Addiction

newproject_1_original-6Addiction lives everywhere, out in the open, behind closed doors, within families, between friends and between co-dependent partners. Some addictions are not immediately life threatening. Many people still smoke every day and drink every weekend. In society these are the lesser evils because they do not immediately ruin lives. They may kill you in the end but the impact on those surrounding you are, for the most part, minimal. Unless of course you’re a raging alcoholic. Most addicts are addicts in secret. They are used to operating in secret by covering up their ‘signs’ and they usually have ‘enablers’, who can be just as detrimental as the addiction itself.

Sadly, as a society we are quick to judge addicts, particularly those whose problems involve Class A drugs such as heroin and crack. ‘Bag head’, ‘tramp’, ‘druggy’, ‘user’, ‘addict’, ‘you should be ashamed of yourself’ etc. Unfortunately, addiction isn’t easy to break, hence why some people remain addicts all their life. Breaking addictions takes enormous, willpower, bags of love and in some cases absolute force. The difficulty of this is that families usually fall apart one way or another and the support isn’t there. This could be due to the addict relying on thieving, lying, scheming and manipulating, to gain whatever substance or elation they are seeking.

20170729_124355The only way to start removing addiction from someone’s life is to first stop their enabler. Enablers are the people who provide the means for addictions to continue. These people are always prevalent where addiction lives, particularly gambling addiction. The addict can spend their entire months wage on bets in a single day and the enabler will replace that for them, usually because they are terrified at what will happen if they let them sink. It is imperative though that you LET THEM SINK. Don’t be fooled by love or obligation. You are literally helping this person destroy themselves and the life they have built. In the moment you refuse to ‘enable them’ they will say absolutely anything to change your mind, ‘I will kill myself’, ‘I will tell people your secrets’, ‘I have no money for food’. This can be alarming and it takes a morally strong person to see through the deceit and say ‘HELL NO’. Nine times out of ten the addict won’t do anything, they have just hit rock bottom and will resort to any means to manipulate you. Even if they did take drastic action at your refusal, that responsibility lies with them not your conscience. The more you enable addictions to continue, the less likely they will ever end, meaning you are20170729_124419 also now in the vicious cycle. When you have nothing more to give, the addict will push for you to bring in another enabler to fund the addiction. The only light at the end of the tunnel is that the wheels will eventually drop off because there isn’t an endless supply of money. The addict will either end up homeless or facing the music of the person they were hiding their addiction from. The only way out is ultimate acknowledgement and acceptance. An addict must really feel what they have done to others and themselves and let it consume them, so they can resolve to do better and start to rebuild their own self-worth.

Self-esteem plays a major part in addiction. For instance, gambling may not be the root issue, it could just be symptom of something deeper like anxiety, depression or trying to fund substance abuse. Substance abuse can stem from manipulation, control or physical abuse at the hands of someone else, whether in childhood, adolescence or in a very present situation. Whatever the facts of the case, don’t be too quick to dismiss an addict. Of course there are those that have completely fallen off and can’t be brought back but many are crying on the inside to be saved.

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Dealing with an addict is a balancing act. You don’t want to be a hero and risk your own life being stolen to fund the vices of an addict and you don’t want to completely ignore their plight. If you are personally suffering in such a situation then you need to create and implement your own strict rules. This could be never having the addict your house, however, you will arrange to meet them elsewhere such as a café. Stop giving them money but offer emotional support and be their voice of reason. Prevent yourself being emotionally entangled by their pleas of desperation by being brutally honest. ‘I can’t eat today’ they say and you respond ‘but you could’ve if you hadn’t wasted the money you had yesterday on your addiction’. 20170729_124527This may sound cruel, although it does put the addict in a place where they have to consider and be accountable for their actions and the circumstances they have created for themselves. Remind them of their potential and how much you love them, even if it falls on deaf ears. If you have the strength to continue this mantra then it may progress to you convincing them to seek professional help once and for all. Leaving addiction behind takes baby steps so don’t get frustrated if the addict takes five steps forward and ten steps back. As long as you are protecting your own interests and wellbeing that’s all that matters. If they never change, at least you know you did everything in your power to help them in the correct way.

If the addict does not get to a point where they want to change their life for the better then it may be wise to accept this and exit their life for good.

The first step to happiness

newproject_1_original-5The meaning of happiness is different to each and every one of us. For some it is treasuring the time spent with family and friends, for others it is financial freedom. The rest is made up of hobbies, whatever those maybe, travel, sport, reading etc. All of these aspects of happiness are reached with the same first step, which is:

Realising you have the right to choose.

