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  • What is peer support and what to expect?

    This is a space visited by peer workers who have a lived experience of addiction and recovery and is an opportunity to relate to and draw hope from those who have been through similar things as you.
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 98
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    What is peer support and what to expect?

    Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:20 am

    Welcome everybody to our new thread visited by Peer Workers :)

    I figured a good place to start would be to give a bit of a snapshot of what peer support is and what to expect in this space.

    Peer support is the idea that somebody who has lived through a certain adversity and found a way to recover from that adversity is able to role model hope and provide an opportunity for others to identify, connect and relate to their lived experience.

    A peer support worker is somebody who utilizes their lived experience of addiction and recovery as a therapeutic tool, as well as skills learned through formal training to support others seeking help or accessing services.

    This thread is a space where we meet as equals on a mutual level to share our lived experience and support each other on our journeys. This is a recovery focused space but we are not outcome focused, nor do we offer an expert opinion on topics. We can however, offer general support and information in regards to any treatment/services you may be interested in accessing. This is a space to come to if you want to identify with people who are going through or who have been through similar things as you to draw hope from, relate to and get some support along the way.
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    Craig PW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 95
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:35 pm

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Mon May 03, 2021 9:20 pm

    Hey @ScorpionPW..........what do you like most about being a Peer Worker?
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    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 98
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Fri May 07, 2021 9:55 am

    Hi @Craig PW,

    My favourite thing about doing peer work is having what I used to always view as a negative part of my past become an asset. To see that I can help empower people to be their own experts by sharing my own lived experience. It has also helped me identify with my lived experience in a much more positive way.

    I'm gonna throw that question right back at you :D
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 75
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Sat May 29, 2021 11:45 am

    @Craig PW and @ScorpionPW , thank you both for sharing your experiences as a peer worker! It sounds like really empowering and positive work, which clearly means so much to both of you. I know our forums wouldn't be the same without you guys! I also really like the emphasis on recovery but on outcome, recovery looks different for everyone, and this is a space that acknowledges that.

    I'd love to hear from some of our members @Minnie mouse , @Gardengirl68 , @Simply me is there anything in particular you'd like to find out from these guys? They're really a wealth of knowledge!
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    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 100
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Sun May 30, 2021 6:08 pm

    We also have a peer-support-worker amongst our members. @Katiee, would love to hear your view on what is peer-support? And how has it helped you in your recovery journey?
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    Simply me
    Member
    Posts: 61
    Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:51 pm

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Sun May 30, 2021 9:18 pm

    Hhhhmm @Craig PW and @ScorpionPW and @Katiee and folks,
    Seems to me peer work is a bit of a juggle in life between role modeling and maintaining vulnerability?
    Do you reckon this is something we can all learn to carry, and that this is part of the humaness of the role?

    Experientially I have a question or twenty :lol: , relating to navigating difficult emotions, do you feel this underlies and is the challenge faced by many folk on this journey? Hhmmm mayhap Ill leave it there in the now....

    Blessings n good vibes.....
    2 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 98
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:06 pm

    It's a great question @Simply me...For me, I couldn't have done peer work til I was far along enough in my own recovery and to have worked through enough of my own stuff to be able to disclose my lived experience without it bringing up big emotions for me. Basically, I had to do the work and get solid recovery in my life before I could role model that recovery.

    You are totally right though that peer work is a careful balancing act of role modelling healthy relationships by negotiating boundaries whilst maintaining connection at the same time, working within an organisations framework whilst minimising hierarchy between yourself and those you're working with and always leading with the footprint of purposefully disclosing your lived experience.

    I think that anybody can learn to carry themselves in a way where they can support people on their journeys whilst maintaining their own vulnerability and boundaries...but it just goes to show that it takes more than lived experience alone to be able to do peer work.

    The great thing about peer support though, is that it takes a lot of different forms and outside of formalised settings, you can see the value of somebody who has been through something helping somebody else who is going through that same thing everywhere.

