#QuitForKairos: Week 8 (and I’m done!)

theend2Yesterday  I completed my 8 week sugar-detox for Kairos WWT. I have lost a whopping 10lbs in 8 weeks and gained a new found self-respect and a deeper understanding of the struggle that our service-users face when battling their drug and alcohol addictions.

When I took on my own war against sugar 8 weeks ago, I really wanted to complete the programme, but my confidence in my ability to actually follow through was shakey. There’s been one major relapse and countless days of constant cravings and questioning why I was doing this to myself…but I sit here, 8 weeks down the road, stronger, (lighter) and proud of myself. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Am I going to celebrate my success with a bar of chocolate? You bet. Am I moving forward with a newfound motivation and self-belief? Most definitely.

Over 90% of Kairos service-users have or do battle drug and alcohol issues. A few weeks ago, I watched a really interesting talk online by Johann Hari  (‘Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong, June 2015) who was questioning our approach to dealing with addiction. What he had to say stayed with me, particularly at a time that I was examining my own journey with a sugar addiction.

There is a lot of stigma that comes with a Class A drug addiction or a dependency on alcohol. We see it every day in our work with the women we reach out to and support at Kairos WWT. Addictions are all too often met with hostility and judgment rather than compassion and support. Johann Hari said ‘a core part of addiction is about not being able to bear being present in your life’.

When your life is darkened with abusive and exploitative relationships, when fear, pain and turmoil accompany your daily walk in place of security, stability and peace, when the road ahead seems overwhelmingly full of potholes….I would hope we could all understand the allure of a substance which could take the pain away, albeit temporarily.

And do you know what Hari believes the remedy to addiction is? It’s quite simple; ‘The opposite to addiction is not sobriety, the opposite to addiction is connection’. His message is clear. His message is humble. We need to reach out, to bridge the disconnect, to tell the addict that they are not alone, that we will be there for them no matter what state they’re in, that they are loved.

Thank you for sharing my short journey with me. For helping me feel connected and supported.

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Please continue to support Kairos WWT reach out to women in Coventry who are fighting their own battles with addiction, to walk alongside them, and build meaningful connections.

Donations to the #QuitForKairos challenge can be made via our BigGive page (click on the link) and you can re-cap on Weeks 1-7 of the challenge here. Thank you.