More often than not, we live for other people. We may not intend to but the pushy overbearing natures of some individuals leaves us backed into an uncomfortable corner. Before we know it we are spending Christmas in the place we said we definitely wouldn’t, we‘ve paid for a holiday we don’t want to go on and we’ve committed to a slap up meal at an expensive restaurant we can’t afford. It could even be other burdens like looking after family and/or friends.

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Yes I said it.

Not everyone wants to spend their life looking after others but they feel they are obligated to, usually by other people. Just because someone is your family or friend, it doesn’t mean they have the right to dictate anything to you, especially how to live your life. There are stories of people losing those close to them because they did not choose them as a bridesmaid, invite them to an event or visit that person. Are these really people who care? If someone loves you and cares for your wellbeing, they will tell you to do whatever makes you happy, even if that means them missing out. Sadly, this species of human is few and far between. More often than not, the people surrounding us have set expectations of our actions and often presume and assume we will do whatever task they conjure up next.

So how do we get out that one?

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Simple. We say no!

Saying no takes balls if you are not naturally assertive and it is always better to say no in a polite way. You may want to offer up an explanation if you feel really bad, although it is probably better not to bother. If you are 100% soft 99% of the time then the people who know you will be so taken a back at your ‘no’ that they may sense it is unwise to question you further. If they do ask why you’ve said no, try get into the habit of saying ‘I just don’t want to’, or ‘it’s not for me’. Just like you are not obligated to cave into their demands, you are not required to provide evidence to satisfy them either. Whatever reaction you have received you should not feel guilty because you have been true to yourself. If the person wants to make an issue of it then they have not considered you and your feelings anyway.

Keeping your behaviour and responses surprising keeps others on their toes. They are 20170724_123911less likely to harass you to do x y z when you’ve just finished a b and c for them. They will also start to treat you with respect the more you give answers that are true to how you really feel. If this does not breed respect then you will have to use some ruthless scissors to snip them from your life. Life really is too short to tolerate shitty people who refuse to understand and accept you.

Another aspect to the first step of happiness is accepting that others may reject you on the quest for their own happiness. They have the right to say no too and the best way to respond to them is with humility. Their decisions should not determine your worth or your life path, so don’t take offence!

Ultimately, you should want anyone you care about to be happy and as stated, that usually means the freedom to do what they want without negative feelings, or people unnecessarily holding them back. We all risk waking up one day to find we have ran out of time to do what we really wanted to.

So start saying no to others…and say yes to yourself!

Your Opinion

newproject_1_original-4Many conflicts arise from a difference in opinion. One side cannot accept that the other disagrees with their clear logical determination of a subject. What they fail to see it that the other side feels the same way as they do, they just accept they’re different people. The aggressor’s outright blindness and refusal to entertain a thought they don’t agree with is ultimately related to ego. Admitting they have been hasty in their opinion or having their facts proven wrong can be an enormous hit on personal pride, self-worth and self-allusion.  If you are a particularly intuitive person then you may sniff these people out as soon as you meet them and have the smarts to keep conversations with them ‘safe’, by avoiding any controversial or sensitive subjects. If you are somewhat away with the fairies when it comes to tact and other people’s emotions, then chances are you have already upset many people by refusing to give in to their opinion.

Humbling one’s self to consider an opinion we disagree with is a major opportunity for learning and self-growth. Not only does it make us better communicators, it boosts our self-esteem because we have no ego to try hide.  People aren’t admired for always being ‘right’, they are admired for their uniqueness, which only radiates out of us when we are being truly open and honest about who we are. The more we allow ourselves to be…ourselves, the less we get offended by the opinions of others. After all, we all take different paths and experiences so having different opinions are a natural extension of that.

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Another aspect of your opinion is WHEN to give it.  Our internal drive to help, be right or just get involved in an issue without invitation can be damaging when it comes to our relationships. We must consider if our opinion is really needed. Will it help? Will it add value to conversation? Will it cause argument? Is this really anything to do with me?

For instance, a friend comes to see you and they’re feeling very down and upset after having an argument with their partner. All they really want is light company, consisting of emotional support and positive vibes. Instead you flip out and tell them they are stupid for getting together with them in the first place and that they are deluded if they go back. Does this really help? Does what happen under their roof directly impact on your day to day life? No, probably not. So, in that moment you can help your friend heal quicker by showing them kindness and compassion.