    I definitely believe that a huge driver for addiction is not being able to bare to be present in ones life. A big part of that can be a fear of experiencing negative emotions and not being able to cope with them. I know that a big lesson for me was learning that my feelings can't kill me and with the right support around me, I could give myself permission to feel my emotions, process them and actually work through things instead of continuously reaching for something outside of myself to change the way I feel and stuff it down.

    I think these are great questions to ask, so keep them coming if there's anything else you're wondering about this stuff? :)
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    Katiee
    Member
    Posts: 30
    Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:54 pm

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:39 pm

    What is peer support? Someone who has lived experience and a general understanding of what living life with addiction is like. Someone who just “gets it” I have had my own experience with having peer support for my own journey and it was vital as they helped challenge me on levels no one else could. I’m currently a peer support worker myself and find it extremely rewarding. It’s nice bonding with people who simply just get addiction and all the in’s and outs of its
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 75
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:16 pm

    @Katiee thank you for sharing your own experiences with peer-support. In what ways did your own peer workers challenge you? It sounds like your current work has been an integral to your journey, and that it's been something which has brought you a lot in the way of support and connection. I like how you highlight the importance of being able to be around people who understand how complex and individual recovery is, it makes such a difference.
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    Katiee
    Member
    Posts: 30
    Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:54 pm

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:12 am

    They would challenge in ways a professional couldn’t. Like I would be forever doubting myself and my ability to maintain recovery, and they would say hey they are shining examples that recovery is achievable.
    3 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 98
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:34 pm

    Great to see you back on here @Katiee! :D

    I really like what you said about someone who just "gets it". I know that one of the most relieving things about getting support from other people in recovery on my journey was that I didn't have to explain myself or try to "make them understand" because they just did.

    I also remember going to meetings for the first time, hearing people share about what they'd lived through but the person sitting in front of me looked so different than the person they were describing. That gave me so much hope and helped me believe that it was possible for me to find a new way to live.

    How are things sitting with you leading into the weekend?
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    Rattle36
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:53 pm

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:27 pm

    Hi guys, looking for some advice to help me with one of my main problems.
    Lately I keep getting tempted to have a line of cocaine at home in an evening, I’m not sure why because I know how it ends up every time, with me not being able to stop until there’s none left. Sometimes that lasts until the next afternoon, I’ve called in sick to work because I’m in a state. The drug isn’t even doing anything for me anymore apart from keeping me awake. How can I beat or stop that craving to keep going back for more?
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    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 100
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: What is peer support and what to expect?

    Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:43 pm

    Hi @Rattle36,

    Welcome to the forums! It's great that you've reached out for support.

    There's really no one size fits all in terms of the advice we can provide because every person's health is different and it also depends on how long you've been using it, frequency, tolerance, etc. Without further context, the only advice is go see your GP. Cocaine interacts with the reward system in the brain that involves mainly dopamine amongst other chemicals like serotonin. It's very likely a GP might prescribe you an antidepressant to get you through the withdrawal phase until the cravings eventually decrease. There's always two sides of addiction: the physical and the psychological aspect. So it's also helpful for you to identify which needs to be addressed.

    Aside from seeing a GP, I highly encourage you to read the fact sheet on cocaine in the ADF website. If you would like to speak to a counsellors, you can speak to an alcohol and other drugs counsellor 24/7 for free on the following numbers:

    -Australian Capital Territory (02) 6207 9977
    -New South Wales 1800 422 599 (Regional) (02) 9361 8000 (Metropolitan)
    -Northern Territory 1800 131 350
    -Queensland 1800 177 833 (Regional) (07) 3837 5989 (Metropolitan)
    -South Australia 1300 131 340
    -Tasmania 1800 811 994
    -Victoria 1800 888 236 (DirectLine)
    -Western Australia 1800 198 024 (Regional) (08) 9442 5000 (Metropolitan)

    Perhaps @PnorkelPW or @ScorpionPW have some words of wisdom to share.

    Hope this helps and please keep reaching out at anytime. We're here to help.
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