Two ladies who had just become comfortable with those terms had shared generously their own experiences in a moving way. Lots of us could recall the early days when we didn’t feel comfortable with those words.
Emma took us back to the AA’s 12 step Big Book: ‘we learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics’. We realise that although we are writers, parents, workers, artists, creators and all kinds of other things, until we accept that we are also alcoholics or addicts, we’re often confining ourselves to a smaller life than we deserve.
Clare reminded us that there are more modern-day terminologies that some practitioners and professionals use, one being substance misuse disorder. Not quite as snappy as our ‘old’ identifiers, ‘alcoholic’ or ‘addict’. Clare mentioned FAVOR – Faces and Voices of Recovery – and their amazing website that has great resources and a great guide to recovery-friendly language, eg:
“Most people with living or lived experience of using substances have their own use of language that is meaningful to them, however, it can often be misunderstood or not understood at all by those outside of their communities. The guide is intended to offer recommendations on using language to empower people in active addiction and recovery and to reinforce the impact of person-centred language on challenging stigma.”
It seems similar to how we are encouraged to use others’ preferred pronouns and also accept their self-identification e.g. non-binary, genderqueer etc. For older people, this can seem confusing but we all agreed that if we are open to being guided we will find we’re on a learning journey that helps us all.
Clare said, ‘At Kennedy Street, our aim is to be freed from stereotypes and contribute to everyone’s improved mental wellbeing’.
This led us to talk about sayings and slogans e.g. ‘don’t leave til the magic happens’ or ‘one day at a time’.
Clare also reminded us of the pre-recovery interpretation of the acronym FEAR – ‘fuck everything and run’ and the post-recovery acronym ‘face everything and recover’.
Anna and Emma shared a great song by Ian Brown called ‘FEAR’ (listen to it on Spotify or watch it on YouTube) which has some other interpretations of the FEAR acronym such as ‘for everything a reason’.
Another interesting conversation was about what to do when we meet someone away from recovery meetings – e.g. whilst you are both in Tesco doing your shopping with friends. In therapy, it’s often the case that people have an agreement on how to deal with these situations. The consensus was that we usually make eye contact and nod a friendly acknowledgement – anything beyond that, particularly if we’re with friends and family might not be appropriate for maintaining anonymity.
Lucy shared her experience of going to Rock of Ages theatre production this week – Kevin had kindly got us some tickets and a group of Kennedy Streeters was able to meet up for food at Cedar in Portsmouth, see the show AND have some great photos with the cast afterwards (see pic above).
Lucy recalled only having been to the theatre once when she was young – ‘I was very excited for the new experience but wasn’t sure what to expect’. It turned out to be an evening of fun and laughter and of course music. Best part? Singing along especially with ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ (could this be our Kennedy Street theme tune?). Sarah said she thought it was a fabulous show and such a feel-good event and ‘thank you Kev’ and the Rock of Ages production for their generous ticket donation for our hard-working volunteers.
Seems there’s a possible new addiction to Lebanese Coffee (see pic below) – which we all partook in experiencing whilst on our night out. Everyone adored it and we’re now wondering if we can make this a staple when we move into the new hub!
As we’re now in the process of preparing to move into our new Hub – the volunteers got busy looking at the ‘move-in list’ for those things we need to furnish the space for opening. Clare reminded us about Amazon Smile which allows Amazon customers to link to a process which gives Kennedy Street Recovery a donation each time we buy from our Amazon accounts. Deli’s pleased to know that her regular order of cat food subscription and crochet hooks will be supporting Kennedy Street in the long run. Others can support us by signing up like this:
First, go to smile.amazon.co.uk:
- Click on the yellow ‘Get Started’ button
- Sign in using your existing Amazon account
- On the ‘Start by picking your charity’ page, put in our charity number 1189265
- Select ‘Kennedy St Foundation’
As a small start-up charity, your support and sharing of this amongst your friends will be invaluable.