Welcome to our online peer support community. Connect with others making change in their alcohol and other drug use. Join our online community today.
  • Connect, be inspired, motivate others. Share your experience & strategies.
  • Safe. Anonymous. Professionally moderated. Free of judgement.

    Join us Mondays at 8pm - 10pm AEST for Monday Meetup.

    Your posts will automatically appear live on the forum.
  • Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Join us as we talk all things addiction and recovery prompted by Addicted Australia and the Rethink Addiction campaign.
    tea123
    Junior Member
    Posts: 9
    Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:18 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:23 am

    Hi Craig and Oscar.
    I just saw Addicted Australia the other day. It was absolutely amazing. I also recommended it to my friends because I have learnt so much from it.

    I wanted to ask a question

    What advice would you give to the client’s family members when they are feeling like they don’t know what to do or how to help the client?
    0 x
    Angelgirl
    Junior Member
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:54 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:56 pm

    Hi Craig and Oscar,

    My question is, how do you recommend a person handles it when they have slipped up? What I mean by that is if someone has resolved to stop drinking and has been doing really well, then they have messed up and been drinking every single day that week? This is what has happened to me and I am disgusted with myself. I have gone around the house and tipped out every last bit of alcohol and I am determined that it's not going to happen again. How do you reconcile the feelings of shame, guilt and utter disappointment?

    Thank you for helping.
    0 x
    Bamboo [facilitator]
    Community Manager
    Posts: 223
    Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:46 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:00 pm

    Hi everyone welcome to round 2 of our live Q&A with [mention]Craig PW[/mention] and [mention]OG1990[/mention] :D We will be live until 4pm AEST.

    What a great turn out and response we had last week and some incredibly invaluable insight shared on addiction and recovery.

    It looks like some of our members have already posted questions in advance for you [mention]OG1990[/mention] and [mention]Craig PW[/mention] :)

    I'll throw in one too to kick things off.

    Christmas is quite a difficult time for people recovering from alcohol addiction in particular with so much marketing on billboards, retail, online etc. and festivities happening all around.

    What are some tips or strategies you have for navigating this time of year?
    0 x
    HelpfulBee
    Community Builder
    Posts: 191
    Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:59 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:04 pm

    Hi Craig & Oscar,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and thoughts with us here at Counselling Online, we are very privileged to have your insights.

    I've been fortunate enough to speak to a number of people on their journeys, and something that I've picked up from a couple of different people is that they want to turn their hard and difficult experience of recovery into a positive experience, and one way they've thought of is by helping others on their journeys; it makes their journey and experience meaningful and purposeful, and they get to give back to a community that's helped them.

    So, I have a couple of questions for you:
    • What are the biggest advantages you've found from doing peer support?
    • At what part of your recovery do you think you can get involved in peer support work?
    • What are the best ways to get involved in peer support and to give back?
    • Aside from Peer Support are there other ways we can make our journey's meaningful?


    Looking forward to hearing from you soon and love your work,

    HelpfulBee
    0 x
    OG1990
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:27 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:07 pm

    Hi [mention]tea123[/mention] ,

    It's definitely challenging for family members or loved ones, especially when they want to help but don't know how. The feeling of powerlessness can be equal to that of the person suffering from the addiction.
    I would always just say to keep very clear boundaries, but still be supportive in whichever way they feel safe to do so. Often people can think that they're helping when they're really enabling somebody. And by enabling somebody you're actually helping them to stay sick and hindering them from reaching a place where they're desperate enough to do what it takes to really change things around.
    Last edited by OG1990 on Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    0 x
    OG1990
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:27 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:14 pm

    HI [mention]Angelgirl[/mention] ,

    The first thing I would say is easy does it. This is something that can take time and slipping up can be a really normal part of the process. I was told in the beginning of my recovery that it's not using substances and staying clean that is the unknown, new, uncomfortable and alien thing here. It's the substance use and chaos that we feel comfortable in, so I think it's important to not be hard on yourself for being drawn back to it.
    I also think it's important to treat it as an opportunity to learn from. As in, what might you need to do differently this time that you didn't do last time that may have caused you to pick up?
    And most importantly, don't sit in it alone. Reach out for help and support whether that's close friends and family, peer support groups in the community or any other professional help you may be engaged with.
    I really believe that our addiction wants us alone because that's when it has the most power. So in summary I guess I'd say, don't go it alone, try to be kind to yourself and have a look at what you could do differently.
    Last edited by OG1990 on Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    0 x
    OG1990
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:27 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:26 pm

    Hi [mention]Bamboo [facilitator][/mention] ,

    It definitely is a very challenging time of year for alot of people. I think it's really important to know what you need and to be ok with whatever you need your christmas/new years to look like.

    Whether that's being in early recovery and needing to distance yourself from a family who it may be difficult to stay clean/sober around. Or whether that's knowing it is a difficult time of year because you don't have family to celebrate with just as a couple of examples.

    There is also christmas celebrations held by different peer support groups in the community for people who can't celebrate with family for whatever reason and there is always an option to not be alone if you reach out for support.

