How to help a friend addicted to drugs

15th December 2015: Sydney, Australia

I am feeling extremely pleased to be anonymous, especially bearing in mind the topic of the post. Prior to continuing though, I must share my awareness of people possibly drawing some contradictions in my writing. Most notably, how I have detailed my beliefs about the benefits for people who with Cancer using Cannabis Oil. My reasoning results from seeing the divide caused within my small audience when writing about Cannabis. In response, I can only highlight the fact of not touching any Cannabis for over a decade before trailing it as a means to support my health whilst utilising it to eliminate the side effects associated with my chemotherapy. Basically, my use of Cannabis is solely centred upon supporting my quality of life and survival. In contrast, drugs such as ice take a person into a completely different direction.

I am not going to detail the circumstances for my friend or provide a case summary about his life. Instead, I want to share some thoughts, and hopefully receive some tips from others who are either experiencing similar matters or had encounters in the past that they feel will help someone else.

Naturally, the lives of my friend and I have shifted in different paths of late, and each time his name is raised, a cause of worry surfaces about his latest antics. The question has always been, what can be down to help him, especially if he does not wish to help himself. When reflecting on that statement, I wonder whether it is not signal of the circumstances being too hard too deal with? If true, it seems people, including myself have chosen to ignore the situation, placing his life in a context of ‘being out of sight out of mind’. Today, my thoughts have been about the type of friend I have been to him. Yes, he is addicted to an extremely dangerous drug, however, is it not these times for friends to rise in unity? Fortunately, another close friend in my social circle cares about our mutual friend, and arranged to meet last night. In all honesty. I am not sure whether it was helpful, however, a few small outcomes were achieved:
1. A show of willingness from old friends to support him.
2. The sharing of stories, highlighting the fact that a different life is possible.
3. Reconnection with a world outside addiction and crime.
4. Future planning to meet, showing a commitment to see him in the future.
5. Advice on some criminal matters he is involved in.

I am sure we can explore this topic in great depth, however, in accordance with keeping posts rather small, I hope the post can stimulate some thinking, and lead to some discussion on the matter.

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Questions about life

14th August 2015: Melbourne, Australia

I am currently in Melbourne for a two day summit hosted by the creators of a podcast called, The Wellness Guys. There is no guessing what the theme is based upon, and honestly, the timing could not be more apt. A lack of writing over the last week resulted from a questioning about the direction in my life. Admittedly, it may sound rather strange if reading the last post, and it should be noted I was in a very tranquil state when away, however, the mood quickly shifted upon returning home. All week an emphasis on my narrative was at the forefront of my consciousness, and I can truthfully say a belief surfaced about the need for a change in my life. An overwhelming sense of simply stagnating in a hole of limbo with limited prospects currently available in my life was present. Importantly, the whole system of thoughts and worries stemmed for an emphasis on a narrative about my life. I have personally seen my story recently based on strength, positive changes and personal growth, however, I questioned what evidence supports this. Some may argue I am overly hard on myself. In response, I would say this is a favourable explanation, and in no way represents a narrative based on strength and overall progression.

Drowning in opiates…

12th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia

I am writing in a dazed and confused state from the events endured last night. The circumstances seem evidence of the obstacles to be faced over the coming period. It commenced at approximately 10pm when a sensation of being utterly lost in a cloud of opiates became overwhelming. Consequently, a negative mindset surfaced whereby I felt extremely vulnerable, and when reflecting it is difficult to describe, however, basically my pain increased to an almost intolerable degree, and it was not till 5am when my medication was changed, knocking me asleep.

I am now awake, have had blood collected twice, feel heavily dazed, and not in a position to do anything except lie in bed focusing on past quotes to keep me balanced. The feeling is a perfect example of what I have been trying to explain to staff members about the need to find the balance between having the capacity that allows me to engage in activities whilst keeping the pain away. Hopefully, someone will soon understand this predicament!

Complete intoxication is not the right coping mechanism

29th June 2015: Sydney, Australia

I once made reference to a quote stating, “some people in the world need a tap on their shoulder to make changes in their lives”. Initially I played with the phrase, adjusting it to my own circumstances by adding, “some people in the world need a tap on their shoulder to make changes in their lives whilst others needing a gigantic push”. Now, I pose the question of what happens if nether the tap or push is sufficient to lead to sustainable change? Does it then just signal no other chances at living will be provided? I ask these questions following a night of behaviours and lifestyle choices I thought had been in my past. Just to note, I am not referring to anything malicious. Rather, complete and utter intoxication over a period of two days. Interestingly, it happened in the midst of all this waiting. I ponder whether some significance is associated with the decision? If so, will the direction be an inevitable death at a much earlier age than I ever hoped? Alternatively, will it be a moment, recognised as a coping mechanism, implemented unconsciously to block out all the uncertainty awaiting me? Finally, could it just be evidence of me changing on a permanent basis, and the night was a singular necessary step backwards to ensure the long lasting life does in fact become a reality.

Houston, We’ve got a problem!

11th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

I hate when people tell me everything will be ok.
I hate when people just don’t listen
I hate to think of the worry I have caused my family.
I hate having to decide who to tell my story with.
I hate even having to think about what my story is.
I hate to think I am writing this.

I hate that I hate.

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel I can see?

12th April 2015: Sydney, Australia

A continuation of feeling well seems to be building momentum. It has now been many days since a bout of nausea has been experienced with my energy stocks also seemingly not depleted. Consequently, I have been much more social, a feature eliciting a sense of normality into my life. In addition, I am going to sleep, basking in the comfort of my bed. An experience lost as long as memory allows. Admittedly, in the social arena my complete confidence is still lacking, particularly resulting from the unshifting Cancer narrative I seem bound within. My self-awareness reinforces the origins of the unshifting narrative directly stemming from my internal thought process, however, as previously mentioned, momentum feels to be building.

I would like to say the battle is coming to a close, and the last appointment with my Professor has only reinforced these feelings. Admittedly, I have long advocated for not setting timescales in regards to the length of my treatment, however, periods of happiness flow throughout my thoughts in relation to the approaching prospect of once again resuming what would be deemed a normal life. The corresponding challenge is to ensure the avenue adopted in achieving the state of wellness within my mind and body throughout the entirety of this process continues after the treatment ceases. It is undeniable that to the outside world the previous sentence would not necessarily be shared, however, personally regardless of the circumstances faced, I feel to have found a security within my self. A defining factor I wish continues and flourishes when the next stage of my life begins.

Recovery of preparation?

7th April 2015: Sydney Australia

Recovery from Cancer or preparation for life is the paradox currently churning through my thoughts. If applying the question to my life, I would definitely describe my current status as preparing for life. I acknowledge the view may shift according to my feelings, and the fact of many areas in my life needing to improve, however, I will not allow the narrative about myself a year after my operation to still be placed in debilitated state. Instead, the proposed reframe symbolises the physical, mental, financial and social factors associated with Cancer are all apart of a process towards personal growth.