Drug Education 101: How drugs affect the body

drug education 101-2

How much do you know about drugs? You may have picked up a few generic tid- bits along the way—in 2017, most of us know that smoking can cause cancer, and we’ve written extensively about the impact alcohol can have on the body. But when it comes to other drugs, like LSD, Shrooms and even Acid, many of us know a lot less.

This fantastic infographic by TrueRecovery.com lists 14 drugs and shows us how they affect the body. From the brain, right down to the stomach and our reproductive system, the short and long-term affects of these substances show how dramatically they can influence the body.

Have you ‘normalised’ any of the side effects of drugs, assuming that you (or a loved one) could come off them any time you want? This infographic shows that it’s not that easy, and using any sort of drug can have life-long repercussions. Let us know what surprises you the most about the infographic in the comment section.

Are you concerned about your use of alcohol or other drugs? Do you have a loved one using that you are concerned about? 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.

How to identify the phases of alcohol addiction and recovery

Many people like to have an alcoholic drink, but for some this becomes more than a luxury, it becomes an addiction. So how do you identify if you or a loved one are experiencing addiction or are in danger of falling into it? The Jellenik Curve (pictured below) describes the common phases of alcohol addiction, and helps us to do just this.

Whether you’re at the beginning of the curve and have the suspicion you’re drinking just a little too much, or are in the middle and are experiencing increased black outs, this will show you what is and isn’t currently healthy about your lifestyle. Even more importantly, it shows you that it is possible to enter recovery.

If you’re concerned about the health of you or a friend, take a look at this infographic by the Watershed Addiction and Recovery Programs and see what part of the ‘rollercoaster’ you’re on. By observing addictive traits in yourself early, you can change your behaviours and prevent a downward spiral into alcohol addiction.

Alternatively, if you have overcome addiction in the past, this curve is a fantastic way to moderate your behaviours. If you find yourself falling into old habits, start making phases 4 and 5 a priority again. And if you’re not sure you can be objective, ask a friend to honestly assess where they think you’re at in comparison to the Curve below.

Do you want to revolutionise your life and see what you can achieve without alcohol? Sign up for the free Watersedge 30 Day Challenge and have a tip sent to your inbox every day for a month. Find out more information here.

Do you rely on alcohol to get you through the day? Are you concerned that a loved one may have an addiction? 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.

The Enneagram, Addiction and Recovery

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We have long appreciated the personality theory of the Enneagram. It enables us to better understand one another, and means we can pin point what motivates people into a healthy and unhealthy state.

That begs the questions—could the Enneagram help us understand the path to addiction? And if so, perhaps it could assist people as they enter recovery.

This video interview from Enneagram Studies tackles these questions, intertwining a person's narrative or story with the Enneagram to provide insight into addictive behaviour.

In this video, TALK Editor Evangeline Welch interviews Renee Siegel for Enneagram Association in the Narrative Tradition. The interview identifies the typical patterns of addiction for each space—being what they refer to as Head types (Types 5-7), Gut types (Types 8-1) and Heart types (Types 2-4). They also delve into how each type behaves in addiction.

Focusing on the body as an energy system, the interview discusses what prompts different types to enter addictive behaviors, and what these often look like for each type, from eating disorders, gambling, workaholism, substance abuse, alcoholism or sexual acts.

Take a look at this video and let us know what it teaches you about the Enneagram’s role in addiction and recovery.

Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction? Do you want to learn more about the Enneagram and how it can help you enter recovery? Here’s what you need to do: 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.

The Do’s and Don’ts Of Supporting a Loved One In Recovery

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We all desperately want to help a loved one in need. Families will often see first hand the dramatic side effects of drug and alcohol use, and it is natural for us to try and aid those we care about so they enter recovery and break the cycle.

All too often though, we can feel like more of a hindrance than a help. Everything we do to ‘help’ leaves us empty, and our loved one remains unchanged. This infographic by Morningside Recovery shows us the Do’s and Don’ts of supporting a loved one in recovery from an addiction.

Breaking down the stereotype that we need to confront them aggressively about addiction, and rather approach them openly and honestly, it shows us that we need to be willing to go through the long haul of recovery with them and stay committed to the journey.

