While consuming alcohol is socially accepted, seeking help for the after-effects of it is still not accepted. This is where the idea behind starting a support group called Rehaayi was born.
One particular Saturday afternoon while waiting for people to turn up, we the facilitators began thinking of ideas on how to bring awareness and promote the support group.
After sometime, two people showed up for the session; though that may not be a lot of people, the discussions that we had were very helpful for everyone in the room. One of them was not very open in the beginning, they were probably anxious about sharing personal experiences in a room full of strangers and rightfully so. But everyone was so empathetic and welcoming, in a little while, they were visibly more comfortable and open.
All of us introduced ourselves and then the participants shared about their experiences and struggles with addiction. It was a heart-breaking discussion about the things that they regret doing under the influence, followed by a commitment to be accountable and a promise to do and be better.
One of them had been on the path of recovery for a little longer, they talked about the strategies that helped them fight the craving and make it through the symptoms of withdrawal.
Some helpful strategies I picked up included
- Accepting that you have a problem and recognising that you will need help
- Creating a support network
- Avoiding triggers
- Setting short term goals and celebrating the smaller victories along the way
Hearing about their experiences has made me more empathetic about people with various kinds of addictions; not just substance abuse. It is a disease, and you are helpless against it once you develop a dependence. But help is always available, and recovery is also possible. It is easier to fight the cravings when you have a support system or, a Support Group which understands your struggles and accepts you as you are.
Rehaayi, is trying to do exactly that. It is building a safe space and providing an outlet for anyone that struggles with any kind of addiction to share their own experiences and listen to others talk about theirs, helping themselves and also others in the process. Everything you share including your name and identity remain confidential.
The road to recovery is hard and long but it becomes a little bit easier when you look back and see others pushing you to keep going forward.
P.S. Rehaayi is happening on every 2nd and 4rth Saturday @ Ashok Hospital, Ground Floor, Panorama Park, Ashokvan, Dahisar East. Ph. no: 9324718606