As many fall headlong into the seasonal festivities of grotesque excess, spare a thought for those who find this time of year particularly difficult to deal with…
Many people are impacted by social exclusion, homelessness, poverty, ill-health, past abuse and the negative impacts of previous mistakes and/or poor choices (actual or perceived). There are far more of these people than many of us would care to acknowledge, never mind try to understand or care about. Often as a consequence of some or all of the above issues, many are also suffering with addictions.
Addiction Sufferers Find Little Joy in Christmas: While the festive season is an excuse for over-indulgence for many Britons, for most the consequences are likely to be nothing more serious than a sore head. But for addicts it is an altogether more dangerous time..(The Guardian)
They will often see the stark realities of their personal circumstances impacted even further by all the additional seasonal pressures. A period where they feel ‘obliged’ and coerced by family or peers to conform with what some see as social normality. Some will sadly find their issues insurmountable and give up, whilst some may find that Christmas turns out to be their final wake-up call for future change.
The atmosphere and all the overt often contrived excitement surrounding Christmas also reinforces negativity in many people. Feelings of low self-esteem and low self-worth can manifest and reinforce themselves in individuals suffering from an addiction. This often means that at Christmas, probably more than at any other time of the year, it’s even harder to fight an addiction.
As I’ve said, sadly many give up their fight to find recovery but thankfully many also don’t. James Davenport (or Shinny as he is known), is one of those moving forward and giving back to society after finding his own recovery. He is aiming for Salford’s first ever seasonal #1 hit with a song entitled, Christmas Number One plus, he is giving 20p from each single sold direct to Macmillan Cancer Support.
As with the many who eventually find recovery after addiction, James decided to support others as a ‘social pay forward’ vote of thanks to those who supported him on his difficult journey.
He released the song after coming out of detox. The former Salford Reds and Leeds Rhinos rugby player and professional boxer has now in recovery for six months after battling addiction for 25 years. As well helping Macmillan Cancer Support, he wants to inspire others with his story of recovery…(Manchester Evening News)
In areas like the North West – “Greater Manchester among worst places in England for drink and drug problems” – people can often find it even more difficult to kick their addictions. As they stumble along their individual ‘road to recovery’ thankfully there are organisations and people who don’t turn their back on those who need a little help and support to find a better life.
On behalf of the many who need this kind of support, I’d like to thank the few that provide it… Happy Christmas!