanted to share some details about it with you.

ALCOHOL AND DRUGS

With details about drugs ranging from alcohol to Viagra and GHB, Touchbase gives you comprehensive coverage of what substances contain, how they affect you in the moment, and the long-term consequences of their use. Giving some insight to safe use of substances, and how to avoid mixing them, it also details how use of each substance affects people living with HIV.

MENTAL HEALTH

People who are LBGTI are at a higher risk of suicide (Beyond Blue), so the need for specific and honest details around mental health for this community is fundamentally needed. On Touchbase, you are given details ranging from the affects of drugs on the brain, coping strategies to take care of yourself if you’re feeling ‘shaky’ and how to find help and support.

SEXUAL HEALTH

While we often shy away from it, the sexual health of anyone is integral to a person’s overall health and wellbeing. Touchbase is straight up in addressing these issues, tackling HIV, STD’s, the facts around safe sex, risk prevention and how sex and drugs mix.

PRACTICAL ADVICE

Aside from informing you with details about substances, mental health and sex, Touchbase also provides you with a ‘Toolkit’ so you can implement them in your everyday life. We’re talking self-assessments to measure your substance use, tools to help you party safely, details about treatment, and how to reduce use of alcohol and drugs. This is a great section when you need to take another step and actively practice self care in your own life, or want to help a friend out.

STORIES

While this area of Touchbase is still in development, the opportunity to share your own story with the LBGTI community is available so other people can be inspired by your honesty and journey. Once this area is developed, you will also be able to find stories on there from like-minded teens and adults. Not only is this a healing tool for both the storytellers and readers, it is also integral in the overall wellbeing of the LBGTI community, minimising isolation and raising awareness.

Are you a member of the LBGTI community, in a same sex relationship, or want to support a friend seeking help? Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

Our Love Affair with Alcohol and Other Drugs

Have you ever paused to consider just how deeply your lifestyle and those around you have been affected by alcohol and other drugs?  In this infographic provided by the Australian Drug Foundation, we are shown the facts about our nation’s love affair with alcohol and other drugs. No matter what your age or socio economic factors, it is evident that these substances have negatively impacted our lives and will continue to do so unless we better educate ourselves and our families in these areas. This fascinating infographic shows us that we can no longer put our head in the sand- we must take responsibility for our own use of alcohol and other substances as the effects are more wide reaching than we ever imagined.

Our Love Affair with Alcohol and Other Drugs

Do you struggle with alcohol and/or other drugs and are concerned about their long-term effects on your life and those around you? If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

Managing Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Workplace

When a person develops a dependence upon alcohol and/or other drugs, to the observer it is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Each ‘still' may only be a small degree of difference, but the end result is devastation and destruction. When a person becomes dependent on alcohol and/or other drugs, they are rarely aware of the claim their ‘habit' has already made on their lifestyle: personal health and wellbeing; relationships with partner, family and friends; employment; accommodation; these are all compromised. In an interview with Ken Burgin from Profitable Hospitality and Colleen Morris from Watersedgecounselling, they discuss the issue of how an employer inhospitality manages an employee whose behaviour is compromised by alcohol and/or other drugs. Colleen gives some valuable advise for employers to consider on this podcast.

Issues With Alcohol: How Do You Know You Have A Problem?

You love a drink. It relaxes you, you feel more confident and sociable, you have more fun. Recently, someone has been telling you that you have an alcohol problem – your partner, a parent, a close friend, maybe your boss? You can't accept what they say, after all everyone enjoys a drink every now and then. All your friends drink, if you drink a bit more now and then, it doesn't hurt anyone, you reason to yourself.

I understand that you don't want to be told that you have an alcohol problem. It feels like you are a child again, being told that you have done something wrong. It can feel embarrassing, humiliating and possibly frightening, especially if you had an alcoholic parent.

So I simply want to ask you a few questions that can help you make up your own mind. Be aware that if you do have an alcohol problem, you won't want to admit it. You will feel really defensive as I ask you to take an honest look at how you are doing.

1. How many times a week do you drink alcohol?

  • The recommended limit for low risk drinking is 2 standard drinks a day including 1 alcohol free day a week. Can you stop at 2 drinks? Perhaps you could test yourself over the next couple of weeks and keep a diary of how much you drink.


2. How much do you drink in any single episode?

  • You may drink just on one or two nights a week. How much do you drink on those occasions? The recommended limit when drinking on those occasions is 4 standard drinks. 
  • Binge drinking to the point of intoxication as a regular occurrence is a risk to your health. Are you frequently intoxicated? Over the next fortnight, keep a count of how often you drink to intoxication.


3. Has the issue of alcohol caused conflict in your relationship? 

  •  your partner nags you about your drinking 
  •  you frequently fight about your drinking to the point that you avoid coming home
  •  you are more irritable, distrustful or aggressive


4. Are you noticing that your behaviour is frequently out of character?

  • acting inappropriately
  • making poor decisions
  • telling lies
  • driving under the influence of alcohol


How did you do as you answered these questions?  If you could identify yourself in these four points, I encourage you to seek some help. You can find help on the internet by putting the word ‘alcohol' into the google search engine. You will be able to research what is available near your location. If you live on the Bellerine Region of Victoria, contact watersedgecounselling for alcohol counselling on 0434337245 or book now.

If you want help to overcome your alcohol issue, grow, experience wellness and reach toward your full potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you.