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  • Addiction and Connection

    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.
    initae89
    Member
    Posts: 62
    Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:02 am

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Thu Aug 19, 2021 6:39 pm

    I moved to Australia almost 2 years ago to be with my partner. I had no friends here (apart from his) and I also do not have regular employment. Most of the time, I am at home alone. Listening to that TED Talk and reading the responses here made me realize it was more than boredom that made me use drugs. It was also the loneliness I felt for large parts of the week when I was just alone.

    I have just decided to start my recovery journey and I am looking for ways to connect socially with others.
    2 x
    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 372
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Sun Aug 22, 2021 12:27 pm

    Hi @initae89,

    Welcome to the forums! Congratulations on deciding to begin your recovery journey and well done on for reaching out here for social connection. :)

    I can relate to the difficulty of making friends in a foreign country as I moved here 2.5 years ago and have come across my own challenges to increase my social network. You're spot on with what the TED Talk you mention explained, some of the main reasons for substance use are often boredom and loneliness. I would recommend you have a read at our Let's Talk: How to make new friends? thread, where you'll find some ideas such as volunteering or joining a recreational group activity. You might also like to read the Let's Talk: Hobbies and recovery thread.

    Hope you find the information above useful and I'm looking forward to following your journey. :D
    0 x
    initae89
    Member
    Posts: 62
    Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:02 am

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Mon Aug 23, 2021 6:55 pm

    This is so true. I really need friends. Over the years, I slowly reduced the number of friends, thinking that so many friends were toxic.

    I'm a shy person so making friends does not come naturally to me. I wish it were easier but I feel that volunteering may be for me. It is a structured way of meeting new people and also a way to give back to someone or some organization!
    4 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 369
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Mon Aug 23, 2021 8:55 pm

    Have you ever been to NA @initae89?

    It's entirely self supporting and it's entirely run by people in recovery. They hold meetings where you can go and meet people who have been through similar things as you but found a new way to live. There is also service you can do there, even if it's rocking up to a meeting a bit early and helping to set up the chairs or hanging around for a little bit afterwards and helping to wash up the cups. They have a saying which is "we can only keep what we have by giving it away".

    These meetings really helped me a lot and being in the peer support environment on a daily basis, especially in the early days was so important to build new connections and find people who I could relate to but who were on the other side of the fence so to speak. People who were like minded because they'd lived through addiction, but who were now in recovery and have found a new way to live.

    There's lot's of meetings on Zoom as well if you're currently somewhere that's in lockdown. Anyway, if you have any questions about it or want any more info on how to find some meetings then just let us know :)
    3 x
    initae89
    Member
    Posts: 62
    Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:02 am

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Thu Aug 26, 2021 11:00 am

    Hi @ScorpionPW No I haven't been to one. It would be quite intimidating - kind of like the first day of school. But I think I should. I did look at the website sometime back.
    3 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 369
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:44 pm

    Yeah I know what you mean @initae89, I was really scared at my first meeting and I pretty much just sat there and balled my eyes out the whole time.

    One thing that helped me was realising that everybody there had walked into their first meeting at some point as well and I was so supported from the start.

    Just so you know as well there's meetings on Zoom so you can dial into a meeting and see what you think without having to go in person from the get go if that feels like an easier way to see what you think about it.

    I'm not sure what area you live in but here's the meetings list for NA meetings in VIC:

    https://www.navic.net.au/meetings/

    If you have any questions about it then @PnorkelPW and I can talk about anything you'd like to.

    Anyway, let us know how you go :)
    1 x
    OceanSky
    Junior Member
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:04 am

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:47 am

    Hi @initae89 👋 I get where you are coming from! I also feel the loneliness, for different reasons - being in lockdown alone in a regional are unable to go anywhere or see anyone. It really sucks when trying to stop relapsing. I was hoping to find like minded people in this forum to connect with and support each other.
    1 x
    initae89
    Member
    Posts: 62
    Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:02 am

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Mon Aug 30, 2021 9:03 am

    OceanSky wrote:
    Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:47 am
    Hi @initae89 👋 I get where you are coming from! I also feel the loneliness, for different reasons - being in lockdown alone in a regional are unable to go anywhere or see anyone. It really sucks when trying to stop relapsing. I was hoping to find like minded people in this forum to connect with and support each other.
    Yes, @OceanSky - I really feel this is a great forum to feel less alone. It's really great to keep me in recovery.
    1 x
    OceanSky
    Junior Member
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:04 am

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Mon Aug 30, 2021 6:53 pm

    Thanks @initae89. Good to know and I’ll give it a try 😊
    0 x
    CRAZYGRANNY
    Junior Member
    Posts: 11
    Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:46 pm

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:49 am

    Hi I’m here to introduce myself this is all new and wasn’t aware of this help and support available which I found out today. I’m a huge advocator for lived experience and believe it’s one of the most effective communication and support available when someone can identify your struggles and journey. Unfortunately, I myself haven’t been so fortunate in receiving this help but I’m aware it’s becoming a lot better, still needs work but a vast improvement from the past and stigma associated with drug addiction and mental health. My journey began 2007 within the public hospital settings and public mental health system. Over a decade of multiple admissions and diagnosis came with it great stigma from professionals working within these systems and every admission was seen as my diagnosis and behaviours they believed associated with this. I was treated terribly over and over and never looked deeper behind these so called behaviours. There was so much more going on behind my need to use drugs and medicate myself continually to the point where it then lead to many near fatal overdoses. I was in a marriage the whole time and being emotionally and physically abused and manipulated to believe it was myself that was crazy. It was a world of unexplained pain, trauma that I couldn’t identify myself was seeking help desperately but no one saw past my diagnosis and behaviours. It wasn’t til I attempted suicide as my only way out and when, amazingly survived left my marriage, became homeless, bankrupt, jobless and very broken from a broken system that failed me over and over. It was only through my own fight back and advocating to the right services did things improve and I made change happen. Finally through this process the system has new notes and history and awareness of the trauma hidden behind each cry for help. My passion is to be a lived experience worker myself so these changes can happen and no one should go through what I experienced. Also advocating for others is also a passion because it’s often difficult to identify your problems and then know how to go about reaching the right people that can help and make changes to these problems that believe me still exist as a recent personal experience once more but now I know how to address it. I started studying this year with a scholarship to be that lived experience worker within mental health and drugs and alcohol but I became quickly aware that I myself needed a lot more work on myself to be truly beneficial to others.
    So currently I’m in the process and I still struggle with past lifetime trauma that lead me down destructive paths and working hard to see patterns but through the counseling process dealing with the trauma beginning from childhood which is a common thread it’s becoming even more challenging to move through over 50 years but I know there is healing that comes from this. I just hope by sharing some of my story, people can relate and get the right help with the right people especially when you share lived experience, my journey could have been so different and less painful but I believe I’m still here to help others now how to go about advocating for themselves and reaching out for the right organisations available.
    Thanks for listening
    0 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 456
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Addiction and Connection

    Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:58 pm

    Amazing what you've been able to overcome @CRAZYGRANNY .............thanks so much for sharing.

    I got into working in the Alcohol and Other Drug field through my own lived experience with addiction and it's been extremely rewarding. Over the last few years I've seen a system that's begun to make some big changes to the way it operates with the Peer and Lived Experience workforce beginning to really grow. I began as a peer worker and have moved through to different roles but being able to share my lived experience still plays a big role in my work.

    There's always work to do on ourselves and there always will be..........your lived experience will help you to help lots of other people. What you have survived will be the key that helps others unlock their stories and offer hope that they may not have had before.

    I'd love to hear how things are going for you at the moment
    0 x

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