At work, you have a colleague who you absolutely detest. Another colleague, who you quite like, is getting on swimmingly with them. Do you pull them to one side and say ‘hey, in my opinion they will screw you over.’? No, you do not. For the simple fact that they may relate to that person in a way you never could. They are their own person and if they’re of working age, then they’re grown up enough to determine who is worth building rapport is and who isn’t. The best way to play it at work is to not give a negative opinion on any relationships you witness, just treat everyone equally and with respect. It’s always okay to have an opinion but it’s not okay tear people down with it.

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In the right situation, your opinions could propel you further that ever. It’s about choosing the right moment for the right impact. If your friend dumps that bloke they were crying about then giving your negative opinion might just cheer them up! And if that colleague has the trouble you predicted then you can emotionally support and advise them with your own opinions and experience.

The bottom line is, if you make people feel stupid or berate them for thinking or acting in a way you disagree with, then it is likely you will lose them. Analyse the situation and think if it is wise to give your opinion. If they request your honest brutal judgement then give it to them with a bit of understanding, like the nice person that you are. If you are aware that some big stuff has gone down with someone and they haven’t asked your opinion, then they clearly don’t want it, so leave them to their business.

The only exception to this discussion is if you think someone is being physically harmed or there is something taking place which is severely detrimental to them, perhaps emotional manipulation and/or control. Even in these circumstances though, caution and compassion must be exercised so you don’t push them further away.

20170720_195016Lastly, if you find people avoiding conversations with you then try considering if your mouth is overtaking your head. Some people just don’t enjoy hearing the uninvited opinions of others and having their own beliefs challenged. Especially if you’re ramming your life’s accumulation of thoughts down their neck so they don’t know who they are anymore.

 

Accept that everyone sees the world differently and concentrate on moulding yours.

Just my opinion 😉

 

DIFFERENT CLASS by Rebecca Gatenby

 

Well hello there sir,

Yes you, opposite me on this train

 

Suited and booted

Upper lip curled

Carrying a look of disdain

 

I am sorry dear sir

If my attire offends

Suits like yours are not often required around these ends

 

I will hazard a guess that you’re just passing through?

I can’t imagine any business here would concern one as smart as you

 

May I enquire what you’re reading?

You assume too intellectual for me?

 

Shoes polished

Cigar in mouth

One hand on your knee

 

Ah it is a Bronte novel you hold in the other hand!

A change of expression, you do not understand?

Well of course I’m well acquainted

They were women of my land

Do not presume your status sir gives you the upper hand

 

As a literate man, you should know better than to judge a book by its cover

Yet in life it appears you don’t apply this rule

You have no urge to discover?

 

We may seem like simple folk

Simply spoken, simply dressed

But there’s much more than meets the eye

With our minds, not clothing, we’re blessed.

 

We are each from a different class

Yet we are but the same

We both possess a functioning brain

And blood runs through our veins

 

We are not so different you and I

So, try not to look down your nose

You may end up in my position ONE Day sir

Depending which way the wind blows.

Realisation Blog #61

newproject_1_original-3Those people who just seem to have it all. No financial worries, loyal friends, self-employment and a life full of adventures. The decisions they make do not, for the most part, backfire and they continue their upward spiral. Do you ever look at these people in wonderment or even envy? How did they do that? How did they end up there? Well, many of these individuals have a good start in life whether it be a secure family unit, a decent education or parents with sacks full of cash. Then there are those who didn’t have all those wonderful things tied up with string and they had to literally build their life from the bottom up, brick by brick.

And therein lies your answer.

There is a choice. The choice to realise your own true potential or to bury it and live in the system that so many of us curse. The realisation that we have this choice hits people at different times in their life. Some realise it young and dive into their dreams headfirst, others live with their heads in the clouds for a few decades then it clicks… and the rest may never realise it. This potential isn’t literally about being rich and successful, it is about discovering what gives you fulfillment and chasing it down until it is yours.

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In every corner of the world there are successful people who appear to be idiots. Noted, that isn’t a nice statement to make but we have all thought this about someone at some point. ‘How do they even do this or have that?’ The difference between the successful and the stale is that successful people 100% believe in their personal goals and ambitions. Another part of the ‘realisation’ is that nobody apart from you is willing to give your dreams a go. The fear of failing can be paralysing even though we know the consequence of failing…is failing. It doesn’t mean we can’t try again by adapting our approach.  We may need to adapt it 100 times. And this is how success is made, by not giving up.

Screenshot_20170717-202709Like any new project, you must get your teeth into it and have the willpower to be consistent over an extended period. If there are aspects to your dream you don’t understand, like running a day to day business or something random like painting techniques, then there are ways and means of finding out. It is all dependent on the level of effort you are committed to putting in. For instance, this blog may have never appeared if the writer chose to waste hours watching others live their dreams out on YouTube, however, willpower overrode that desire and now you’re sat reading this!

