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  • Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    For people making and maintaining change in their alcohol and other drug use. Connect here to share your story and gain motivation today.
    Craig PW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 95
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:35 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Mon May 31, 2021 10:11 pm

    Hi @Scotland123 , good stuff reaching out and starting some conversation. That first step is the hardest and I think you're heading in the right direction. It sounds like you're aware of barriers to treatment and have begun to explore help that works for you. Knowing that your emotions, be they up or down, are what trigger you into wanting to use is a great realisation. A drug and alcohol counsellor will be able help you with emotion regulation and recognising triggers...........maybe a psychologist will be helpful a little down the track as well?

    I really identified with the vicious cirlce you spoke about. I remeber at one job I had I increased my my hours and was doing near 60 hour weeks but at the end of it still had nothing left because the more I worked the more I used. This had a major impact on my physical and mental health and I kept beating myself up worse as things went along..............which resulted in me using more. I just wanted to get in front and knew that "next week" I could start saving some money and paying back some debt............but next week never came because I felt like crap and just used again. "Next week", "next week", "next week". I'll change things up next week and won't use as much............then in the next couple of weeks I'd "celebrate" having done pretty well for a couple of weeks. The depression would just get worse and I'd try to drown it...............unfortunately my depression learnt to swim.

    For me what helped was a range of people to talk to. My GP was amazing but I get why you want to steer clear of using yours. I did a 6 week mindfulness course recommended by my first psychologist and that mindfulness course still comes in handy every day. Mindfulness has helped me to be able to understand myself, my reactions, my emotions............and it's helped me make the changes necessary to cope with emotionally challenging situations without turning to substances. Working with a subsequent psychologist because the first one could only take me so far and then an amazing counsellor I was able to make some pretty awesome changes and then maintain those changes because I had the tools to do it...............but it took time and a few mistakes along the way.

    I've said it often on here and I'll say it again............journalling has helped me more than anything. For that reason I'm stoked that you're asking about the 100 day challenge. I think it would be a great way for you to set a few goals and track your journey. To verbalise what's happened for you and keep track of progress so that you can look over it and learn what worked, what didn't and where things might have taken a turn. Being able to see your journey written down, to reflect on your thought processes and see patterns is invaluable.

    Anyhoo @Scotland123 I'd love to hear how things progress for you so it'd be great if you could keep us posted. i hope things go well and look forward to hearing about it.
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 142
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:35 am

    Welcome to our new members @Liddia, @Beebeecat, @linny and @Nanasun. These forums are a place for you to share your story and connect with others who also have lived experience with addiction and recovery.

    You might want to have a look at some of our threads! The Peers for Peers section is filled with great advice and knowledge from our wonderful peer-workers! When you're ready, we'd love to hear your story.
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    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 166
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:15 am

    Welcome to our newest member @Nicco19!

    Please let us know what brought you to the forums and if you have any goals in joining on here we can assist you with.

    Looking forward to hearing your story.
    :)
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 142
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:31 pm

    welcome to our newsest members @AAnd , @shauntia , @Mimmy , @HappyDays amd @Erinea.

    This is a space to share your stories and connect with others who are also going through their own recovery journeys. What brought you guys here today? We'd love to hear from you
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    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 166
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:21 am

    Welcome to our newest members @kelkel and @bard!

    Please let us know what have brought you to the forums and if you've got any goals in joining we can help you with.

    Feel free to post and intro of yourselves by clicking 'Post reply' at the bottom on this page.

    Looking forward to hearing your stories.
    :)
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 142
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:25 am

    Welcome to our newest members @Peter H, @Illyfilly, @tinydropthestickgooddog and @HighFunctionBallarat!

    This is a space to share you journey through addiction and recovery, and to connect with others who also have lived experience! When you feel ready we'd love to hear your story.

    You might like to check out some of our threads, like the Peers for Peers section, which is full of really interesting and informative stuff from our peer workers.
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    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 166
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:47 am

    Welcome to our newest member @Adi!

    Please feel free to post and intro of yourself. Would be great to know what brought you here.

    Looking forward to seeing you around in the forums.
    :)
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 142
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:29 pm

    Welcome our newest members @wishy , @Oldenough2knowbetter and @sams11 This is a space to share your story with addiction and recovery. Everyone here has their own lived experience, whether it be their own or that of a loved one. When you're ready, we'd love to hear what brought you here.
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 142
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:56 am

    heya to our newest members @Jo1234 and @User 59201ee12773b Welcome to the Counselling Online Forums. This is a place you'll find peer to peer support, people sharing their lived experience with addiction and recovery and tips and tricks to help you through your own journeys. When you feel ready, you can share your stories in this thread!
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    Mishme
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 7:03 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:37 pm

    Hi all 😊 I've never posted in a forum before so I'm not quite sure what I'm doing or how it works lol but hopefully I'll get it right eventually lol. I've been struggling for years with mental illness, chronic pain and opioid dependency. So hoping to connect with others who understand what I'm going through. And hoping to be able to support others aswell x
    1 x
    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 142
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:56 pm

    heya @Mishme welcome, and good on you for sharing your first post! it can be daunting reaching out but you've come to the right place.

