“Who is this?”  I was phoning an unnamed number after someone left an alarming message on my mobile. Turns out it was an ex colleague who had phoned the wrong person in a moment of ethyl-sodden desperation.

I listened for the next ten minutes as he told me parts of his story; his descent into the pit of alcoholism; his tentative exploration of methods of recovery. As he spoke, his words painted a picture of a broken man, one arm outstretched, the other still grasping the bottle.

“AA?”, I tested. Careful.

“Tried it. Couldn’t get on with all the Higher Power stuff”

And suddenly, I saw the light! – How difficult it is for a person struggling to recover to open your mind to something different.

People who battle addictions, OCD and Eating Disorders so often have rigid patterns of thought, unbending ‘rules’.  Without realising it, our minds can be so closed to new ways of thinking, of seeing our world, of experiencing other perspectives. We give up quickly and often dismiss possibilities; “I’ll never be able to…”  “Other people might manage that but I can’t…”   “All that fluffy stuff… it’s not for me… I’m not LIKE that…”

It’s that dismissive thinking, that hopelessness, that makes the addict’s recovery process so difficult. Just like a horse with blinkers, the world is so small, so narrowed. How much do I miss when I refuse / can’t open my mind?

There’s a whole world out there, one which is, as yet, unfamiliar. We need to step through the wardrobe… A different world to the one in which we lived before, lies in wait.

Why not chance it? Dare to consider it? Risk NOT dismissing it?

Hold On – Paul Brandt.  Continue reading

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