5th July 2013

What is Alcoholism?

What is Alcoholism? Alcoholism is a chronic, often progressive disease in which a person craves alcohol and drinks despite repeated alcohol related problems (like losing a job or a relationship). Alcoholism involves a physical dependence on alcohol, but other factors include genetic, psychological, and cultural influences. Becoming addicted to alcohol […]
7th June 2013

Abstinence in the Context of an Eating Disorder

Abstinence in the Context of an Eating Disorder Dr Bob Smith, one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, made one particularly well-known statement ‘Let’s not louse the whole thing up. let’s keep it simple’. This is also true for people with eating disorders. People who have eating disorders are well […]
1st June 2013

Diagnosing an Eating Disorder

Diagnosing an Eating Disorder The statements Dr Lefevre uses to indicate a food starvation eating disorder are listed below.  Again patients are required to score each statement from 5 (like me) to 0 (not like me) with 1 – 4 indicating some presence of the situation. A total of 20 […]
30th May 2013

Food Obsession

Food Obsession You cannot fix obsessions by being determined not to obsess about something. The problem is within the person and not with the food. It is the same as someone suffering with an obsession with alcohol, drugs or with some other form of compulsive behaviour. Addictive Foods People with […]
29th May 2013

I Don’t Like How I Look -Body Dysmorphia

I Don’t Like How I Look – Body Dysmorphia Many people do not like something about the way they look. Indeed it would be a rare person who is totally happy with everything about their looks. It is only when this becomes an obsession that it is a problem. Body […]
28th May 2013

Healthy Eating and Weight

Healthy Eating and Weight As someone dealing with admissions to an addiction rehab clinic, I am increasingly talking to people who have problems with eating disorders. At the moment most the people I talk to have a dual diagnosis, that is, they are discussing help from the Haynes Clinic for […]
3rd May 2013

Vulnerability is a Strength.

Vulnerability is a Strength. Before I got into recovery I wanted to be seen as the woman with the perfect life, as someone successful with everything under control – someone to be respected and admired and even envied. This image I wanted to portray even went so far as to […]
16th April 2013

How do I know what addiction looks like?

What does Addiction Look Like? Many people ask what are the true signs and symptoms of alcoholism and drug addiction? When does one cross the line from being a social drinker or recreational drug user, to becoming a fully certified addict or alcoholic? Determining this is possible from looking at […]
11th April 2013

Drug and Alcohol Treatment and the Criminal Justice System

Drug and Alcohol Treatment and the Criminal Justice System It is not surprising that there is a direct link between the criminal justice system and drug and alcohol abuse. An individual can be pressured in to a substance abuse programme through the legal system in order to avoid jail time. […]
7th April 2013

The Twelve Step Programme at the Haynes Clinic

The Twelve Step Programme at the Haynes Clinic People have been benefiting from the 12 step program, by helping them to recover from alcohol and drugs, and other forms of compulsions and addictions since 1935, when a group of men worked together in an attempt to gain support from people […]
27th February 2013

We Drink More Than We Think!

We Drink More Than We Think! For those of us working in the field of addiction, this morning’s news that the level of excess drinking in England is underestimated came as no surprise. The story focused on alcohol consumption on a macro level. In terms of comparing the amount of […]
25th February 2013

We Are Only As Sick As Our Secrets

We Are Only As Sick As Our Secrets My youngest daughter shared a riddle with me on Sunday. ‘Question: what is it that someone can have and they really want to share it but, if shared, they don’t have it any more? Answer: a secret’. Some secrets need to be […]
24th February 2013

Getting In A Rut

Getting In A Rut To start with, embarking on a journey of recovery, like many other new things in life, is exciting. It is even more so as we have been in the metaphorical darkness for so long that the light is dazzling. Gone is the physical sickness; even more […]
23rd February 2013

Making Amends

Making Amends If we are to stay in a good and healthy recovery we need to make amends to people we have hurt, harmed, abused, disrespected or treated in any way badly in the past. This is because in order to be truly free, we need to put behind us […]
22nd February 2013

Identifying Character Defects

Identifying Character Defects In steps 4 and 5 of the twelve step programme we make a personal inventory of ourselves and identify our character defects. These we share with another human being.  In order to do this, we write a list of all our resentments and fears. All people we […]
21st February 2013


Resentment Resentment is like drinking a cup of poison and expecting the other person to die. This is a really good way of describing resentment. I know many people who have a resentment against someone and they are seething with anger and bitterness. While the person they feel wronged them […]
16th February 2013

The Twelve Steps – A Design For Living

The Twelve Steps – A Design For Living The Twelve Step Programme is a proven good way of living for addicts and non addicts alike. The programme promotes honesty and integrity. Living a life free of resentment and fear and being an ethical and moral person. There is, however, a […]
15th February 2013

The Twelve Steps To Insanity

The Twelve Steps To Insanity I do not know who devised the following parody of the twelve steps programme but I think it is witty and funny (but also sadly true). So with apologies for not being able to attribute it, here it is the twelve step to recovery. 1. […]
13th February 2013

More About Sponsors

More About Sponsors Sponsors are there to support and guide you and it is important that you realise that it is you who has to put in the leg work. They can do the journey with you and be there for you but they cannot do it for you. In […]
12th February 2013

Sponsor – Choosing One

Choosing A Sponsor There are a number of important aspects to bear in mind about choosing a sponsor. First of all, if you are new to recovery, it is important that you get a sponsor as quickly as possible. You will need someone there to guide you and to look […]
11th February 2013

Alcoholism Can Affect Anyone – The Gifted and Famous and the Loving Family Member.

Alcoholism Can Affect Anyone – The Gifted and Famous and the Loving Family Member. In the news at the moment is the ongoing story of Newcastle-born Paul Gascoigne. Who is regarded as one of England’s most gifted players ever, and who has battled alcoholism and drug use since retiring in […]
9th February 2013

Your Peer Group

Your Peer Group When you get into recovery, assuming that you attend recovery meetings or go into rehab. You will meet some people who are on the same timeline as you. That is, they are going into recovery at the same time. You will share a particular bond with these […]
8th February 2013

Reach Out To Others

Reach Out To Others We come into recovery feeling worthless, unloved and unlovable. We go to our first recovery meetings and, if things are as they should be at these meetings, someone will say hello to us and take an interest in who we are and say they are pleased […]
6th February 2013

Recovery – Be Careful Who You Befriend

Recovery – Be Careful Who You Befriend In early recovery, it is very easy to get in to the mode of wanting to help and be friendly with everyone. You have suddenly ‘got recovery’ and you want to share this with everyone. Equally, you assume those people who got recovery […]