    I think another tip could be that if you know that this is a difficult time of year then put supports in place pre emptively and come up with a plan so you can get through it ok.
    0 x
    OG1990
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:27 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:29 pm

    HI [mention]Rose_squrtz[/mention] ,

    I would encourage them to seek support from more appropriate places if their loved ones are unable to support them into recovery.
    Then moving on from there as somebody discovers what they need for their recovery I would encourage them to put their recovery first no matter what and whoever is meant to be with them on that journey will be. Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter.
    Last edited by OG1990 on Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    0 x
    OG1990
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:27 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:34 pm

    Hi [mention]wiltedflower[/mention] ,

    I really believe that if being triggered by something that somebody says is a risk to a peer workers own recovery then perhaps that person is not at a stage where they're ready to do peer work.
    In saying that there is alot of heavy stuff that can come up during peer support and debriefing is always something that's important. So i'd say knowing who you can debrief with and always knowing what to do if there's anything that comes up that I feel I should elevate so I'm not holding it on my own is really important aswell.
    Last edited by OG1990 on Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    1 x
    Craig PW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 95
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:35 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:34 pm

    Hi [mention]Rose_squrtz[/mention]

    It's a hard one but that's why support groups such as AA, NA, GA etc, SMART Recovery, Peer Groups through other organisations such as the one Oscar and I have started through Turning Point all exist. Life has to change for someone in recovery and the individual needs to start setting boundaries which support those changes. This is why there's no easy path.

    We all need support, we need connections and if our families can't provide that then we need to find supports that can. What the support groups I mentioned have in common is that there will be people there who have experienced similar issues and they can provide first hand examples of what they have done in these situations and how they got through it. It's important to remember that we are the ones with the addiction so we need to make sure we are providing ourselves with the environment that supports it.

    Families often can't help, won't help or don't know how to help. Families often don't know what is required to help someone in recovery nor the difficulties of maintaining that recovery. Sometimes we expect too much from family. They aren't the ones with the problem and are often incapable of change themselves so they often find it difficult to modify their behaviour to assist us. We need to be the ones that change.

    Simply...................surround yourself with people who can support you
    0 x
    Hellohellohello
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:35 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:37 pm

    Hi guys,
    Thank you for such an informative show, my question is - How hard was it running a mixed peer support group with varying addictions and was there much preparation into making sure all topics where relevant to everyone in the group?
    0 x
    OG1990
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:27 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:39 pm

    Hi [mention]chenille[/mention] ,

    I think both can be equally impactful for different reasons.

    The group setting is a great opportunity to have an open discussion and create a platform where people can relate to eachother, support eachother and get a sense of a recovery community.

    Where as 1 on 1 support is really important as somebody may have something that they need to share but that they don't feel comfortable sharing in front of the whole group so they just want to talk about it in an individual setting.
    1 x
    Craig PW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 95
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:35 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:45 pm

    Hi [mention]wiltedflower[/mention]

    I find someone to talk to about it later or journal about it and reflect on it myself. Ask myself why it triggered me and what I need to do to work through it. The thing about recovery is that you never know when something is going to hit so I need to be aware of myself and my responses. I have a great support network these days and have gained a pretty good insight into myself so I'm able to recognise who I need to speak to in order to work through things after the group.

    I find owning it really helps within the group setting too. If I'm triggered I'll speak up about it. No point hiding from it................that just gives it power. It's one of the purposes of group settings..............to work through things together but also for me to have a safe space to explore this stuff.

    It's important for me to try and remember that we're all there to help each other and that not everyone is as far along in their journey
    1 x
    Craig PW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 95
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:35 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:59 pm

    Hi [mention]chenille[/mention]

    Some people respond better individually and some work better in groups. Some take time to open up, some find it easier to just sit and listen and absorb the information.

    I think the most important element of Peer Work is connection...................without it you might as well not bother so whatever setting you connect with better then just do it. Trust can take time to build as well so you have to be patient.

    All I really know is that Peer Support works and we need more of it at every level of support so let's push for that!!

    There is a lot of value in groups though and can help people establish new connections that are focused on recovery. Establishing new friendships in recovery can be difficult so why not spend time with people who are sharing a similar experience? The most valuable part of the groups that I've found is the varying points of view and advice. I don't have all the answers............but as a group we can explore a whole lot of different solutions, things I just wouldn't have thought of myself.

    So overall I think a combination can work best........................if you can challenge yourself enough to be challenged
    1 x
    OG1990
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:27 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:09 pm

    Hi [mention]HelpfulBee[/mention] ,

    Thank you for the kind words. It is a great priviledge to be a part of all this and more than happy to do so.

    What are the biggest advantages you've found from doing peer support?
    The biggest advantage of I've found from doing peer support has been the incredibly empowering experience of being able to turn something negative from my past into an asset that can make a difference in people lives. Also seeing the difference that can be made by bringing the voice of recovery and the consumer perspective into the medical model side of AOD treatment.

    At what part of your recovery do you think you can get involved in peer support work?
    I think that somebody should have a very solid foundation in their recovery before attempting peer work. I think that waiting til you're at least a couple of years into recovery is not a bad place to start. This is because it is essential to be able to leave work at work, be very clear about what you need to keep your emotional world safe and have very clear boundaries around these things. These are things that take time and work in recovery to learn.

    What are the best ways to get involved in peer support and to give back?
    One of the best ways to give back and get involved in peer support is to join a peer support group in the community whether thats 12 Step groups, SMART Recovery or peer groups run by organisations.
    Service is an integral part of 12 Step groups in particular with the belief system that we can only keep what we have by giving it away. In the beginning it can be as simple as showing up to the meeting a little early and helping to set up the chairs or staying back for a little bit of time afterwards to help with the dishes.

    Aside from Peer Support are there other ways we can make our journey's meaningful?
    I think that to make ones journey meaninful connection, non judgement, understanding and feeling heard are essential.
    In other words I think that searching for the untold story is of great importance, that is looking beyond what substances somebody is using or what diagnosis they may have and looking at what lies underneath. Recognising and acknowledging somebody for who they are not what adversities they suffer from.
    0 x

    Return to “Addicted Australia”