Take a look at the infographic for more Do’s and Don’ts, and let us know how you support a loved one recovering from an addiction in the comment section.

The Do’s and Don’ts Of Supporting a Loved One In Recovery

Do you want to know more about supporting a loved one to break addiction? Do you struggle with substance abuse? 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 she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

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Alcohol and the Workplace

Have you ever shown up to work with a hangover? It makes for an ugly and difficult day, but for many of us it has become normal. In fact, this infographic by Recovery Connection tells us that 15% of all workers in the US are under the influence of alcohol at one time or another. It is easy to assume alcohol only effects ‘alcoholics,’ but the truth is that most alcohol related issues within the workplace come from social drinking. Whether we drink before work or arrive with a hangover, it is something which impacts not only our productivity in the workplace, but also our personal health.

This infographic gives us a list of the industries most likely to contain ‘problem drinkers,’ and it shows that people who do evening, night or sporadic shift work are at the top of the list. In fact, construction and mining, retail, and hospitality all made the top five. And you don’t have to drink at work to be effected by alcohol; research shows that sick days, sleeping at work and trouble with tasks and colleagues are all side effects of problem drinking.

Problem drinking can affect anyone. If you are younger, are a male and work in a managerial position, research shows you are more likely to fit into this category. Do you think you struggle with alcohol at work? Ask yourself these questions:

Do you frequently drink before/after work?

Do you often arrive at work with a hangover?

Do you feel the need to drink in order to cope with the stress of your job?

Have you ever made an error at work due to being intoxicated or having a hangover?

Do you regularly struggle with your co-workers due to your alcohol use?

If you show signs of being a ‘problem drinker,’ you don’t have to struggle through life anymore. You have the ability to manage your alcohol consumption and in this, bring your A game to work on a daily basis.

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Do you need help to manage alcohol in the workplace? Do you desire to be bold, be daring and be you? Sign up for our free ‘Go 30 Days Alcohol Free’ Challenge here and step into 2015 with new confidence. For more support, check our estore for a special deal on the 30 Days Guide and Workbook. You can also 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.

4 tips to cultivate and enhance your daily life and well being in 2014

cultivate-and-enhance-your-daily-lifeRecently I had the very LIFEGIVING experience of visiting Disney World in Florida.

I am using the word LIFEGIVING very deliberately, because my experience was just that!

For the 2 days that I had the opportunity to explore some of the parks, I could not stop grinning such was my happiness. Being at Disney World was a catalyst for releasing my inner child: I enthusiastically hugged Goofy, the Chipmunks, one or two Disney Princesses; I jumped up and down with delight as I watched the street parades and waved to Mickey Mouse; I sang along with gusto to the beautiful orchestral music that permeated every corner of the parks; I gasped with awe as I witnessed the glorious firework display, and I experienced enormous pleasure at the unfailing willingness and enthusiastic service of every Disney employee I encountered over the two days. If I could bottle my Disney experience and bring it home, I would have the instant ‘pick me up' for every mediocre day forever after! It was a LIFEGIVING experience.

What do I mean by LIFEGIVING? I initially encountered this term through an interest in the study of Spiritual Formation. I discovered that the term LIFEGIVING was a helpful way to recognise good spirit – that which had a calming, nurturing, grounding, centering and positive impact on my well-being. Anything that is LIFEGIVING grows, nourishes and enhances life in me. Conversely, when something depletes, minimises, drains and de-centers, it is a bad spirit and life destroying.

Whilst I cannot bring Disney home in a bottle, I can still encounter that which is LIFEGIVING in my ongoing everyday experience because I have developed the habit of noticing the things in my daily experience that enhance life and well-being in me.

Here are 4 tips to cultivate and enhance your daily life and well-being in 2014:

1. Using each of your 5 senses, take notice of the things in your everyday life that soothe, calm, centre, ground and/or bring you pleasure.
sight – a favourite object, photo or scene
smell – a flower, herb, tree, candle or particular object that calms or holds meaning for you
touch- a smoothe stone, a silk scarf, a beloved pet or a warm bubble bath
sound – the sea, rain on your roof, a favourite piece of music,
taste – a drink of hot chocolate, a glass of red wine at the end of a long day, the first cup of tea for the day, your favourite sweet

2. Take 5-10 minutes each day to journal the things that you notice are LIFEGIVING and reflect on what it is that makes it so.
Is it the colour, the size, the reminder of a pleasurable memory for instance?
Your answers will provide further insight into what it is that is particularly LIFEGIVING for you.

