Sir Anthony Hopkins talks about alcohol

I spent 16 years living in Wales, first on the Gower Peninsula near Swansea and later in the country near Cardiff. Beautiful places to live.

Two of Wales’s greatest actors had alcohol problems at some stage of their lives. Here is one, the man who appeared in one of my favourite films, Silence of the Lambs.

My Favourite Blogs: Beth Burgess – ‘What is Recovery from Addiction?’

I love this piece of film from Beth Burgess, a recovery coach with Smyls.
 
There’s a big difference between sobriety and recovery. Beth points out that many people give up trying to stop drinking after a few days because it feels too difficult. They don’t realise that these bad feelings don’t last if you make the journey to recovery.

Beth describes her first experience of sobriety – “It was horrible” – before she relapsed. Now she is in recovery, she doesn’t think about alcohol. She loves her life. How do you get to that stage?

Adam’s Story: A Moment of Clarity

Adams Story 2I thought we’d have a period of having excerpts from our collection of Stories. Let’s start with the Story of my good friend Adam. I met Adam here in Perth and he now lives in the UK with his lovely wife and two young girls.

After years of having problems with amphetamine, alcohol and cannabis, Adam reached this stage:

‘Eventually, I ended up living in a caravan in Palm Beach, near Rockingham. I had sold my car for $50, which bought me two dope sticks. I got around on an old pushbike from the dump, but ended up selling that. I was just drinking and smoking dope to get blottoed, and often would wake up to find myself covered in vomit. The caravan, like me, was a mess. Eventually the dope ran out, then the money.

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‘Can we call it corruption?’ by Wynford Ellis Owen

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Addiction and recovery are affected by much than individual factors. Social factors play a great role and societal problems need highlighting. Here’s an excellent article by my good friend Wynford, who runs The Living Room Project in Cardiff where I spent New Years Eve.

‘When Russell Brand recently said on Newsnight to interviewer Jeremy Paxman that he didn’t vote and he encouraged others not to either, his sentiments were taken to be an endorsement for the widespread political apathy that seems to exist in Britain today.

Far from Brand being apathetic however, he is one of our more engaged political citizens. Often he articulates himself through humour and irreverence, but his key point, that politics has been hijacked by corporate power, is becoming more and more evident.

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Beth’s Reflections

A series of blogs from recovery coach Beth Burgess of Smyls. Beth writes about recovery for the Huffington Post which means she has a large audience.

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ManyFaces1Voice: Jim Ramstad

Unknown-1It is wonderful to see politicians advocating for recovery. Here is film of former Congressman Jim Ramstad, who has done so much recovery advocacy work, talking about recovery. This film is from ManyFaces1Voice and The Anonymous People.

“I woke up in a jail cell in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on July 31st, 1981. It was the fifth month of my first term in the State Senate. I was mortified, I was humiliated, I was embarrassed beyond words, I wanted to be dead. I wanted to be dead.

But, instead of being the end of my life, the end of my career, it was just merely the beginning. For the first time in my life, I decided to tell the truth about my drinking. Even though it was very, very humiliating and embarrassing to wake up in jail, to be under arrest, it was also very freeing to be able to talk about who I really was.”

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‘Sober is Sexy’ by Beth Burgess

Ah yes, all the cool kids are sober these days. Don’t worry that being sober is boring – it isn’t. It’s a blast! “I’ll tell you what’s really cool. Not caring what other people think. Doing the right thing. Doing something that’s a little different to everyone else. That’s what cool. That’s what’s sexy.” Check out many more videos on Beth’s YouTube page.

‘Addictions Expert, Veronica Callanan Speaks on TV’

“I was born feeling different. I just felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt that the whole world was behind a glass screen and I was one side. I just couldn’t figure it out…”

How often have I have words similar to these from people who went on to use drugs and/or alcohol to help them deal with these feelings… and then developed a substance use problem. I’ll be talking about the role of disconnection in addiction in later blogs.

Veronica goes on to describe her recovery and provides a message of hope for people affected by alcohol dependence. Please check out her website, there’s some good stuff on there.

 

Documentary Films

A selection focused on drugs, addiction, recovery, treatment and life [3 clips]

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Beth’s Recovery Story: ‘Becoming Beth’

A fullly-fledged dependent drinker by age nineteen, Beth has gone on to become a recovery coach and writer in order to help other people escape from addiction.

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Bouncing Back: A Story of Resilience

I found this film on Vimeo today. I thought it is a great Story. Well done, Lisa!

‘Lisa Wrightsman, was able to Bounce Back from an addiction to alcohol, methamphetamine , and methadone by leveraging street soccer to assist her recovery and how she continues to help other women win their battle with recovery through soccer.’

Beth Burgess: ‘What is Recovery from Addiction?’

I love this piece of film from Beth Burgess, a recovery coach with Smyls.  

There’s a big difference between sobriety and recovery. Beth points out that many people give up trying to stop drinking after a few days because it feels too difficult. They don’t realise that these bad feelings don’t last if you make the journey to recovery.

Read More ➔

‘About AA and Step 9’ from Don in London

Michael Scott sent me this link a few hours ago and I was really impressed by what Don in London had to say and how he said it. I then realised that there was a YouTube channel full of Don’s videos.

I got a good feeling about Don and he left me in a reflective state of mind. Thanks, Don.

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‘Detoxification: The nuts and bolts’ by Peapod

P1011113_2Why not check out the second of Peapod’s articles in his Recovery Guide, an article which focuses on detox and beyond?

‘Okay, youʼve got to the point where you are looking to detox but youʼre not sure what the nuts and bolts of it are. How do you go about it and how do you know you are ready? What can you do to boost success?

Here are my suggestions, which are based on guidance and my own experience of working with hundreds of people going through detox.’

The nature of alcohol dependence

P1011087Here’s an article on alcohol dependence you can find in our Articles section:

There has been a considerable scientific effort over the past three decades in to identifying and understanding the core features of alcohol and drug dependence. This work really began in 1976 when the British psychiatrist Griffith Edwards and his American colleague Milton M. Gross collaborated to produce a formulation of what had previously been understood as ‘alcoholism’ – the alcohol dependence syndrome.

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A letter to Alcohol

IMG_4467Here is a letter that Beth Burgess, recovery coach from Smyls, wrote in her early recovery:

“Dear Alcohol,

Well it’s been a while now, and although you are a bad influence, I do miss you sometimes. I miss our secret relationship, the way that no-one else was part of it and could never get in on it. I miss the way you comfort me when I’m down. It sometimes creeps up on me unexpectedly how much I miss you. And other times I am glad you are gone.

Of course you have changed – and I know that. You’re not fun any more. But I seem to forget that when we’re not together. I don’t know why my memory is so short and why I always remember the good times with such intensity. It hasn’t been that way for a while.

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