I have recently made what I hope will be a massive life changing decision. After long discussions with loved ones, friends and professionals I have decided to say farewell to something that has been a huge part of my life for more years than I care to remember.
I`ll undergo a chemically assisted home detox then over to me to start a life without....
I`ll tell you about it here.
I`d like to tell you a little more about SMART recovery,
the providers of the group I attend, and the organisation I am training to be a
meeting facilitator for.
Here’s a bit of stuff stolen directly from their website,
outlining the approach and ethos of the company.
ABOUT SMART RECOVERY
We help people recover from addictive behaviour and lead
meaningful and satisfying lives.
Our approach is secular and science based; using motivational, behavioural and
We run a network of self-help meetings and also partner with
• Teaches self-empowerment and self-reliance.
• Provides meetings that are educational,
supportive and focussed on open discussions.
• Supports the use of prescribed medications and
psychological treatments where appropriate.
• Can be used to tackle any form of addictive
behaviour, including drugs and alcohol, gambling
• Evolves as scientific knowledge in addiction
SMART Recovery (SMART) is a science-based programme to
help people manage their recovery from any type of addictive behaviour. This
includes addictive behaviour with substances such as alcohol, nicotine or
drugs, or compulsive behaviours such as gambling, sex, eating, shopping,
self-harming and so on. SMART stands for ‘Self Management And Recovery
SMART began in 1994 in the United States. It has grown
into a worldwide network of self-help meetings, both face-to-face and online,
where participants can get help from others in recovery. SMART operates as a
non-profit organisation in many countries including the United States, the UK,
Canada and Australia.
There is no single approach to recovery that is right for
everyone. Research into various recovery methods and therapies suggests that
mutual aid can help recovery and so can treatment – a combination of the two is
probably even better for many people.
SMART Recovery helps participants decide whether they
have a problem, builds up their motivation to change and offers a set of proven
tools and techniques to support recovery. This is the SMART Recovery 4-point
Building and maintaining motivation
Coping with urges
Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviours
Living a balanced life
People can stay with SMART as long as they wish. There is
no requirement to make a lifetime commitment to the programme, just to their
recovery and leading a healthier life.
Many people find that continuing to participate in SMART
after they have recovered helps them avoid lapses or relapses. Some will
volunteer to train as Facilitators and set up further meetings. Others simply
continue to attend meetings and share their experiences with others.
Within SMART, labels are not thought to help with recovery
and are avoided. People are not called ‘addicts’, ‘alcoholics’, ’druggies’,
’overeaters’, ’sex addicts’ or other disparaging labels within meetings.
SMART Recovery will not be able to help with every kind
of problem, and participants are encouraged to seek professional help when
There are degrees of addictive behaviour and almost
everyone will experience this, to some degree, at some point in their life. For
some, addictive behaviour will overwhelm their life and SMART Recovery can be
an important and effective part of their recovery journey.
Just recently in the SMART group we have been discussing
urges and how to deal with them. I still get plenty, varying intensities and
triggered by varying things. I generally use a mixture of mindfulness and
thoughts about what would happen if I gave in to the urge to keep me on the
straight and narrow. Sometimes easy, sometimes hard but so far all manageable.
Over the weekend I received a letter bearing bad news. The subject of the news doesn’t
matter here, suffice to say it was quite a blow. Stopped me dead in my tracks
it did. The first thing that came in to my head was “Christ I need a drink”. It
actually took most of the tricks and skills I have been taught so far to fight
the urge. Made me realise that I may be over a month dry but there’s still no
room for complacency. That urge can turn into a lapse in no time at all. Without
the skills I am acquiring from SMART who knows what could have happened. Luckily
today I seem to back to “normal” whatever that may be.
In other news we completed week 3 of our couch to 5k today, every time
we go out it seems a little easier. Week 4 sees a fairly big step up in running
time but neither of us feel at all daunted by this. Bring it on!