3. Practice DOING MORE of the things that are LIFEGIVING.
Makes sense doesn't it? I have noticed that inspite of what I know about what I NEED for well being, old habits die hard and self sabotage is my brains natural de-fault position! Making a new habit requires PRACTICE. By daily practice and journaling your discoveries you reinforce that which is LIFEGIVING.
RITUALS are a very powerful way of providing order and rhythm to your daily life. It may be as simple as going for a daily walk early morning, lighting a candle each evening or saying a prayer upon waking and going to bed.

4. Make your home/workplace environment LIFEGIVING by using decor that calms and centres you.
Be aware that your mood may well be enhanced by a certain colour or sounds.
Do you function better with more light? Do you prefer a window? Is there a particular plant or flower you would like to bring indoors? Do you require a quiet place where you can relax and find calm?
Consider how the environment you are in, impacts your mood and sense of well-being. You may well have to think creatively about how you can make the environment you are in, more LIFEGIVING for you.
Make a point of removing the things that de-energize you physically, mentally or emotionally.

By following these 4 tips you will begin to develop your own daily experience of noticing that which is LIFEGIVING for you. The benefits will include an increasing sense of calm, inner peace, and centering as you invite more of what is ‘good spirit' into your daily experience.

If you would like to explore this theme more fully within a group setting, Watersedgecounselling will be conducting a Women's Wellbeing Workshop, facilitated by Colleen Morris, on Saturday, February 22nd at 9.30am – 4.30pm, level 1, 24 Moorabool Street, Geelong. For more information, go to www.watersedgecounselling.com/events or call Colleen on 0434337245

If you would like a personal consultation on how to cultivate and enhance your daily life and well being, you can call Colleen for a FREE 10 minute consultation on 0434 337 245 or if you would like to make an appointment to see Colleen, go to BOOK NOW and you will be able to access Watersedgecounselling's online appointment diary.

Transitions: The Secret Of Change

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The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new. (Socrates)

Put simply, look ahead instead of looking back if you want to change.

As I have thought about this, a Bible story that I was taught during my early years attending Sunday School came to mind. It was a story that put fear in my heart telling of a couple who lived in the city of Sodom, infamous for some of its resident’s depraved behaviour. The couple had been instructed by God to flee from the city without looking back. Failure to do so, God warned, would be grievous. I can only guess what Lot’s wife was experiencing: curiosity, confusion and uncertainty, feelings of loss, doubt? The consequence of her action was swift and dramatic: she turned to a pillar of salt there in the desert.

The story reminds me of the real challenges a person faces when confronted with any transition in their life. Some transitions such as developmental changes, workplace changes, or the loss of a loved one are forced upon you. Other transitions are a consequence of the choices you have made: living together as a committed couple, marriage, moving location, a change in employment, recovery from an addiction are just a few examples. Irrespective of the nature of the transition you are going through, it is a stressful and emotionally challenging time. The story reminds me how easily you can become ‘stuck’ and even feel like you are ‘losing yourself’ during transition because nothing is familiar or predictable anymore. The ground is shifting beneath you and the natural desire to turn back and look at the old  familiar ways can be a temptation difficult to resist. It is a human tendency to go back to the comfort of what is familiar, even if it is doing me harm; to avoid the discomfort of the unknown and unfamiliar.

Trusting the process of change; permanent change takes a long time and tests our tolerance and patience. Transition is not a linear movement but a movement back and forward, testing out new behaviours, falling back on the old, learning by trial and error.

Fighting the old reinforces the old

  • You are confronted by ‘demons’ of the past
  • You experience an ongoing struggle to resist temptation
  • You become physically and emotionally exhausted
  • You are more vulnerable to the very thing you are fighting against (‘I feel like giving up’; ‘It’s too hard’; ‘Why am I even bothering?’)

