So here we are at the end of 2018. And when mental health, alcohol and other drugs are involved it means it's been a year of ups and downs for each and every family member. The emotional highs and lows of drug use and mental illness can dominate our thoughts. Police might have been in our homes and loss and grief has affected most of us in one way or another. Not to mention our news that is full of negativity, constantly telling us about wars and violence and the poor peoplehomeless around the world, including refugees caught up in politics rather than humanity. And political and philosophical debates raging yet again about drug testing at concerts. A debate that's caught up in law enforcement rather than considering drug use as a health matter. I do despair sometimes. Sometimes everything can feel out of control!
But you know what, life is far too short to let these things dominate our lives. And we can do a lot to feel OK. For example, stop catastrophising about everything. For example, if my child goes out tonight on New Years Eve they will take drugs or drink too much or both... and they will die of an overdose and I will never see them again. This kind of thinking is quite unhelpful as it stirs up our emotions. Our worst fears and anxieties take hold and we can find ourselves saying and doing things that make matters worse. An argument takes place about not going out, or 'those people who are not really your friends'. Or we say nothing and stew to the point that our heart, mind and soul are crushed. So here's the thing. Take charge of faulty thinking. Catch those thoughts and put them away in the back of your mind or send them out into the universe. Remind yourself that although there are risks you have done all that you can across time to keep your child (of any age) safe and now they have to learn how to do that themselves. And if they don't, well that is just part of life. Having done that, keep the focus on YOU. What can you or I do tonight to relax and bring in the new year? Happy New Year everyone!