There was a moment as I resided within my little room, provided for me by DARA as staff quarters, when I felt the pain of my heart widening.
Laying on my bed, earphones in. Listening to the playlist on my iphone that my daughter had created before I left the UK. No one had ever told me, that the opening of the heart – in a metaphorical sense – was actually physically painful. The moment took me back to before having children. I wondered whilst pregnant with my first child, how will I love them?
On my second, I wondered how I could love more than one and then in between my two, came my nephew whom my heart expanded to embrace, then nieces arrived also. There were so many to love, maybe just not in the same way as I love my children.
When they are in pain – I feel it too. Carry it as if it is mine. Even though I don’t want to. There is this magic in being a parent, which is built into a persons DNA – unless they are heartless and then it is different.
I wondered if this is part of the reason I set upon the path of being a Counsellor.
A trusted other.
Someone invited in to the very private world of another – to walk with and sometimes guide them through the difficulties and challenges of being human. Helping them, challenging their thinking – working with them in developing emotional resilience and an understanding of the triggers and upsets which complicate daily life.
DARA – A Tropical island rehab catering for those with addiction, wanting recovery, is the place I’ve felt my heart open most, recently.
Initially I began to love the little island because of its beauty and diversity. The way it challenged me personally with its twists and turns, hills and torrential monsoon rain. The nightly claps of thunder didn’t scare me but instead provided me with some kind of security. I enjoyed watching the flashes of lightening illuminate the mountains behind me. As a storm grumbled, the whole building rumbled. I felt secure, encased within its leafy embrace.
From tropical, white sandy beaches pulled out of the holiday brochure – to its jungle heart – teeming with butterfly’s and monkeys. Critters and creepy crawlies. I was surprised when this boutique rehab captured my heart also.
It helped me to realise that I have a new community of people to love. A niche and an area of professional practice to grow in.
I love learning and sharing information about the neuroscience of change and addiction. I enjoy helping people and have learnt so much that instantly, I want to give back. That’s me with people I think. Just the way I am and a part of me which I’m very proud.
I wondered what I had to offer. Not having been an addict myself but I was soon put straight by a colleague and a friend. Then I realised. The way I had lived my life to now – combined with my professional and personal experiences, my travels and parenting. My inbuilt emotional resilience. My understanding of family dynamics and the skill with which I openly and wholeheartedly build relationships and make acquaintances. These are all elements within the realm of therapy I offer.
It’s not happened for a while – feeling this way I think. But when a person listens to the stories borne out of the lives and experiences of others – there are moments when I can’t help feeling a deep wide love for the whole human race and the challenges living a life can bring and deliver.
As I observed individuals coming back to themselves, through wellbeing offered as the rehab program. I could physically see and hear the changes within people.
It wasn’t until I returned to the UK, that I began to reflect on and understand the expansive professional growth which I had evolved through, developing a coherent and appreciative understanding of an aftercare plan – which builds the bridge from rehab back to the everyday life. It’s structured support takes time, effort and work to create, as the person rides the waves of recovery but it is so worth putting in place.
I know rehab is not for everyone.
For those of you who want to know more. I’m DARA’s UK Representative.
You can call me on: 07508 185624
If you would prefer to develop a recovery system without attending a rehabilitation centre. Then connect with me and we can discuss your needs and requirements. I am a MBACP Humanistic Therapist, who is a Wellbeing Practitioner and will work with you to build your recovery and develop a structured care plan to enable you to construct small daily practices, whilst you understand yourself and deal with your addiction.