Building the new inspires hope and purpose

  •  Your back is to the old
  •  You are thinking about possibilities and dreams
  •  You are focused on finding solutions
  •  You are focusing on the goal

Whatever transition you are presently going through, be it as an individual, a couple or as a member of a community, remember Socrates advice and focus your energy on building the new.

If you need assistance to  focus your energy on the new, would like to know more about how to navigate your present transition experience or need support as you experience your own transition contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or go to www.watersedgecounselling.com to book an appointment.

5 Myths About Drug Abuse And Addiction

5 myths about drug abuse and addiction

 

If you have a drug and/or alcohol dependence issue and would like to access support to address your issues and reduce your substance use then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you or go to the orange tab to Colleen's online diary to make an appointment.

3 Reasons People Don’t Ask For Help

My father loved to help people but he rarely asked for help himself.

In spite of deteriorating strength in the latter years of his life, my father steadfastly refused the help of others, often evoking a deal of distress and frustration for other family members. I frequently referred to my father’s behaviour as ‘stubbornness’ however I also knew that beneath this insistence on doing things without the help of others, there was a desperate need to be in control and an overwhelming fear of what letting go of control might mean for him. He lived his entire life that way however there was a physical and emotional cost that, had he been able to ask for help, may have had a less debilitating impact upon him as he aged.

Captivated Images;Girl & spider webIt is my experience that many people find it difficult to ask for help, even when they are not coping well. Can you identify with that experience? The beliefs you hold about yourself and who you are in relationship to others, will inform much of your behaviour including your willingness to ask for help.

Here are 3 reasons why people don’t ask for help and the underlying beliefs that might support each reason.

 

 1. I Don’t Need Help

Who Am I in Relationship To Others?

  • I am strong
  • I am right
  • I am independent
  • I cannot rely upon anyone else to do the job the way I want it to be done

The truth is that even the strongest among us can feel stressed, overwhelmed, time poor and fatigued. At times such as this, the failure to ask for help creates inner resentment, frustration and anger that, unattended to, is redirected to the people closest to you.

Consider this:

  • What is the emotional cost to you by not asking for the help you need?
  • What is it you fear when asking for help?
  • What would be the benefits to you and others, if you asked for help sometimes?

2. I Should Be Able To Do It Without Help

Who Am I in Relationship To Others?

  • I should be strong
  • I should be competent
  • I should be in control
  • I should be independent

‘Shoulds’ betray the false belief that you are only acceptable to others when you behave in a way that meets the expectation of others. Underneath those ‘shoulds’ you might be feeling inadequate, incompetent, indecisive, scared and isolated. The fear that you will be exposed and consequently embarrassed and/or rejected prevents you from asking for the help you need.

Consider this:

  • What is the physical and emotional cost when I comply with my ‘shoulds’?
  • Whose voice is it that keeps insisting I ‘should’ – is it a parent or some other significant person past or present?
  • What would it be like if you were able to find the help you need to cope with daily life and all that life requests of you?
  • What do you find most challenging about asking for help?

3.  Others Should Know That I Need Help

Who Am I in Relationship To Others?

  • I expect others to understand my feelings
  • I expect others to anticipate my needs
  • I expect others to take their responsibility to help seriously

Between what you expect of others and what others actually do for you, there lies a vast gap. You may be feeling tired, resentful, and easily irritated and undervalued.

The ‘expectations’ we have of others are seldom met unless we first have a conversation and find common agreement on those same expectations. It is my experience that people often fail to communicate their expectations well, believing that others ‘should know’.

Consider this:

  • What is the physical and emotional cost to me when I expect others to meet my needs yet never ask?
  • Why should others know what I expect – are they mind readers?
  • What do I find most challenging about asking people for help as opposed to expecting them to mind read?