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So, we are programmed to settle for our circumstances. Even though every one of us can break the ceiling we were born under and reach new levels of our self. The first step is to plan, the second is to implement and the third…is to not let your arse drop out at the first hurdle. Dreams die when dreamers stop dreaming and outside influences tend to impact heavily on this. Tell people your dreams and they will say you’re aiming too high, wasting money, wasting time or that what you are doing will not work. But how do they know if they have never done it?

The truth is people have a fear of you realising your potential and acting on it. It could be out of love or hate but either way, realising your potential breeds change and change is scary for those who want you to stay exactly as you are.

 

 

Bitter & Sweet

The woman was bitter,

it danced around her lips.

The girl was sweet,

she walked with swinging hips.

 

For a time they conversed,

with a hint of uncomfortable air.

Sweet kept the peace

and Bitter’s nostrils were in flare.

 

Over time it became quite clear

that they could not get along.

Bitter was full of venom

and Sweet was full of song.

 

Sweet exuded empathy

for the hate in Bitter’s heart.

Bitter exuded aggression,

tearing Sweet apart.

 

Sweet changed her name to Stress,

she could not take the pain,

that Bitter insisted giving,

leaving Sweet in the rain.

 

Just as Sweet changed to Stress,

Bitter began to change too.

Her heart was blackened beyond repair,

then Evil emerged anew.

 

Evil reduced Stress to Nothing.

At least that’s how she felt.

Evil took pleasure in knowing,

she had one more under belt.

 

Then Nothing began to realise

she could not sink further.

The only way was up.

And Evil was in for murder.

 

Nothing changed her name again,

she emerged to the sun as Hope.

As Evil saw her changing,

she knew she would not gloat.

 

For Hope is neither above or below,

she stands alone instead.

And as she grew taller,

she looked down at Evil’s head.

 

Evil changed her name again,

she became the face of Pity.

For she knew that her heart

was no longer pretty.

 

Rather than change to Remorse,

Pity wallowed in her life.

Now every day in every way

she seeks to cause some strife.

 

Whilst Hope was sad at this,

She did not dwell for long.

For Hope found the world was better

when she sang her old Sweet song.

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CONTRACEPTIVE PILL

newproject_1_originalBefore we get into the dark ‘truth’ about these Monday to Sunday pills, we should get ourselves familiar with the back story. Basically, society want to have sex without getting pregnant and without the restriction of condoms. The condom part is largely male driven because let’s face it…. women just want to feel erm…full. Pardon my crudeness. Interestingly, the pill was only initially available to married women when it was released in 1961. God forbid we should be caught with our knickers down if we didn’t have a husband. ‘That girl ought to be ashamed of herself!’. This rule lasted all of six years because the pharmaceutical companies realised ‘Hey there is a large profit to be made here!’. Hence why your doctor prescribes meds for everything instead of encouraging natural ways of healing…but that’s clearly a blog for another day!

Now, according to this article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15984258 , the contraceptive pill has been called the greatest scientific invention of the 20th Century. Which it probably is…for men. This article also states that 70% of women in the UK are on the pill or have taken it at some point in their lives. Now that is scary. As you have been patient in reading this introduction, all shall now be revealed. Side note: I felt it important to share this in case other women are struggling and they can’t figure out why.

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I have been known to my family as RUTH. Short for RUTHLESS. Not a very endearing name to say the least. From the age of 14 years old I went on the pill to regulate and reduce the pain of my period. Had those side effects been the only ones I may still be on it now. For the next ten years of my life I would have a cloudy, angry mind, an extremely short fuse and endless migraines. The migraines were unbearable. The longest was 28 hours and I couldn’t leave my bed or come out from under the covers. Painkillers didn’t even dent them. I literally thought my brain was going to explode. During a shift at the bookies one day, my vision went blurry, I couldn’t speak and I couldn’t add up. I fell off my chair and pulled myself into the toilet and turned the light off until the duty manager arrived. On reflection, the symptoms suggested a minor stroke but because I was 19 and naive, I dismissed it.

It’s hard to say which was the most difficult, the migraines or the moods. If I was calling a company about a bill I would end up flipping even if the advisor I was speaking to was giving world class customer service. But to me the inconvenience of having to take 5 minutes out of my day to make a premium call to a company I don’t want to speak to was torture. Even during dialling I would hyperventilate with anger and just wait for a reason to start screaming. After these types of calls I would just sit and cry out of frustration and bae would be like ‘seriously though what did you get out of that’ and the guilt would set in.