    We have our incredible peer workers who have shared their own lived experience and are always here to offer support and advice @PnorkelPW and @ScorpionPW You night want to connect with them as they are a wealth of knowledge.

    It's wonderful to hear you'd like to support others as well. Do you have any advice or tips you'd like to share now?
    1 x
    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 166
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:27 am

    Welcome to our newest member @ChristianP!

    Please feel free to post an intro about yourself here. Would be great to hear what brought you to the forums.

    Looking forward to hearing your story.
    :)
    0 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 153
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:07 pm

    Hi @Mishme,

    There's no right or wrong here that's for sure! It's very much appreciated that you're speaking up and sharing a bit about what you've been struggling with and takes a lot of courage, so thank you for that :)

    I've personally not had to battle with chronic pain in recovery (thankfully) but have seen a lot of people who have. Also the struggles that come along with having to take medication long term and how much more challenging that can be when you suffer from addiction. I've had small periods of time where I've had to have opioids prescribed and it always messed with my head.

    How are you coping with everything at the moment and have you found anything that's helpful?
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 99
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:49 pm

    Welcome @Mishme ……………mental health and addiction go hand in hand but when you throw chronic pain on top it’s a recipe for being stuck on that merry-go-round. For many years I suffered with chronic back pain to the point that surgery was recommended and I’m just grateful that by the time my name came up on the two year waitlist I had found relief through other treatments and was well on the way to recovery. I’m also grateful that oxy wasn’t prescribed to me as it was only just hitting Australia then but I was getting Tramadol and Panadeine Forte…………they were bad enough…………I’d hate to think what would have happened if had been given access to oxy. I’ve watched it swallow someone who used to be very close to me and it’s not a nice thing to see.

    I found my pot intake skyrocketed through that time and it was already a years long 24 hour habit before the back pain………first thing in the morning and last thing at night but I just found I needed more than usual through the day to get by. Booze and pot was a great combination to numb the pain and the prescription stuff just iced the cake……….gave me the buzz I looked for as an addict too. Prescription stuff helped me forget the pain but then the pain was twice as bad the next day because I wasn’t as careful as I should have been due it only being numbed and not fixed. Doctor shopping was so much easier back then and I’m a big fan of the work that’s been done to make that more difficult these days.

    All through this my mental health battles continued and the worse thing for me was that I didn’t know it at the time. I put it down to lack of sleep and the substance use but I just didn’t understand mental health like I do these days. It was just normal for me to struggle the way I did. I was so frustrated through the combination of pain, not being able to sleep, my head being messed up by the substances and the mental health stuff. Every day was just such a damn battle.

    There is hope though and by working with health professionals as a team you can get through it. It takes the team to be on the same page and all working towards a common goal WITH you. I say WITH you because you have to be the one driving the bus and being honest with them all. No point in have a pain specialist working towards one goal but a GP prescribing stuff that contradicts those goals while a psychologist can’t get results because the meds you’re on aren’t working because everyone is contradicting each other through their approaches to your treatment. That might sound daunting but an HONEST conversation with your GP can get the ball rolling……….and it will take time so be patient and kind to yourself.

    It’s awesome that you want to help others on here too. The best thing you can do to support others is to share your story……..the ups, the downs, the triumphs, the difficulties. We learn from other people’s experiences and if no one shares then no one can identify and realise there’s hope and that they’re not the only ones struggling with an issue. Responding to other people’s stories let’s them know they’re not alone and there is hope. Hope comes in all forms……..just knowing someone identifies offers hope.

    I look forward to hearing from you in the future and would love some updates on how you’re travelling. If myself or @ScorpionPW can be of any help then please let us know. It took me a while to get used to the forums but I’m getting better now so take your time and explore. A notification will appear for people if you type the @ symbol and then their name……….it tags them so when they next log on they see a message. Hopefully this has shown up in your notifications.
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 142
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Introduce yourself here - lived experience

    Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:22 am

    big welcome to our newest members @Mmm123 , @Girl_1479, @zero_alcohol and @maximus21 These forums are here for you to find support and connection through your journey's with addiction and recovery. Everyone here has either their own lived experience of addiction, or experience of a loved one with addiction. When you feel ready please feel free to share your stories here :)
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