Asking for help is:

  1. a sign of strength not weakness
  2. An acknowledgement of the resources that others (partner, family members, friends, wider community) possess and the contribution they can make to your own health and wellbeing.
  3. an opportunity for personal growth
  4. necessary for a healthy relationship
  5. a form of inclusion and encouragement to others

Is one or more of these reasons for not asking for help, familiar to you? Why not challenge yourself to ask for some help this week? It may be a matter of picking up your phone and contacting that friend or ringing a particular help-line. It may mean doing some research online to access the resource you need. It may simply mean sitting down with your partner or family member over a coffee and telling them what it is you need help with. It may also mean finding the professional help you need. I encourage you today to take the first step towards asking for help. The oft quoted phrase ‘No man is an island’ is so true for all of us, we need each other’s help but first of all, you have to ask.

If you experiencing difficulty and need help, direction and support  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 or press book now to book on my online diary.

Relationships: How To Respond To a Hurting Friend

Balancing_Act_by_captivatedimagesHave you ever been caught in the dilemma of wanting to:

a. ‘fix' your friend's problem and/or feel the need to ‘rescue' your friend

and

b. know that they need to find their own solution to their pain

I certainly have. Trying to be compassionate and supportive towards you friend, can become dangerously close to ‘rescuing' when you fail to act with self-awareness.

The need to ‘rescue' comes from the place within me that feels uncomfortable and even anxious about witnessing their pain. Yet I also know that they will never learn how to find their own solutions if I constantly intervene.

In this blog article, journalist Jessica Morris explores the question, ‘How Best Can I Respond To My Hurting Friend?'

 

In everyday life each of us often meets sorrow. This is not to say that life is a sad thing, rather if we can learn to brave the hardships in life and eagerly seek the dawn then both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ can be beneficial to us. Whether it is our own troubled circumstances or the circumstances of those around us, the fact remains that as humans we must react to suffering.

The line between clinical and personal can be hard to distinguish, yet often both sides seem to war with the other for the upper hand in figuring out how to ‘rescue’ someone. As humans, our immediate desire is finding a solution, and to find it fast. We want a quick fix, a way to stop our pain and the pain of those around us. But perhaps this ‘rescue’ is entirely the wrong way of thinking about how we approach the notion of suffering.

Reality and Compassion.  In some ways these are the two extremes of our lives.
To blatantly stare reality in the eyes and admit that we, or our friend, are struggling can be hard. What is even harder is to acknowledge that this admission (often verbally) seems to expect a proactive response to the person it is directed to.

To tell our friend that we are concerned and that the path they are on is hurting them is in essence the sign of healthy community. Yet to tell them this with an absence of compassion, sincerity and love reveals a weakness to humble ourselves and admit that we also struggle and in this we are willing to support them through their recovery. We cause them shame and continue the pattern of stigma that already surrounds many aspects of society, predominantly surrounding mental health.

To err on the side of compassion is all too common for many of us. We choose to ignore signs, symptoms or bad choices because we don’t want to offend someone we care about or feel we don’t have the capacity to ‘fix’ them. Perhaps with ourselves we want to be in denial about the fact that a behaviour, thought process or relationship is unhealthy and therefore justify it.  Just as a lean too far into reality causes harm to people, so does this paradigm of complete compassion. To ignore is to enable, therefore causing more harm to the person we are failing to tell the truth too.

As humans, we must choose to balance ourselves between both reality and compassion.  One cannot be functional and healthy without the other; compassion provoking denial or rescue and reality causing shame and elevation of a person’s struggle. It is only in this medium that we and the people we care about can seek recovery, not so we can be ‘rescued’, but so we are able to live a fulfilled life free of the chains of the suffering that oppress each of us.

Do you lean towards reality or compassion? Perhaps you can give the hard word to yourself but struggle to tell your loved ones your concern for them. Alternatively, maybe you have allowed yourself to develop unhealthy habits that you can justify while being blatantly honest with others. Wherever you sit on the spectrum, consider the other side and how you would like to be approached by a friend when you are struggling. After all, suffering is universal and the only remedy to recovery is this balance between both.

About Jessica Morris

 Jessica Morris is a 22 year-old free-lance journalist living near Melbourne, Australia. Passionate about pop culture and how this intersects with mental health, faith and social justice; she seeks represent this generation within the media. You can view her work at www.jessicamorris.net.

 If you want to grow personally and in your relationships, experience wellness and reach toward your full relational 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 or press book now to book on my online diary.