Other instances have included calling my father derogatory names and telling him to get out of my life, ripping cables and wires out of walls, destroying my own possessions because being destructive helped rid me of the energy that took over my body. Because I had no rational thought I would spend my wages without a second thought and leave myself without basic needs such as food. Shopping also made me feel better…. which is ironic as I knew eventually I would destroy what I bought in a rage with my bare hands. The worst habit I got into, which I still do today but much more diplomatically, is tell people uncomfortable truths. If my comments upset my nearest and dearest I would just say something like ‘well the truth hurts…. bitch’. How awful! When I think back to how I felt during those years I could vomit in disgust.

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Whilst there were hundreds of occurrences like this, there was one thought I had which still makes me shiver now. The strong deep-seated feeling that I wanted to slowly tear somebody’s limbs off. I’d pray for a woman (or a man!) to start something so I could get into a scrap and rid myself of the strong feelings that were coursing through my veins like snakes. Had my love not loved me so much, I may have never recognised that I had lost my shit completely and needed to find a way back to rational thought. Neither of us considered the pill was the root cause so I tried exercising, eating healthy, getting more sleep, changing my surroundings….and alas nothing changed.

The penny dropped when I started to become conscious of what I was eating. Watching programmes like ‘The Sugar Documentary’ opened my eyes to what chemicals in foods do to the body. Consuming the parasitic chemicals in processed food could lead to serious illnesses such as cancer, as well as restricting day to day life due to the internal reactions they cause. Once I cleaned up my diet, I was devastated to find the feeling was still there lurking in the background. It was like a shadow that started at my feet, twisted up tightly around my body and finally made a permanent evil settlement in my brain, squeezing the life out of my rational thought.

So, after one particularly bad day of wanting to murder the world and smash up my house, I happened across the leaflet of the contraceptive pill I was taking. I’d never really given the side effects a thought before and my interest in how chemicals impacted on the brain and body roused my interest. In my contraceptive taking lifetime I used Microgynon, Yasmin and Cilest so I decided to look at the side effects in more detail (on an actual PC because phones didn’t have standard internet then…lol). The points below are the side effects I personally experienced from taking the contraceptive pill and these are listed in their literature-

  • Headaches/Migraines
  • a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches
  • Increased chance of blood clotting
  • Depression
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Disturbance in liver function
  • Mood swings

Serious Side effects

  • sudden and severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance

In the case of Yasmin, 6.7% women were discontinued from the clinical trials due to an adverse reaction and yet this product is available to young girls and women around the world!

After some discussion with bae, I decided to just stop taking it. I didn’t go to my doctor as I didn’t feel they would take me seriously. Every time I discussed contraception they tried to convince me to get the implant in my arm. Having heard and seen horror stories about the implant, I told my doctor I didn’t want to be asked about this again and I asked him to make a note of this on my file.

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The Results

Well, what can I say…a week in with no pill down my neck and I felt like a phoenix rising from the flames. My mind was clearer than it had been since my school days. My brain went to the laughter function quite easily and never strayed into angry thoughts. If it tried to, I could acknowledge them and send them away. I was rational again! The heavy cloud of being misunderstood and miserable floated away to find some other poor soul. Bae said it was like he’d met me for the first time all over again. Then that got me thinking, how many relationships have fallen apart because of this? How many women were feeling worthless, misunderstood, depressed and/or suicidal? From that moment on I told myself I would never put my reproduction system in the hands of a man made chemical again. Inhibiting my eggs for years at a time was not natural to me and the thought of potential damage to my cycle consumed me. Luckily, everything settled down after around three months or so. Experiencing a proper period after 10 years was hard going but I took joy from knowing my body was functioning as nature intended, not as a man in a lab intended.

Since my experience, I have seen other women go through the same struggle. During a camping trip, my usually kind hearted and fun friend was in a foul mood. Her temper was so short she threw a bag of metal pans at her brother! Immediately after she felt so consumed with anger, regret and upset she even exclaimed ‘what’s wrong with me?!’. She too stopped taking the pill and felt rational and happy after just a week too. So, whether you agree with the pill or not, the struggle is real for many women and they are better off using the natural method. If this story sounds familiar to you, I urge you to stop taking it for just a few weeks and I guarantee you will feel a million times better!

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2007/sep/12/health.medicineandhealth

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/sexual-health/a7829/cilest-ethinylestradiol-and-norgestimate/

http://www.rxlist.com/yasmin-side-effects-drug-center.htm

http://www.dokteronline.com/en/microgynon-30/package-leaflet/