“My name is Paul. Dependant and self-medicated, failing for 20 years and falling at the last hurdle, but did not understand why. I didn’t understand the real cause until recently.
“I sugar coated by recovery, and convinced myself I was OK and don’t find a permanent solution to my addiction. Counting the clean days was mental torture and I saw no way out counting numbers and the future seemed a long way off. I soon realised my addiction was a symptom of the root cause.
“I made the connection of using drink and drugs to mask my emotions. The key to this problem though was CBT. It then became clear and the penny dropped for me. Looking in the mirror is not everything you see. I had to challenge my whole belief system. I was never one to throw in the towel. I started Mood Masters early in 2015, my first light bulb is not just turning up for groups and just listening to what is said, it’s taking everything in the group and putting it into practice. It didn’t take long to realise this group was for me. This then lit the fuse to look for more CBT based groups and projects. I started lifting the lid on what was really happening inside my head.
“I started looking at other people and I was amazed to see my behaviour is their behaviour. I had felt blindfolded until this point and now the blindfold has been ripped off my face and I could see again. I felt normal and human again. Depp down I believe we are one, same emotions, feelings and same energy and I feel this was the kick start of my ‘real’ recovery I began to feel I had a future to look forward to, but the chattering voices in my head were relentless.
“The Personality, Perspectives and Problems (PPP) groups I cannot recommend enough. One of the subjects was mindfulness. Having been told what mindfulness can do, I realised the thought of putting an end to the chatter. At first I had high hopes for mindfulness; it took a few practice runs for it to deliver what I had hoped for. Practice makes perfect. It is now at the point where it is part of my daily life and like turning a soothing, relaxing light on. In times of reducing medications and stopping smoking it instantly grounded me with creativity and transparency replacing the chatter and chaos with life and be a normal human being.
“I now find my one hidden talent – being a singer/songwriter and musician – suddenly surfaced and now I run the advanced music group after going through a successful music group and being part of a real band playing gigs for services. Having used CBT and mindfulness together, there is no medication a doctor can give you as powerful as this combination. Not once have I thought of self-medicating since using this in my life.
“I am such a believer in mindfulness that I volunteer my time to co-facilitate a group and this is growing in popularity and going from strength to strength. Gone are the days of selfishness and it’s time to give back to the services that gave me light to an endless tunnel.
“I’m now signed up to do the mentor training. Hopefully I can give away my bag full of light bulb moments to other to people to shine a light for them.”